How to Play D# or Eb Augmented Mandolin Chords

How to Play D# or Eb Augmented Mandolin Chords

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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.


What is a D# (or Eb) Augmented Mandolin Chord?

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.
  • Lets now dive deeper to see details of construction and more importantly how to play it on the mandolin.


    How can you construct a D# (or Eb) Augmented Mandolin Chord?

    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:

    • 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.

    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:

    D# augmented chord


    And here is Eb aug on sheet paper:

    Eb augmented mandolin chord


    How to Practice chords on the mandolin

    There are many good articles here at theMandolinTuner for practicing chords. I suggest you start with:

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    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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    About the Author:

    I’m Chris, a mandolin lover from Greece, trained in Music, Mathematics and IT who makes a living on technology but enjoys life through music and arts. Welcome to my adventures!
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