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#1
I know what suspended chords are, but what about augmented and diminished? how do you play them and what exactly are they?
#2
whereas a major chord is made up of a major third (C->E) + a minor third (E->G) and a minor chord is made up of a minor third (A->C) + a major third (C->E), a diminished chord is made up of a minor third + a minor third and an augmented is a major third + a major third. The lack of a perfect fifth interval is what really gives them their high level of dissonance.

While you have a three note diminished chord in the major scale (i.e. Bdim, B-D-F in C major), diminished chords are most commonly found in pieces using the harmonic minor scale. For example in A harmonic minor, you have a complete 4 note diminished chord B-D-F-G# that resolves strongly to the really any other chord in the key of A minor.
#3
Quote by bouttimeijoined
whereas a major chord is made up of a major third (C->E) + a minor third (E->G) and a minor chord is made up of a minor third (A->C) + a major third (C->E), a diminished chord is made up of a minor third + a minor third and an augmented is a major third + a major third. The lack of a perfect fifth interval is what really gives them their high level of dissonance.


unless you're using a closed voicing, i really wouldn't describe it as a major+minor third or vice versa so much as a major third and perfect fifth relative to the root, then a sharp/augmented fifth or flat/diminished fifth for their related chords.

just a semantics thing though
modes are a social construct
#4
Quote by Hail
unless you're using a closed voicing, i really wouldn't describe it as a major+minor third or vice versa so much as a major third and perfect fifth relative to the root, then a sharp/augmented fifth or flat/diminished fifth for their related chords.

just a semantics thing though


True, that would be technically correct. When I think of constructing chords I find the stacking thirds method helps for comparing the different kinds of 7th chords and augmented and diminished chords with your standard major & minor.
#5
Quote by bouttimeijoined
True, that would be technically correct. When I think of constructing chords I find the stacking thirds method helps for comparing the different kinds of 7th chords and augmented and diminished chords with your standard major & minor.


that's only stacking though. which is normal when you're just drawing stuff out, but in actual practice on guitar, piano, in orchestration, etc. more often than not things aren't going to be laid out one on top of another.
modes are a social construct
#6
I find it really useful to think of an augmented chord as being a major chord which has been extended by one note (the 5th has been sharpened) and a diminished chord as a major chord which has been tightened one note by sharpening the root a semitone.

eg, you can think of Bdim as being Bb major with a sharp root.

I don't know why this helped me understand diminished chords conceptually (not that understanding them conceptually matters). But it helps explain why, for example, Bb major works so well in the key of C.

Diminished chords are actually pretty rare, but the dim7 chord is surprisingly common for such a peculiar sounding chord ... in part because you only have to learn it in four positions to have it in all keys.
#7
Quote by HotspurJr
I find it really useful to think of an augmented chord as being a major chord which has been extended by one note (the 5th has been sharpened) and a diminished chord as a major chord which has been tightened one note by sharpening the root a semitone.

eg, you can think of Bdim as being Bb major with a sharp root.

I don't know why this helped me understand diminished chords conceptually (not that understanding them conceptually matters). But it helps explain why, for example, Bb major works so well in the key of C.

Diminished chords are actually pretty rare, but the dim7 chord is surprisingly common for such a peculiar sounding chord ... in part because you only have to learn it in four positions to have it in all keys.


generally i don't subscribe to any theory that involves "sharpening the root", because if you sharpen the root, you're not just sharpening the root. you're building it off a completely different root entirely. it's just an unnecessary middle man.

more efficient to think of a diminished chord as a minor chord with a flattened fifth.

and there are only 3 different dim7 chords, not 4.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#8
Quote by AeolianWolf
generally i don't subscribe to any theory that involves "sharpening the root", because if you sharpen the root, you're not just sharpening the root. you're building it off a completely different root entirely. it's just an unnecessary middle man.


I don't completely agree, although I have to say that diminished chords aren't really something I use that often. My mind doesn't - at this point - hold the sound of them that well so I have a hard time really thinking of them.

When thinking of the chord itself, you are - of course - right. But the similarity of the vii diminished chord and the bVII chord makes me disagree slightly, in the context of a tonal center for a song.

Another example, with augmented rather than diminished chords, would the chorus to "All My Loving" where the second chord is something C-augmented -ish, but it's really sort of a function of the movement from a C#-C-B (well, the B in an E chord, anyway). While that melodic movement doesn't eliminate the dissonance, it does affect how I heard it.

