Creating filtered version of banner image.


Speed Shapes for Augmented Triads


The augmented triad evokes a mysterious and harmonically suspended sound with its construction of root note, major 3rd and augmented (raised) 5th intervals. Occurring naturally from the III degree of the harmonised harmonic minor and melodic minor scales and from each degree of the whole tone scale, augmented triads can be found by modifying major triad shapes. Doing so results in a single shape that occurs in three locations because the chord consists of consecutive major 3rds.


The symmetrical construction of augmented triads means that Aaug, C#aug and E#aug (Faug, enharmonically) are not only chords unto themselves, but inversions of each other. Due to the construction formula of the augmented triad (1, 3, #5), it’s correct to refer to the 5th of Aaug as E# rather than F.



Augmented is one of the few triads for which I will alter the fingering depending on the portion used. The following two patterns illustrate the different fingerings for a six-string shape and an inside four-string pattern, the latter of which is used in Example 8l.



Example 8l is a double turnaround sweeping form that demonstrates the convenience of moving a single shape around the fretboard. At high speed, it’s a real attention-grabber!


Example 8l:



The fretboard map of an augmented triad reveals other possibilities for movable fingerings. See what shapes you can construct from the following diagram and work your ideas through interval jumps of major 3rds.


Example 8m takes advantage of the diagonal location of notes from the A root note on the low E string with an ascending sweep to the C# note on the 2nd fret of the B string. The rhythm of this example contrasts a flurry of 1/32nd notes with a staccato 1/8th note in each beat. If the rapid pace the first four notes of each beat seems daunting, think of each beat as two 1/8th notes, with the first one consisting of an even rake starting on the beat, with the goal of reaching the fifth note on the -and of each beat.



Example 8m:



Using a repeated eight-note picking form and ascending in major 3rds, Example 8n climbs through string groups while descending in fretboard position each time. The first two units of eight use the same fingering shape on their respective string groups but are modified in bar two to stay faithful to the augmented triad.



Example 8n:



The last augmented example (Example 8o) for this section features a rhythmic palindrome stretched over two beats at a time, meaning the phrasing of beats 2 and 4 are the reverse rhythm of beats 1 and 3. The result is a feeling of acceleration and deceleration over each two-beat group that coincides with the melodic peak of the lick.



Example 8o:



Don't forget to get all the essential arpeggio types, fretboard layouts and my complete sweep picking development system in my Fundamental Changes book, Sweep Picking Speed Strategies for Guitar.

Happy Shredding,






Be the first to respond!

Post a comment



Hear from me about new stuff from time to time.

Sweep pick like a Pro with my new book!