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D# aug Piano Chord

    Piano Diagram of D# aug in Root Position

    D Sharp Aug Chord Root Position Piano Diagram

    A D# augmented chord is an augmented triad built upon the key of D-sharp. To form a D# augmented chord, you combine the root (D#), the major 3rd (Fx), and the “augmented” 5th note (Ax) from the D# scale. Continue reading to gain a deeper understanding of the music theory behind this chord.


    Structure of D# aug


    D#, Fx, Ax


    R, 3, #5


    Fingers Position

    Left Hand

    4, 2, 1

    5, 3, 1

    Right Hand

    1, 2, 4

    1, 3, 5


    D# aug Chord Inversions


    D# aug has a total of 2 inversions:

    Root Position: D# Fx Ax
    1st Inversion: Fx Ax D#
    2nd Inversion: Ax D# Fx

    Piano Keyboard Diagrams

    Inversions Equivalencies

    One interesting feature of augmented chords is that each inversion of the chord produces a different augmented chord. For example, if you take the first inversion of a D# augmented chord, you get an Fx (G) augmented chord. And if you take the second inversion of a D# augmented chord, you get an Ax (B) augmented chord.

    So, you only really need four different augmented chords to cover all the possible keys, because all the other augmented chords can be found by inverting these four chords.


    Distinct aug Chords Notes Root Position Enharmonic Inversions
    C aug C – E – G# C aug E aug G#/Ab aug
    C# aug C# – E# – Gx C#/Db aug F aug A aug
    D aug D – F# – A# D aug F#/Gb aug A#/Bb aug
    D# aug D# – Fx – Ax D#/Eb aug G aug B aug


    Notice how each of the four distinct augmented chords contains a unique combination of three notes, which can be rearranged into three different chord inversions. By utilizing these four chords and their inversions, it’s possible to cover all 12 keys. Keep in mind that the selection of C, C#, D, and D# is arbitrary, as you could use any other series of unique augmented chords to build them all.


    Music Theory and Harmony of D# aug


    Augmented chords are typically found on the third degree of both the melodic and harmonic minor scales, where they are intended to function as mediant chords.

    C Melodic Minor Scale

    i ii III IV V vi vii
    C min D min Eb aug F Maj G Maj A dim B dim

    C Harmonic Minor Scale

    i ii III iv V vi vii
    C min D dim Eb aug F min G Maj A dim B dim


    However, in practice, they are not commonly used in this position. Instead, augmented chords are often used as a leading tone to resolve to a major or minor tonic chord.

    But before we explore the chords that can follow a D# augmented chord, let’s take a closer look at how to build it.


    Building the D# aug Chord: Different Approaches


    Starting from the D# Major Scale

    Keeping as reference the major scale, build the augmented chord, which consists of the Root, major 3rd, and sharp 5th. Keep in mind that D# major is a theoretical key since it has many sharp in its key signature, so it could be easier using its enharmonic equivalent chord Eb aug.


    D sharp Major Diatonic Scale up to octave

    D sharp Major Scale


    D sharp Major Diatonic Scale up to octave Keyless Notation

    D sharp Major Scale – Keyless Notation


    • Start from the root note D-sharp.
    • Add the major 3rd Fx (G).
    • Raise the 5th note, A# by one half-step to get Ax (B).
    • Combine the root note D#, the major 3rd Fx and the augmented 5th Ax to form the D# augmented chord.

    You can apply the formula R, 3, #5 to build any augmented chord.


    by Combining 3rds

    An augmented triad is a chord consisting of two stacked major 3rds.

    3 + 3 = aug Chords

    To build an augmented triad on D-sharp, you would start from the root note D#. Next, you would add a major third interval (four half steps) above D# to obtain the note G (Fx). Finally, you would add another major third interval above G (Fx) to get the note B which we’ll call Ax to preserve the chord’s basic structure.

    The resulting D# augmented triad would consist of the notes D#, Fx, and Ax.


    How to Use D# aug in a Chord Progression


    Augmented chords can be used in different ways. One of the most common ways they’re used is through substitution, which means they can take the place of other chords. For example, augmented chords can be used as a substitute for dominant 7th chords. Additionally, they can also work as passing or transitional chords between other chords.

