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Learn Piano #8: Use Augmented Chord Sub & Whole Tone Scales

Learn to reharmonize Dominant 7 Chords with Augmented Chord substitutions to create ethereal sounds & effects

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Course Updated: February 2016


Learn Piano Level 8 - Learn to use Augmented Chords Substitution into Away In A Manger & Whole Tone Scales

Sometimes when we listen to musicians playing a musical arrangement, we here a metallic sound that makes the piece of music mesmerizing. They are sounds that we hear when we play the whole tone scales.

Whole Tone Scales have tones that are one whole step apart. They sound ethereal.

Here's the Secret: Whenever there are Augmented Chords put in the music arrangement, we can readily play part of the whole tone scale into the chord. Or sometimes just sharpening the 5th tone of the chord in place of the dominant 7 chord, we the raised 5th tone gives the piece of music an ethereal sound. Augmented Chord with the sharp 5 tone is actually an altered dominant chord substitution.

Learn how to put in Augmented Chords into your music arrangement!

Key of C: C+, G+, A+, D+


Here are some of the topics we will cover in this course:

A. Music Theory - Augmented Chord Formula

  • Chord Formula: 1 3 +5
  • Augmented Chord Distinctive Feature - Sharping of the 5th Tone

B. Twelve Augmented Chords in Music

  • C+5
  • D+5
  • E+5
  • F+5
  • G+5
  • A+5
  • B+5
  • Db+5
  • Eb+5
  • Gb+5
  • Ab+5
  • Bb+5

C. Circle of 5ths - How Do Augmented Chords Resolve?

  1. Follow the Circle of 5th Movement
  2. It resolves to the Chord that is a Perfect 5th Below
  3. It moves anti-clockwise

D. Augmented Chord Substitution Rule

You can always substitute an augmented chord in place of any dominant or secondary dominant chords:

Key of C:

  • For C7 Substitute C+
  • For D7 Substitute D+
  • For A7 Substitute A+
  • For G7 Substitute G+

E. Secret Tip: Must avoid doing augmented chord substitution when melody tone clashes with +5

F. Augmented Chords are built on Whole Tone Scales

G. The 12 Augmented Chords belong to either one of the Whole Tone Scale

  • C+5, D+5, D+5, Gb+5, Ab+5, Bb=5 ==> C Whole Tone Scale
  • F+5, G+5, A+5, B+5, Db+5 Eb+5 ==> C# Whole Tone Scale

H. Reharmonize Away in A Manger with Augmented Chords!

I. Fun Piano Techniques & Styles

  1. C Whole Tone Scale Technique
  2. C# Whole Tone Scale Technique
  3. Whole Tone Scale Fill-Ins
  4. Whole Tone Scale for Introduction - G+5
  5. Special Effects
  6. Whole Tone Fun Harp Sound

Come on in and enroll in this course!

Let's have some fun together,



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Your Instructor

Rosa Suen
Rosa Suen

Rosa is the Pastor and Church Pianist for a local community church in Hong Kong for over 30 years. She graduated from University of British Columbia and received her teaching certificate specializing in Chemistry and teaching English as a second language. She taught public schools in Canada for a couple of years and then went on to receive her Master's degree in Christian Theological Ministry at Ontario Theological Seminary in Toronto. She started full time ministry with her husband in 1989 and received intensive Pastoral Counselling and Discipleship Training at Christian Disciples Church. They were ordained to become church ministers as Pastors in 1996 in a local church in Tsuen Wan and have been ministering to this same congregation for almost 20 years now.

Over the years, she has gone on church missions to Mongolia, Sydney, Nepal, India and expedition trips to the Holy Lands: Israel, Greece and Turkey. Wherever she went, she found herself taking up the music ministry and became the church pianist for that church.

Many people at church have asked her to teach them to play piano. As a result of her passion in playing piano, she started developing piano courses initially for church pianists online since 2008. The piano courses are very unique because she was finally willing to share her Unique Piano Method: Color Chord Improvisation Method known as CCI. The CCI method works for all types of music: Gospel, Pop and Standards.

This Piano Method is easy, fun and creative that you learn to play piano not only from music score sheets, but to play chords from fake books and eventually to play by ear. Students all over the world have requested for courses to teach them play standards and popular songs. As a result she developed 3 Great Reharmonization Method courses for them to play from fake books and play by ear. The Dreamy Piano Techniques courses, especially the one on Autumn Leaves is her students favorite. She has a piano website at Learn Piano With Rosa where she continues to offer new courses to her students. She also holds piano workshops for her local students and train church pianists.

With her education and expertise in teaching, her students love her piano courses and found her piano lessons extremely easy and fun to play piano. They are highly motivated to play piano and playing piano had never been more fun and satisfying for them. You can read their testimonies on her website.

She is now an instructor at Udemy. Come and join her hundreds of students to play piano in a fun and creative way.

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