An easy example:

C+7 = C E G# Bb

What scale would this thing come from?

When playing it it sounds lydian to me, not so much dominant.

Same notes rewritten:

E+7#11 = E G# B# A#

my best guess would be lydian augmented mode from III melodic minor... but that mode doesn't have a b7...

  • Woukd it be better written C7+ or C7aug or C7+5? C+7 seems like an augmented 7th , taking the note back to C (B#)?
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 5:46
  • I've always seen C+7, which makes sense to me, since it shows the augmented 5th and dominant 7th.
    – user45266
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 18:40

7 Answers 7


There are several options for appropriate chord scales:

  • the whole-tone scale: C D E F# G# A#/Bb)
  • the altered scale (7th mode of melodic minor): C Db Eb E F# G#/Ab Bb

If you replace the #5 by the enharmonically equivalent b6, then also mixolydian b6 (5th mode of melodic minor) is a possibility: C D E F G Ab Bb


I've seen some say the altered scale can be used whenever the 5th of the dominant chord is altered.

Just wanted to point out it can be used for a #5 or a b5 too.

The altered scale is just the seventh mode of the melodic minor scale. That may help you with learning the scale which upon first sight seems like a very strange scale. FWIW, several other modes of the melodic minor are used in jazz.

Of course the 4 consecutive whole steps in melodic minor are very close to a pure augmented scale and that's why it works nicely over an augmented chord.


1) Take the Sharp 5

2) build a Lydian (Lydian Bebop) with the #5 as the root.

Ex. Cdom7+5 #5 is G# (or Ab) Ab Bb C D(natural) Eb E natural F G (Ab Lydian).

(i.e. 1,2,3,#4,5,#5,6,7,8) #5 is the 'bebop fill'

Seen from the root 'C' it becomes numerically, 1, 2, b3, 3 natural, 4, 5, #5, b7, 1. reordered from C: C, D, Eb, E, F, G, G#, Bb


AS @Matt L. says, it could be a C whole-tone scale, with the 4th note as an 'avoid'. Or you could think of two major 3rd 'cells', C, D, E and Ab, Bb, C. Not every chord translates usefully to a standard scale.


I used my ear to decide which scale run I liked and it is:


the F is the typical intend root target of a C7 dominant so it doesn't sound too jarring. Trilling the Ab-G interval sounds like an anticipation to an F resolution.

Matt L. nailed (and taught me something new) by calling this the "altered scale": C mixolydian with a flat 6th alteration.

For extra jazz"impressionists" the C# - E - G - Bb diminshed scales (they are all the same notes fits well over this chord:

C# - D = E - F = G - Ab = Bb - B = C# (alternate 1/2 step / whole steps intervals for an 8 note scale).

There's also a 9 note BeBop chromatic scale that sounds useful to me:

C - D - D# - E - F# - G - Ab - Bb - B - C adding 3 note 1/2 step runs up to the C root, E 3rd and G#/Ab altered fifth.

Unless the melody forces the use of the augmented chord it's simpler and less "jazz inflected" to just use the C7. A more pop sound would be the C11 using a Bb/C that might resolve to a C7 before heading home to F.

  • Nice. C-D-E-F-G-Ab-Bb-C is whole-tone with a lowered fourth Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 20:49
  • 1
    Just for clarification: a mixolydian scale with a b6 is simply called "mixolydian b6 (or b13)"; it is not the same as the altered scale, which is the 7th mode of the melodic minor scale. The C altered scale is: C Db Eb E F# G#/Ab Bb
    – Matt L.
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 8:58

On a Cdom7+5 I would play an Ab Lydian scale. Ab Bb C D Eb E F G Ab (Bebop/ 8 note scale) 1 2 3 #4 5 #5 6 7 8 Lydian is super super handy. Play it on a IV, bIII, bVII, bVI or bII chord. Now I find it works on Aug5 chord, but take the #5 as the root of the Lydian! Ray Stoddard


To paraphrase you my best guess would be lydian augmented mode you can see the chord fits both E+add(#4) and G#+add2 in lydian augmented.

