A Flat Major Scale: Ultimate Guide with Notes, Chords & Pictures

A Flat Major Scale - The Ultimate Guide
A Flat Major Scale - The Ultimate Guide
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Notes in the A Flat Major Scale

Ready to master the A Flat Major scale?

In this ultimate guide, we dive deep into the A Flat Major Scale (also known as the Ab Major scale). Before you embark on your musical journey and begin your song arrangements, it’s essential that you know the notes that make up the A Flat Major scale.

The notes in the A Flat Major scale are:

Ab Bb C Db Eb F G

This scale consists of 7 different notes. Traditionally, when the scale is played, the first note is repeated at the end in the octave above. For the A Flat Major scale, the final note would be Db.


A Flat Major Scale: Sharps and Flats

The A Flat Major scale contains 4 flat notes: 

Ab, Bb, Db, Eb

The scale of any given musical piece is generally indicated by a key signature. This is a visual symbol that flattens or sharpens certain lines or spaces on the Musical Staff (horizontal lines of the music sheet).

The flattened or sharpened symbol is placed on each note at the beginning of the music, so the musician knows how to play the specific notes. This method makes sure either the single or grand staff is not cluttered with symbols after every note.

In musical notation, this is what the key signature for the A Flat Major scale (which contains 4 flat notes) looks like:

A Flat Major - Musical Key Signature

A Flat Major: Scale Position of Each Note

Each note in the A Flat Major scale has a specific position within the scale. These positions are also known as degrees. 

When we look at the A Flat Major scale, the first note (or 1st degree) is Db. The 3rd degree is F, the 5th is Ab, and so forth. Understanding these scale positions will help you when building chords.

Here is each degree of the A Flat Major scale, which shows each note’s position within the scale.

Degree1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th
NoteAbBbCDbEbFG

A Flat Major Piano Scale

Many musicians who are learning their music theory find it easier to visualize and learn on the piano.

Most scales are made up of a combination of black and white notes on the piano. Knowing these combinations can be a handy trick for musicians to remember hand position and scale.

A Flat Major Piano Notes:

A Flat Major Scale - Notes on Piano

A Flat Major Piano Degrees:

A Flat Major Scale - Notes on Piano

There is a pattern to the Major scale that makes learning a scale easier. 

This pattern consists of whole steps and half steps. To move up (or down) a scale, you take either a whole step or half a step. A whole step is 2 notes, and a half step is 1 note.


StepWholeWholeHalfWholeWholeWholeHalf
NoteAbBbCDdEbFG

Chords in the A Flat Major Scale

Now we know the notes in the Ab Major Scale, and the different scale positions of each, the next step is to learn the chords.

We’ll focus on the most popular and used chord structure, known as triad chords. Triad chords consist of 3 notes (or pitch tones) within the same scale.

The 3 notes that make up a triad chord are referred to as the Root Note, the 3rd Note, and the 5th Note

ChordiiiiiiIVVvivii
Root NoteAbBbCDbEbFG
The 3rdCDbEbFGAbBb
The 5thEbFGAbBbCDb

A Flat Major in Musical Notation

The next step to mastering the A Flat Major scale is to understand it when it’s used in musical notation

Let’s focus on the 4 most commonly used clefs, which are Treble, Bass, Alto, and Tenor.


A Flat Major in Treble Clef

The Treble Clef is the most common Clef used in music notation, as it represents a pitch range that is covered by a wide range of popular instruments.

A Flat Major in Treble Clef

A Flat Major in Bass Clef

The Bass Clef is commonly used in music notation and represents instruments in the lower pitch registers.

A Flat Major in Bass Clef

A Flat Major in Alto Clef

The Alto Clef is less commonly found in music notation. It represents a specific pitch register that is mainly associated with the viola.

A Flat Major in Alto Clef

A Flat Major in Tenor Clef

The Tenor Clef is also less commonly found in music notation. It represents a specific pitch register that is mainly associated with the cello and trombone played in higher ranges.

A Flat Major in Tenor Clef

Ab Major Scale Degree and Patterns on Musical Notation

Similarly to the scale on the piano, we can also apply the scale degrees when looking at the musical notation:

Ab Major Scale - Scale Degrees

We can also add the Major Scale pattern to the musical notation:

Ab Major Scale Patterns on Musical Notation

A Flat Major: Traditional Scale Degrees and Technical Names

In traditional harmony music theory, each note’s position within a scale degree is given a technical name. 

You can think of these names as alternatives to the scale degrees names we discussed earlier (1st, 3rd, 5th degree). These technical names are:

Tonic, Supertonic, Mediant, Subdominant, Dominant, Submediant, and Leading Tone

You’ll find these in certain music literature and references, so it’s good for beginner musicians to know these. 

Here’s what that looks like for the A Flat Major Scale:

NameTonicSupertonicMediantSubdominantDominanteSubmediantLeading Tone
NoteAbBbCDbEbFG

A Flat Major: Solfege Syllables

Solfege Syllables is a popular musical system that assigns a specific syllable to each note within a scale degree. 

This is popular amongst singers, as this system is mainly used to sing each scale position to hear the unique sound of each position. Here are the syllables for each scale position:

DO, RE, MI, FA, SO, LA, TI

This system is a great way to train your ears. We can apply this to our scale to get the following:

SyllableDOREMIFASOLATI
NoteAbBbCDbEbFG

You can also see the Solfege system for the A Flat Major scale on the piano roll:

A Flat Major Scale - Solfege on Piano

Summary: Learning the A Flat Major Scale

To tie all of this new musical knowledge together, it’s time to understand the relationship between these different musical systems, and how they line up.

Here’s the A Flat Major scale alongside the scale degree number, steps, Solfege, and traditional musical systems:

NoteAbBbCDbEbFG
Degree1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th
SyllableDOREMIFASOLATI
NameTonicSupertonicMediantSubdominantDominanteSubmediantLeading Tone
StepWholeWholeHalfWholeWholeWholeHalf

And there you have it, the complete guide to the A Flat Major scale. We hope that our guide has helped you on your musical journey!

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Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
As Visionary and Chief Editor of 122BPM, Thomas is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of music pioneers. With a degree in Music and 10 years industry experience, Thomas is now shaping 122BPM as the central hub for music and audio education.
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