Augmented chords are interesting and although they sound a bit harsh, when used they can add colour to music. I like the way they sound although some times they are difficult to play. The key with augmented chords (or every chord to my opinion) is to understand what they are, how they are constructed, i.e. the music theory behind augmented chords, but also to learn how to play them using one of the usual fingerings.
If we now focus on the D# augmented chord, we will see that this chord:
- In root position consists of D#-F##-A## (or D#-G-B) and is named D# aug
- In first inversion consists of F##-A##-D# (or G-B-D#) and is called D#/F## aug (or D#/G)
- In second inversion consists of A##-D#-F## (or B-D#-G) and is called D#/A## aug (or more practically D#/B aug)
For practical reasons, i.e. due to the double sharps, we never use the theoretical names for D#. Instead, we use the names of the notes of the Eb augmented chord, as you can read below:
- In root position consists of Eb-G-B and is named Eb aug,
- In first inversion consists of G-B-Eb and is called Eb/G aug, and
- In second inversion consists of Β-Εb-Aand is called Db/B aug.
- For D#, the major third is D#-F## or D#-G, and the augmented fifth interval is D#-A## or D#-B.
- For Eb, the major third is Eb-G, and the augmented fifth interval is Eb-B.
Lets now dive deeper to see details of construction and more importantly how to play it on the mandolin.
The D# aug(or Eb aug) is a triad chord, i.e. it consists of three notes with DE# (or b) as root.
To construct an augmented triad chord you have to use a major third and a augmented fifth interval. So:
When these two intervals are combined, they create D# aug (D-F##-A##), or Eb aug (Db-G-B).
See how the D#aug chord is written on sheet paper:
And here is Eb aug on sheet paper:
There are many good articles here at theMandolinTuner for practicing chords. I suggest you start with:
Two finger mandolin chords are the reason why playing chords on the mandolin doesn't have to be difficult or complex. Although there are many variants of chords that when used by mandolin masters and [...]
Ok, it is now time to practice. Grab your mandolin and try to play these chord variants now, it is easy, just follow the instructions!
You can use the chord chart that summarises all the positions to play this chord on the mandolin, or use the slideshow that provides also fingering for the most frequently used positions. Remember, you don’t have to learn them all. One or two positions are more than enough!
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