The augmented scale is a six-note scale made up of two augmented triads a half step apart. You can start the augmented scale on different scale tones to get specific chord extensions. The example I am going to use is the augmented scale starting on the 13th of a C7 chord. It will give us the following extensions 13, b7, b9, 9, 11, b13.
All symmetrical scales repeat, this one repeats a major 3rd higher. You have 3 positions to play this scale so you can move any of the following riffs around by major thirds and they will all work over the same chord.
The first riff we are going to play is going to incorporate two different patterns, one for descending and one for ascending using the augmented scale.
Ok, here’s where the fun begins. The augmented scale has three major triads in it. Using our notes we get the following three major triads Gb, Bb, Db. You will notice they are all a major 3rd apart. Here’s a riff lifted from Oliver Nelson’s composition Hoe Down.
You can play this riff starting on any of the triads and following the same pattern.
Here’s one more riff using the augmented scale. Besides having 3 major triads the augmented scale also has three augmented major 7 chords. Using our notes we get augmented major 7 chords starting on Bb, Gb, D. Here’s a riff with two different patterns, one for descending and one for ascending.
Again, all these riffs can be repeated a major 3rd up or down…Have fun!