Welcome to the latest installment of Chord by Chord, a series designed to build your understanding of harmony and the fretboard. In previous lessons, we’ve covered C augmented and G augmented. This time, we’ll go over A augmented.

The Work

Remember that a major triad is built of three notes, the root, the third, and the fifth. In an augmented triad, the root and the third are the same, but the fifth is raised a half step. An augmented chord is sometimes indicated with a plus (+) sign, but at AG we instead use the suffix aug next to the root note. Example 1 shows the notes in an A major chord (A C# E) and Example 2 shows the notes in an Aaug chord (A C# E#). Note that E# is the enharmonic equivalent (same pitch) of F.   


Example 3a demonstrates how to create Aaug from an open A shape, while Example 3b shows another way to do that, this time adding the top string. Full six-string augmented barre chords can be awkward, so try making Aaug from the bottom four strings of a fifth-position A chord (Example 4a) or the top four (Example 4b), taking advantage of the open A string to add the root note. End higher up the neck with a couple of voicings in ninth position that also include the open fifth string (Example 5).

The Result

You should now know a variety of ways to play A augmented chords on the fretboard. Teenage Fanclub’s “Metal Baby” is a good example that makes use of Aaug. In the next lesson, we’ll go over Eaug.