How to Play a Caug Chord on the Piano

Augmented Chords

Let’s look at how to play a Caug (C augmented) chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for playing 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.

This post covers augmented chords in more detail if you’d like the full explanation.

piano chords chart pdf printable

Chord Types Printable

Learn to play 17 types of piano chords using 12 different root notes with this 35-page PDF! Chords are sorted both by their root note and type.

How to Play a Caug Chord

So to play a Caug chord on the piano, we’ll start by building a C major chord using the first, third and fifth notes of the C major scale: C – E – G

Then we’ll raise the upper note G by 1/2 step, to G♯.

So to play a Caug chord, we’d play:

C – E – G ♯

caug chord piano

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 Caug, or C+.

Other Chord Types

Some of the other chord types you can learn are:

Minor Second
Minor Sixth
Minor Seventh
Major Seventh
Minor Ninth
Major ninth


Now you know how to play a Caug chord on the piano, and you can use the pattern to build any augmented chord!

Augmented chords aren’t as common as other types of chords, but it’s good to know how to build them for when you need them.

Piano chords are a great way to enjoy the piano and to express music creatively. Learning how to build chords lays a wonderful foundation for you piano playing!

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  1. Glenda Joiner

    Julie, Your email lessons are awesome. Your instructions have enhanced piano practice for me. Thank you so much for explaining things in an easy to understand way.Thank you for sharing your gift.

    • Julie Swihart

      What an encouraging message, thank you Glenda! I’m so glad it’s helpful!

  2. Junaid

    Mam, i have become a fan of ur method of teaching, keen to look forward for other fruitfull lessons in a begginer friendly manner

    • Julie Swihart

      You’re welcome, I’m glad it’s helpful!

  3. Kingsley okon

    I need more note on the key of F please

    • Julie Swihart

      Yes, you can use the pattern for building a particular type of chord and apply it to any key. You can count the half-steps and whole steps between notes for one type of chord, and then use that same pattern starting on a different note to build the same type of chord. For example, to build a Caug chord, there are two whole steps between the first two notes, and two whole steps between the next two notes. To build an Faug chord, you’d use the same pattern.

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