Augmented and Diminished Chords

Mike is here with another Guitar Tricks channel lesson. This lesson is about augmented and diminished chords.

The tip of the week is about visualization. Even when you’re away from your guitar, you can still work on becoming a better guitarist! For example, on a train, airplane or waiting room, visualize your fingers fretting the parts of a song, lick, chord or scale. Also visualize your picking hand picking or strumming. This even works to visualize playing music in front of an audience!

On to this week's lessons about Augmented and Diminished Chords. Most guitarists learn about major and minor chords pretty early on. But some don’t realize there are to other types of chords that give an even more colored sound. They are augmented and diminished chords.

Augmented chords are essentially major chords but the 5th has been raised a semi-tone (also called a half-step). So an augmented chord has: root, major 3rd and sharp 5th. Diminished chords are essentially minor chords but the 5th lowered a half-step. So a diminished chord has: root, minor 3rd and flat 5th. Both of these chords can used to function as a dominant chord, a V or vii leading to another tonic chord. They can also be used ornamentally, just as interesting sounds to spice up an otherwise standard chord progression. Experiment with them!

If you like this lesson, then GT has more that cover ideas on how to use augmented and diminished chords!

Extended Harmony Chords Series 1

Using Triads

Speedy Ideas Series 4: Advanced Minor Shredding

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