Let’s look at how to play a Baug (“B augmented”) chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any other augmented chord.
What Are Augmented Chords?
Augmented chords are major chords, with the upper-note raised 1/2 step.
So to build an augmented chord, we’ll start by building a major chord. Major chords are built using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale.
To convert the major chord into an augmented chord, we’ll raise the upper-note 1/2 step.
How to Play a Baug Chord
So to play a Baug chord, we’ll first build a B major chord using the first, third and fifth notes of the B major scale: B – D♯ – F♯
Then we’ll raise the upper note F♯ 1/2 step, to F♯♯.
The reason we call this note “F double-sharp” instead of “G” has to do with the intervals used to build the chord (learn more about piano intervals here).
But to summarize, augmented chords are built using a “1 – 3 – 5” pattern on the piano: a root, major third, and an augmented fifth. Since the root of this chord is B, a fifth up from B alphabetically is an F, so we need to label this note as a type of F. This is why it’s called “F♯♯”.
You can use this pattern to build any augmented chord on the piano. Start with a major chord, then raise the upper note 1/2 step.
Another way to label augmented chords is with the “+” symbol. So an augmented chord could be written as either Baug, or B+.
Now you know how to build a Baug chord on the piano, and you can use this pattern to build any other augmented chord!
Augmented chords aren’t as common as major and minor chords, but it’s good to know how to build them for when you need them.
Using chords to learn the piano is a wonderful way to enjoy music!