But it could just be that I don't really know what I'm talking about, and this gets to the point of my parenthetical note about it not particularly mattering if you understand these things intellectually or not. In music, it all comes down to how it sounds. If some intellectual point makes you say "aha!" great, but that understanding isn't going to make the chords sound any different.
#9
I don't know why this helped me understand diminished chords conceptually (not that understanding them conceptually matters). But it helps explain why, for example, Bb major works so well in the key of C.


#10
i thought Bb went well because it's the VII of the parallel minor

i won't nitpick over tricks to remember things though, i'm sure i have a few weird habits of understanding bits of music knowledge. i wouldn't recommend someone who doesn't understand the concept fully to subscribe to one of those kind of mental idiosyncrasies, though, and TS should take it with a grain of salt.
modes are a social construct
#11
Think of it like this: augmented is plus, diminished is minus. Take a major triad and raise the 5th by a half-step, and you get an augmented triad. Take a minor triad and lower the 5th by a half-step, and you get a diminished triad.

Diminished triads naturally occur from the 7th degree of any major scale, or the 2nd degree of any natural minor scale. It's the vii chord in any major key, and the ii chord in any minor key. Augmented triads don't "naturally" occur in any key, but can be seen as the product of chromaticism (but they do occur naturally in other scale constructs; harmonic and melodic minor and their "modes", wholetone, etc.).
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Feb 7, 2012,
#12
If you've ever heard this old James Taylor song, "Sweet Baby James" , https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1517698 , he uses an A augmented in the chorus during a transition from E major to A major.

I though it might be nice to play one, and see how they work and sound, as opposed to a protracted discussion on ways of remembering how to conceptualize and form them. A mini recess, if you will.

I think the A+ would be fingered thus:

E-1 X
B-2 X
G-3 2
D-4 3
A-5 4
E-6 X

Fell free to jump in if I've tabbed that incorrectly.
#13
Quote by Hail
i thought Bb went well because it's the VII of the parallel minor.


Oh dear....

I'm going to have to say it...Bb doesn't work well in C because it's from the parallel minor, it does because it's borrowed from the neighboring key of F.
#15
Quote by bouttimeijoined
Oh dear....

I'm going to have to say it...Bb doesn't work well in C because it's from the parallel minor, it does because it's borrowed from the neighboring key of F.


C doesn't work well in C because it's from C major, it works because it's derived from the Ab Gypsy Prometheus Neapolitan scale.
#16
Hang on, I thought it was a combo of Zangula, Rahawi and Piongo... ffs.
#17
Dimished chord - root, minor third, diminished fifth.
E.g. A C Eb. A is the root, C is the minor third and Eb is the diminished fifth from A.
It would be a minor triad, except, you've diminished the fifth by a semitone.

Augmented chord - root, major third, augmented fifth.
E.g. D F# A#
D is the root, F# is the major third and A# is the augmented fifth. You make the interval bigger by augmenting.
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#18
Quote by bouttimeijoined
Oh dear....

I'm going to have to say it...Bb doesn't work well in C because it's from the parallel minor, it does because it's borrowed from the neighboring key of F.


...i really hope you're trolling, because if not, i'm not going to take you seriously about anything.

i mean i'm already pretty close to that, but this would take the cake.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#19
Quote by Hail
i thought Bb went well because it's the VII of the parallel minor


Well, my point is that Bb and Bdim share two of their three notes. They have the same third and fifth.

I'm not sure how much the "why" matters in music - ultimately, the answer to "why does this work?" is always, "because it sounds good." Bb Major has only one note that isn't diatonically in C major, and it's one of the those that we more frequently see used as an accidental anyway.
#20
Quote by HotspurJr
Well, my point is that Bb and Bdim share two of their three notes. They have the same third and fifth.

