Imagine a A+ chord that Pat transfers to a Dm chord by raising the note c# to d. Pat seems to relate a A+ chord to a D-minor chord.

What´s the improvisational use of that approach as A+ is not "really" Dm at all? I know that PM is deep, but I don´t get this one.

  • Unclear what you're asking. I'm voting to close.
    – user53472
    Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 10:46
  • I'd have to agree. It is not at all clear what you are asking. Pat has his own unique view of music theory, based on the diminished form. You need to provide some more background, and specific example.
    – user50691
    Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 19:59
  • I think it's clear enough what is being asked. "What´s the improvisational use of that approach as A+ is not "really" Dm at all?" In what situation and how does Pat Martino look at something as either an A augmented and/or Dm, and how can this be used to perform something sensible in improvisation. It's a good question. Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 9:44
  • Ok, the original unedited question was a bit cryptic. But now it makes sense and is a valid question. It's about a misconception that the augmented triads are supposed to be played, when actually they're only a tool for looking at chord shapes on the fretboard. Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 14:38

1 Answer 1


According to this summary: https://andrewdiruzza.blogspot.com/2011/02/pat-martino.html

... the augmented triads are used as a "practical aid in visualizing twelve diatonic keys on the guitar in a horizontally smaller area on the instrument." You're not supposed to play the A augmented (if you don't happen to want an augmented chord). You're supposed to see the shape on the fretboard, and the minor triad as a modification to the augmented shape. This helps you locate and create chord voicings in different positions on the fretboard. You don't have to know all possible major and minor voicings as such - if you can see the augmented shapes, you can create major and minor chords from them.

Compare this with the black and white key arrangement on the piano - all keyboard players use the black and white keys as a visualization and location aid without even thinking about it, because it's built into the instrument and it cannot be removed. If the piano keys were all the same color and if they were only side by side chromatically without separation to a C major scale and "sharp/flat keys", ... and if it wasn't linear but the same pitch in many different places, then you would have to invent some kind of a system to find your way around the keys and to be able to operate. Like what you have to do if you're a guitar player. :) As far as I understand, with Pat Martino's method you build a (supposedly) more guitar-friendly visualization aid into your mind, by training yourself to see minor and major chords as modifications of augmented triads.

For example, here are two ways to obtain the Dm chord from an A augmented triad. The augmented triad is marked with black dots. I guess Pat Martino sees dot patterns like this on the guitar fretboard. Two examples of getting a Dm from an A augmented triad

Will this system of looking at chords and the fretboard help you? Maybe, but it will take practice. According to a post on the Yahoo Jazz Guitar Group (YJGG) discussion thread archived by Google, it takes years to really master this skill https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/jazz_guitar/pKUG2P_HPAs/OMfOaNUNsI4J

  • 1
    Thx!! I can understand the point of a vehicle with the symmetric properties of a aug triad for navigation conrol on the fretboard and doing small changes for several application opportunities, to memorize all chord forms would be much more effort without this ancor so to speak. We can create certain forms better out of a overall symmetry. I guess it is the same idea behind the convert to minor concept that pat uses. Learn to play and automate a set of minor positions and substitute these mechanics to all possible chordal situations.
    – HiDuEi
    Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 17:28
  • Thx for the nice links also!!!
    – HiDuEi
    Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 17:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.