    Most of the time, an augmented triad functions as a variation of the dominant chord that resolves on a tonic chord five degrees under its root. However, it is worth mentioning all easy transitions possible starting from a D-sharp augmented chord. The harmonic structure of augmented chords makes possible to get many different chords just by shifting any of its notes by a half step, let’s see why:


    Resolving D# aug to Major and minor Chords

    An augmented chord is made up of notes that are separated by a specific and constant distance from one another. In the case of a D# augmented chord, the notes D#, Fx, and Ax are separated by a “major 3rd” interval.

    It’s important to note that each note in the D# augmented chord can act as a leading tone to transition to another chord that sounds good in the progression. This is because changing one of the notes in the augmented chord can create a different type of chord altogether.

    To form a major chord, you need to combine a “major 3rd” interval with a “minor 3rd” interval. Conversely, a minor chord is formed by using a “minor 3rd” interval followed by a “major 3rd” interval. Therefore, when you play an augmented chord, you can use each note in the chord to lead to a different type of chord, such as a major or minor chord, by changing the distance between the notes.


    Lowering One Note: from D# aug to Major Chords

    The table below shows how lowering each note of the D# aug chord can lead to three different major chords:


    aug Chord Lowered Note Resolving Chord Chord Shape
    D# Fx Ax D# D G B 2nd inversion of G Maj
    Fx D# F# B 1st inversion of B Maj
    Ax D# Fx A# Root position of D# Maj


    If you lower one note in the D-sharp augmented chord, you will end up creating a major chord from each of its notes. So D# aug can transform into:

    • D# (Eb) Major or
    • Fx (G) Major or
    • Ax (B) Major


    Lowering Two Notes: from D# aug to minor Chords

    Lowering two notes of an aug chord results in several minor chords. Let’s explore which minor chords can be derived from the D# aug:


    aug Chord Lowered Notes Resolving Chord Chord Shape
    D# Fx Ax Fx, Ax D# F# A# Root position of D#m
    D#, Ax D G Bb 2nd inversion of Gm
    D#, Fx D F# B 1st inversion of Bm


    Lowering two notes of an augmented chord creates three minor chords with the same root as the inversions of the augmented chord. This means that D# aug can transform into:

    • D# (Eb) minor or
    • Fx (G) minor or
    • Ax (B) minor

    This can be useful in minor keys where the v degree is played as a V7 chord (borrowed from the harmonic minor scale). In this case, the D# augmented chord can replace D#7, G7, and B7 in minor keys.

    However, the best fit for D# augmented is to substitute D#7. When it’s played in place of G7 or B7, it’s actually an inversion of the better fit, G augmented and B augmented, respectively.


    Raising One Note: from D# aug to minor Chords

    When you raise one note of a D# aug chord, you get minor chords. The following table shows the three different minor chords that can be created from a D# aug chord:


    aug Chord Raised Note Resolving Chord Chord Shape
    D# Fx Ax D# E G B Root position of Em
    Fx D# G# B 2nd inversion of G#m
    Ax Eb G C 1st inversion of Cm


    When we raise one note of a D# augmented chord, we get:

    • E minor or
    • G# minor or
    • B# (C) minor


    Raising Two Notes: from D# aug to Major Chords

    Similarly, raising two notes of the D# aug chord results in several major chords. Let’s take a look at which chords can be formed:


    aug Chord Raised Notes Resolving Chord Chord Shape
    D# Fx Ax D#, Fx E G# B Root position of E Maj
    Fx, Ax D# G# B# 2nd inversion of G# Maj
    D#, Ax E G C 1st inversion of C Maj


    When we raise two notes of the D# augmented chord, we can resolve it to three different chords:

    • E Major or
    • G# Major or
    • B# (C) Major


    D# aug as Dominant Chord

    Due to the complexity of theoretical keys, I strongly recommend referring to the enharmonic equivalent chord Eb augmented instead of D# augmented. The tables have become a bit complicated and are mainly for reference. For a clearer understanding of the concepts, it’s better to check the simpler tables related to the more common keys.

    As we have seen, D# aug can be transformed into various minor and major chords simply by raising or lowering one or two notes. These tables show all the possible resolutions of the D# augmented chord in major and minor keys, where it can be substituted for the V chord in a ii-V-I/i progression.

    Try these progressions and experiment with playing both the augmented and the dominant chords, or just the augmented chord. You can also try playing the dominant chord first, followed by the augmented chord, or vice versa.


