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How to play the Bbaug chord on guitar

Unleash the magic of David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" and master this unique chord.

The Bbaug chord

The Bbaug chord, pronounced B-flat augmented, is a captivating chord that adds a unique flavor to musical compositions. Notable for its distinctive sound, the Bbaug chord is formed by raising the fifth note of a major triad, creating a sense of tension and intrigue. This chord is often used in jazz, blues, and rock music to add a touch of sophistication and complexity.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Bbaug chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Bbaug chord

The most common way to play the Bbaug chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 1st fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Bbaug chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger across the 1st fret, covering all six strings. (Barre)
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th (D) string.

Strum all six strings together to play the Bbaug chord. Make sure to apply enough pressure with your index finger to properly barre all the strings on the 1st fret.

How to play an easy Bbaug chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Bbaug chord, try playing the top four strings at the first fret with your index finger (like a mini-barre). This will give you a Bbaug chord in the first inversion, which is easier to play than a full barre chord shape.

How to play a Bbaug bar chord

Bbaug is not a common chord and does not have a standard barre chord shape that I'm aware of. Augmented chords in general are less frequently used compared to major and minor chords.

Common Bbaug chord progressions

The B flat augmented chord (Bbaug) adds a sense of tension, dissonance, and chromatic color to chord progressions, often serving as a transitional or passing chord to create interesting harmonic movement. These progressions can evoke feelings of unresolved suspense, longing, or a desire for resolution. Some common chord progressions featuring Bbaug include:

  • I - Iaug - IV - V (Bb - Bbaug - Eb - F)
  • I - Iaug - vi - V (Bb - Bbaug - Gm - F)
  • I - Iaug - ii - V (Bb - Bbaug - Cm - F)
  • I - IV - Iaug - I (Bb - Eb - Bbaug - Bb)
  • vi - Iaug - IV - V (Gm - Bbaug - Eb - F)

Drills to master the Bbaug chord

To master the Bbaug guitar chord, try playing the chord progression Bbaug - Dm - F#maj7 - Bbaug repeatedly. This will help your fingers become accustomed to the chord shape and transitions. Focus on strumming the chord cleanly and letting each note ring out.

Another effective drill is to play the Bbaug chord as arpeggios, plucking each note individually. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with the chord. This exercise will improve your finger dexterity and accuracy when playing the Bbaug chord.

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Songs that feature the Bbaug chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Bbaug chord.

  1. Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles (D, G, A, Bbaug, Bm, F#m, C)
  2. Creep by Radiohead (G, B, C, Cm)
  3. Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles (B, F#, A, Em, Bbaug)
  4. House of the Rising Sun by The Animals (Am, C, D, F, Am/G, Bbaug)
  5. Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House (E, Amaj7, Bbaug, C#m)
  6. The Dolphin's Cry by Live (G, D, Am7, Bbaug)
  7. Diary of Jane by Breaking Benjamin (Bm, G, D, F#, Bbaug)
  8. If I Fell by The Beatles (Dm, Bb, Am, Bbaug)
  9. Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd (Bm, A, G, D, F#, Bbaug)
  10. Speak to Me/Breathe by Pink Floyd (Em, Bbaug, C)

How a guitar teacher can help

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