I'm not sure how much the "why" matters in music - ultimately, the answer to "why does this work?" is always, "because it sounds good." Bb Major has only one note that isn't diatonically in C major, and it's one of the those that we more frequently see used as an accidental anyway.


well the relation between keys is pretty important when it comes to modulation or i'd agree with you. i'm usually the 'follow your ear, maaan' type but when it comes to introducing chord construction and modulation to people i'd feel a lot more comfortable trying to supply logical ties to explain things like that, especially since so many people adhere to the I ii iii IV V vi viidim rule and there are questions here all the time questioning why the bVII sounds good in a major progression.

i'm not saying to write off the idea that the root is the only thing not diatonic, because that's a tie to the parallel minor that should be noted, but i wouldn't go so far as to think of a diminished or augmented chord in such a way when "minor with b5" and "major with +5" are just as easy to understand.

it's kinda like how marty friedman's picking and paul gilbert's picking are different - they both work fine, but if a beginner was learning to pick, whose technique would you want to copy?
modes are a social construct
#21
...i really hope you're trolling, because if not, i'm not going to take you seriously about anything.

i mean i'm already pretty close to that, but this would take the cake.


Where were you for our epic discussion on this subject a few days back?

Bb Major has only one note that isn't diatonically in C major, and it's one of the those that we more frequently see used as an accidental anyway.


Yes, and we see it used frequently as an accidental because..........it's found in a neighboring key. Same deal as F#.
#22
Quote by sydrock
I know what suspended chords are, but what about augmented and diminished? how do you play them and what exactly are they?

I have an illustration showing how the four basic triads can be created through "stacking" major and minor thirds. It lists the name of the resulting triad, common ways of writing/notating the chord, and the resulting chord structure in terms of root third and fifth.



Cheers,
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Feb 7, 2012,
#23
the augmented (wholetone, some use augmented scale to describe the whole tone and some use it to describe a different scale, I'm assuming you mean the wholetone ) and diminished scales are symmetrical scales. the formula for the wholetone scale is 1,1,1,1 etc and for the diminished is 1,1/5,1,1/5 etc. take the root third fifth and seventh from these scales and you have the chords.

when I see these chords in the harmony i will usually for simplicity consider them to be Dom7chords with alterations for example the dim chord will be similar to 7b9 and the augmented will have that #5 altered.

diminished chord and augment chords have different functions in harmony for example a common use for the dim chord is to create a tension when going from the IMaj7 to the ii-7
for example Fmaj7 -> F#dim -> G-7
#24
i don't see where the whole-tone and diminished scales have anything to do with this. yes, they produce those triads, but you could just, you know, take major and minor triads and augment and diminish the 5th and it's a hell of a lot easier to understand. kinda adding extra stuff to the workload of understanding, and i'm really against piling on 'interesting' scales on people cause it distracts from actually understanding the idea of scales and eventually being able to avoid them.

the rest is good though.
modes are a social construct
Last edited by Hail at Feb 8, 2012,
#25
There's a nice little use of it in the Beatles song From Me To You.

G - G+ - C. The aug 5th leads to the major third.
#27
^ It's a diad, aka double stop. Any interval is possible, and they're two-note harmonizations.
#28
Quote by Hail
i don't see where the whole-tone and diminished scales have anything to do with this. yes, they produce those triads, but you could just, you know, take major and minor triads and augment and diminish the 5th and it's a hell of a lot easier to understand. kinda adding extra stuff to the workload of understanding, and i'm really against piling on 'interesting' scales on people cause it distracts from actually understanding the idea of scales and eventually being able to avoid them.

the rest is good though.


Some find it easier to remember scale formulas and construct the chords using the 1,3,5,7 of the scale aka CST.
#29
Dont wana throw my uneducated opinion out there, but Bb sounding good in Cmajor works because of the neopalitin 6th right?
Whatever that means my friend talks about it. Like its a passing tone. If i played moonlight in the key of Am, i would play, Am, AmG, F, Bb..then resolve with an Am i think then an E7.
So by saying it comes from a neighboring key doesnt sound so wrong to me. You have only a one note difference, and that note is the Bb itself. Which is the flat in the key of F. So by playing the Bb after the F, it naturly sounds right. Then to resolve it with an Am, which is found in both F and C, brings you back to the key of C.
So it makes sense to me explained like that.

