A Flat Major Scale

So you have decided to learn the A flat major scale.

It is essential to learn the scales and associated harmony to develop as a musician, as it gives you insight into the musical keys and their functioning.

In the present article on the A flat major scale, we will go through all the essential aspects of playing this scale on guitar. This includes its theory, intervals, notes, chords, relative & parallel minors, patterns on the fretboard, how to play each pattern, etc.

Read the complete article to know the A flat major scale in detail and enhance your musical journey!

Introduction To A Flat Major scale

Pauer described the key of A flat major as “full of feeling, and replete with a dreamy expression.” In the words of the composer Christian Schubart, it is a “key of the grave” and that “death, grave, putrefaction, judgment, eternity lie in its radius.”

A reasonable number of notable musical works have been composed in A-flat major, though it remains less used among the popular major keys. Beethoven’s Piao Sonata No. 12, Dvorak’s String Quartet No. 14, and Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag are in this key.

The list of symphonies in A flat major scale is attached here.

A Flat major scale Notes

The notes of the A Flat Major scale are

  • 1st Note – Root – Ab
  • 2nd Note – M2 – Bb
  • 3rd Note – M3 – C
  • 4th Note – P4 – Db
  • 5th Note – P5 – Eb
  • 6th Note – M6 – F
  • 7th Note – M7 – G

The notes of the Ab Major scale are {Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G, Ab(O)}, where Ab(O) is the Ab note one octave higher than the root. G is the leading tone for this scale.

The key signature of the A flat major scale has four flats. Hence to play it on a piano keyboard, you require four black and three white keys.

Keyboard Diagram.

Scale Degrees

Intervals Root M2 M3 P4 P5 M6 M7P8
Scale Degrees12345671(8)
Notes AbBbCDbEbFGAb(O)

A Flat Major Scale On The Treble And Bass Clef:

Treble Clef:

A Flat Major Scale in Ascending and Descending on the Treble Clef

Bass Clef:

A Flat Major Scale in Ascending and Descending on the Bass Clef

A Flat major scale Guitar Positions

The complete scale in a single line is on the Low E string.

A flat Major Scale Up to 16 Fret

The CAGED pattern guitar neck scale diagrams for A Flat Major scale positions are given below.

A Flat Major Scale Patterns

Please find the guitar tabs for the five patterns for the A Flat major scale in the below diagrams.

Guitar Tabs

E Shaped Scale Pattern

A Flat Major - E Shape

D Shaped Pattern

A Flat Major - D Shape

C Shaped Pattern

A Flat Major - C Shape

A Shaped Pattern

A Flat Major - A Shape

G Shaped Pattern

A Flat Major - G Shape

Please find the recommended fingering arrangement for different CAGED patterns in the diagrams below.

A Flat Major Scale Fingering 01

The Chords Of The A-flat Major Key?

Scale Degrees1234567
Chord DesignationIiiiiiIVVviviidim
Scale Degree NamesTonicSuper-TonicMediantSub-DominantDominantSub-MediantLeading Tone
Chord NamesAbBbmCmDbEbFGdim
Chord QualityMajorminorminorMajorMajorminordim

The following triad chords result from the A flat major scale.

  1. Three Major chords – I, IV, and V – Ab, Db, and Eb Major chords.
  2. Three minor chords – ii, iii, and vi – Bbm, Cm, and Fm.
  3. One diminished chord, the vii° – Gdim.
  4. Dominant Chord – 5th scale degree – Eb Major
  5. Subdominant Chord – 4th Scale Degree – Db Major

What Are The Note Names In These Triad Chords?

Scale DegreesIntervalsChord NotesChord Name
1R – Ab – M3 – C – m3 – EbAb C EbAb
2R – Bb – m3 – Db – M3 – FBb Db FBbm
3R – C – m3 – Eb – M3 – GC Eb GCm
4R – Db – M3 – F – m3 – AbDb F AbDb
5R – Eb – M3 – G – m3 – BbEb G BbEb
6R – F – m3 – Ab – M3 – CF Ab CFm
7R – G – m3 – Bb – m3 – DbG Bb DbGdim

7th Chords Of A Flat Major Scale With Notes

Scale DegreesChord NameRoman N DesignationChord Notes
1AbMaj7IM7Ab - C - Eb - G
2Bbm7iim7Bb - Db - F - Ab
3Cm7iiim7C - Eb - G - Bb
4DbMaj7IVM7Db - F - Ab - C
5Eb7V7Eb – G – Bb - Db
6Fm7vim7F – Ab – C - Eb
7Gm7b5viiø7G – Bb – Db - F

Relative & Parallel Minor Of A-flat major

Relative Minor: F minor scale {F, G, Ab, Bb, C, Db, and Eb.} – Relative major and minor scales have the same notes. Four flat notes.

Parallel Minor: A Flat Minor scale {Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, Fb, & Gb.} – this scale has all the flat notes, as against the A minor scale that has all the natural notes [A B C D E F G].

Enharmonic Equivalent: G Sharp Major scale {G#, A#, B#, C#, D#, E#, F##} – Six sharps and one double sharps

Modes Of A Flat Major Scale

  1. Ab Ionian.
  2. Bb Dorian.
  3. C Phrygian.
  4. Db Lydian.
  5. Eb Mixolydian.
  6. F Aeolian.
  7. G Locrian.

Songs In The Key Of A-flat major

Some of the popular songs in the key of A flat major scale are:

  1. “Take a Bow” by Madonna.
  2. “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5.
  3. “Stayin’ Alive” by Bee Gees.
  4. “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson.
  5. “Firework” by Katy Perry.
  6. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.
  7. “Highway to Hell” by AC-DC.
  8. “All I Do” by Stevie Wonder.
  9. “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck.
  10. “Sweet Love” by Anita Baker.
  11. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.
  12. “Love on Top” by Beyoncé


We hope that you found the above article on A flat major scale informative for you. Do write to us in the comments section below if you want to share your experience or have some extra tips for our readers on the topic.

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