After some debat, I've decided to only list chord matches on 'common' scales. These include the modes of major, melodic minor, harmonic major, harmonic minor, double harmonic and the scales leading whole tone, whole-half-step, half-whole-step.

Note: the modes that fit the chord on the key are listed; any other mode would also fit the chord on another function.

Note: because of enharmonic equivalence, some notes can be written differently (e.g. F## - G).


  • Major-Minor: C D E F G Ab Bb chord: C E Ab Bb
  • Superlocrian: C Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb chord: C Fb Ab Bb
  • Makam Huzzam: C Db Eb Fb G Ab Bb chord: C Fb Ab Bb
  • Phrygian Dominant: C Db E F G Ab Bb chord: C E Ab Bb
  • Leading Whole-tone: C D E F# G# A# B chord: C E G# A#


  • Lydian Augmented: E F# G# A# B# C# D# chord: E G# A# B#
  • Superlocrian: E F G Ab Bb C D chord: E Ab Bb C
  • Aeolian flat 1: E F## G# A# B# C# D# chord: E G# A# B#
  • Ultralocrian: E F G Ab Bb C Db chord: E Ab Bb C
  • Leading Whole-tone: E F# G# A# B# C## D# chord: E G# A# B#


  • Lydian Augmented: G# A# B# C## D## E# F## chord: G# A# B# D##
  • Major-Minor: G# A# B# C# D# E F# chord: G# A# B# E
  • Harmonic Major: G# A# B# C# D# E F## chord: G# A# B# E
  • Ionian Augmented: G# A# B# C# D## E# F## chord: G# A# B# D##
  • Leading Whole-tone: G# A# B# C## D## E## F## chord: G# A# B# D##


  • Acoustic: Bb C D E F G Ab chord: Bb C E Ab
  • Minor Locrian: Bb C Db Eb Fb Gb Ab chord: Bb C Fb Ab
  • Dorian flat 5: Bb C Db Eb Fb G Ab chord: Bb C Fb Ab
  • Altered Dorian: Bb C Db E F G Ab chord: Bb C E Ab
  • Leading Whole-tone: Bb C D E F# G# A chord: Bb C E G#
  • 1
    not me who downvoted, but to take a guess it's probably because it's hard to make head nor tail of your answer. It's not immediately clear what your notation represents, and you haven't enumerated what notes make up the scales you've named.
    – Some_Guy
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 15:01
  • @dfhwze -- I am the one who downvoted on this answer. I downvoted because the answer does not seem useful to me (hover your mouse icon over the downvote arrow). In general, I find answers that are just lists with little or no explanation to be not very useful; in this case you have a giant list of mostly obscure scales with no explanation about the origin of the scales or the notation you use. I can see where you are going, but I myself don't know many of the scales you mention (at least by those names), so I would need a scale reference even to validate the correctness of your answer....1/2
    – user39614
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 15:40
  • 2
    I'm not sure how many people with this question would really be helped by an exhaustive list of scales that might be applied to an aug7 chord, especially if they have to do so much work to understand the answer. If you clean this up, I may remove the downvote. As an aside, good answers that are easier to understand for more people tend to attract more upvotes than good answers that are harder to understand. Sometimes you will find great answers that are a bit obscure with very few upvotes. 2/2
    – user39614
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 15:45
  • @dfhwze -- I just happened to look back here now, but if you want to ping a user in a comment, prepend the @ symbol to their name, like I did at the beginning of this comment. Exhaustive answers are ok, and sometimes I write long answers that may be more than the OP bargained for. These don't always get as many upvotes as more succinct answers, but one hopes that they will be useful for future visitors ;) Answers that are only lists always risk downvotes; note that questions that ask for lists are also discouraged. The important thing in an answer is that it is useful and self-contained(ish)
    – user39614
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 16:03
  • 1
    This answer is really not very readable as is which may have contributed to some of the votes. Compare it to the other answers here to get an idea of what I mean.
    – Dom
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 16:45

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