The GERMAN Augmented 6th Chord [Plus The Swiss/Dutch Augmented 6th]

Tommaso Zillio

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German Augmented 6th

A few weeks ago we talked about the Italian chord…

… and it’s now time for the German chord!

One thing that strikes me is how the naming scheme for these chords seems to reflect the stereotypes of these three populations.

(obligatory disclaimer: I do not actually believe these stereotypes. It’s just a funny thought)

  • The Italian chord that we have seen the other time is the simplest chord of the family

Kinda like Italians proverbially find a way to accomplish things with just the minimum of resources.

(Or at least, that’s what we tell ourselves. I’m not a neutral party here!)

Or kinda like Italian cooking is made only with simple ingredients

(Simple ingredients that are impossible to find outside Italy, as every Italian migrant can explain at length… but that’s another story…)

  • The German chord (that we see today) is instead the most solid and reliable one.

It has one extra note respect to the Italian one, and it’s a note that gives it a teutonic ‘weight’. In a sense, the extra note is the ‘right’ note to add to it.

  • The French chord again has an extra note respect to the Italian one.

But this note does not make it more ‘solid’.

It makes it more ‘interesting’ instead. Kinda like French cooking and their unique zesty flavours

Again - these are only stereotypes. And I should probably be the last one to talk…

But then again, we Italians can never keep our mouth shut, can we? ;-)

So today we see ‘ze’ German chord… and we also make a little excursion in neighbouring countries, as we will see also the Swiss and the Dutch chords…

You will agree with me that it sounds great - in all its variants.

And of course, here’s the previous video about the Italian chord:

These are but two of the “special chords” you can use to add spice to your music.

If you want to know all the special chords and how to use in your music - and especially how to play them on your guitar! - then you need the Complete Chord Mastery guitar course


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