I never found a very good use for diminished chords. But augmented chords are cool. If im in the key of C i can use an Emaug which is kinda like a Cmaj7, and i can use an Amaug which is kinda like an Fmaj7, and i can also use a Bmaug (b, g, b, d) without the f#. Which turns out to be a gmajor.
#30
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
Dont wana throw my uneducated opinion out there, but Bb sounding good in Cmajor works because of the neopalitin 6th right?
Whatever that means my friend talks about it. Like its a passing tone. If i played moonlight in the key of Am, i would play, Am, AmG, F, Bb..then resolve with an Am i think then an E7.
So by saying it comes from a neighboring key doesnt sound so wrong to me. You have only a one note difference, and that note is the Bb itself. Which is the flat in the key of F. So by playing the Bb after the F, it naturly sounds right. Then to resolve it with an Am, which is found in both F and C, brings you back to the key of C.
So it makes sense to me explained like that.

I never found a very good use for diminished chords. But augmented chords are cool. If im in the key of C i can use an Emaug which is kinda like a Cmaj7, and i can use an Amaug which is kinda like an Fmaj7, and i can also use a Bmaug (b, g, b, d) without the f#. Which turns out to be a gmajor.


There is no such thing as a minor augmented chord... you can have a minor with a sharp 5th, which is enharmonically a first inversion (Em#5 = Cmaj7/E, Am#5 = Fmaj7/A).
Minor chords and augmented chords are separate categories of chords.
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#31
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
Dont wana throw my uneducated opinion out there, but Bb sounding good in Cmajor works because of the neopalitin 6th right?
Whatever that means my friend talks about it. Like its a passing tone. If i played moonlight in the key of Am, i would play, Am, AmG, F, Bb..then resolve with an Am i think then an E7.
So by saying it comes from a neighboring key doesnt sound so wrong to me. You have only a one note difference, and that note is the Bb itself. Which is the flat in the key of F. So by playing the Bb after the F, it naturly sounds right. Then to resolve it with an Am, which is found in both F and C, brings you back to the key of C.
So it makes sense to me explained like that.


No, the Neapolitan is the first inversion chord built on the flattened second degree of a key. So, for your example, that Bbmaj chord is the Neapolitan, but it's in Amin not Cmaj. In Cmaj the Neapolitan (although rarer in major) would be Dbmaj. And you generally resolve the Neapolitan (read: basically always in common practice) to the V chord. The rest of what you said is wrong, it's not a neighbouring key IT'S A PARALLEL KEY.
#32
Quote by jayx124
Some find it easier to remember scale formulas and construct the chords using the 1,3,5,7 of the scale aka CST.


i really wouldn't want to teach someone according to CST. that's something they can pick up later when they understand its principles fully rather than trying to figure out how to construct altered chords
modes are a social construct
#33
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers

So by saying it comes from a neighboring key doesnt sound so wrong to me. You have only a one note difference, and that note is the Bb itself. Which is the flat in the key of F. So by playing the Bb after the F, it naturly sounds right. Then to resolve it with an Am, which is found in both F and C, brings you back to the key of C.
So it makes sense to me explained like that.


That's right.

Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
I never found a very good use for diminished chords. But augmented chords are cool. If im in the key of C i can use an Emaug which is kinda like a Cmaj7, and i can use an Amaug which is kinda like an Fmaj7, and i can also use a Bmaug (b, g, b, d) without the f#. Which turns out to be a gmajor.


For uses of diminished chords, try using F#dim to resolve to Fmaj or Ddim to resolve to to E7 in the key of A minor.

The rest of what you said is wrong, it's not a neighbouring key IT'S A PARALLEL KEY.


F major is a neighboring key of C major, not parallel..., parallel key would be C minor.
#34
Quote by bouttimeijoined

F major is a neighboring key of C major, not parallel..., parallel key would be C minor.

it's borrowed from c minor. it functions as a VII...which is in the parallel minor. i don't understand how you'd think differently.
modes are a social construct
#36
Quote by mdc
bVII


oops, thanks. i'm watching a movie
modes are a social construct
#38
actually it's Spun. i prefer meth addicts to blind pianists any day
modes are a social construct
#39
dim and aug chords are found int the Minor Key. Here's the story based on two songs in the Minor Key...Footprints and Softly As In A Morning Sunrise...

http://mikedodge.freeforums.org/footprints-some-forward-motion-concepts-t2.html

http://mikedodge.freeforums.org/navigating-the-minor-2-5-1-diminished-arps-and-the-t33.html

Up to now you might believe the Major and relative Minor Keys act the same, not directly like Diatonic Theory shows you. The difference is the Minor Key has a V7 instead of a v7 chord.

This alone gives you access to four dim7 chords and three aug chords. Those tutes will explain it.
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