    D# aug in Major Keys
    Key V degree Substitution ii V I
    ii V+ I
    in G#(Ab) Major* D#7(Eb7) D#aug as Dominant (V+)  Bbm | Eb7 | Ab Maj Bbm | D# aug (Eb7) | Ab Maj
    in B#(C) Major* Fx7(G7) D#aug as Inversion of Fx aug Dm | G7 | C Maj Dm | D# aug (G7) | C Maj
    in Dx(E) Major* Ax7(B7) D#aug as Inversion of Ax aug F#m | B7 | E Maj F#m | D# aug (B7) | E Maj
    in Cx(D) Major* Gx7(A7) Tritone substitution Em | A7 | D Maj Em | D# aug (A7) | D Maj

    *Since all these are theoretical keys, we will refer to their enharmonic equivalent keys Ab, C, E, and D major.

    • When a D# augmented chord resolves to a G# major, it is functioning as the V+ (augmented fifth) degree in the theoretical key of G# major. This is the most common use of the D# augmented chord as a substitute for the D#7 chord, which creates a strong sense of tension and resolution in the context of a G# major key.
    • In the keys of B# major, D# augmented can replace the V+ chord, which is Fx augmented. This is possible because D# augmented is an inversion of Fx augmented that substitutes the Fx7 chord.
    • Similarly, Ax (B) augmented, which is also an inversion of D# augmented, can be substituted, but it’s usually better to use the augmented chord with the same root of the dominant chord instead of using an inversion.
    • The tritone substitution: By replacing a dominant 7th chord with another chord whose root is a tritone away, we can create a new harmonic color while maintaining the original function of the dominant chord. In the case of D# augmented it can be used as a tritone substitution for Gx7 because the distance between D# and Gx is a tritone (six half steps).


    D# aug in minor Keys
    Key V degree Substitution ii V i ii V+ i
    in G# minor D#7 D# aug as Dominant (V+) A#ø | D#7 | G# min A#ø | D# aug (D#7) | G# min
    in B#(C) minor* Fx7(G7) D# aug as Inversion of Fx aug Dø | G7 | C min Dø | D# aug (G7) | C min
    in Dx(E) minor* Ax7(B7) D# aug as Inversion of Ax aug F#ø | B7 | E min F#ø | D# aug (B7) | E min

    *Since B# and Dx minor are theoretical keys, it’s more practical to refer to their enharmonic equivalent keys C and E minor.

    The D# augmented chord can serve as a substitute for the dominant 7th chord in minor keys. It is a common practice to use a dominant 7th chord instead of the minor dominant chord typically found in natural minor keys. This substitution is derived from the harmonic minor scale and is widely used in natural minor key progressions.

    Since the D# augmented chord shares the same notes as Fx augmented (G aug) and Ax augmented (B aug), and because augmented chords can substitute for the dominant 7th chords built on their roots, it follows that D# augmented, being an inversion of both Fx augmented and Ax augmented, can be used to replace Fx7 (G7) and Ax7 (B7) in their respective keys. However, it’s better to play the augmented chord with the same root as the dominant chord rather than playing an inversion.


    D# aug Voice Leading

    D# augmented can serve as a chromatic passing chord, allowing for smooth voice leading. It can also function as a pivot chord to modulate to a new key, or be used as a substitute for the dominant chord to create a sense of tension and eventual resolution.

    I ii iii IV V vi vii
    D# Maj E# min Fx min G# Maj A#7 B# min Cx dim


    I I+ IV
    I I+ IV
    D# Maj D# aug G# Maj


    I I+ iv
    I I+ iv
    D# Maj D# aug G# min


    I I+ VI
    I I+ vi
    D# Maj D# aug B# min


    I I+ ii V
    I I+ ii V
    D# Maj D# aug E# min A#7


    D# aug as Chromatic Modulation

    Using the D# aug chord for chromatic modulation can add an interesting tonal color to your music. It is a popular technique used to add interest to a series of static measures on a single chord.

    I  I+ I6 I+ I
    I I+ I6 I+ I
    D# Maj D# aug D#6 D# aug D# Maj


    Alternative Names for D# aug Chord

    • D#+
    • D#+5
    • D#aug
    • D#(#5)
    • D#(5#)
    • D#(5+)
    • D#aug5
    • D#(5aug)



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