Ready to learn to play the Ab7 piano chord? The Ab7 chord is a seventh chord or more technically, a dominant 7th. It is not the most common chord, as when you find it, you'll usually be playing in at least 3 flats - but more likely 5 flats.
Here you'll learn:
The notes of the Ab7 chord are Ab C Eb Gb.
Ab7 is a seventh chord. Ab is the root note and the 7 indicates it is a dominant seventh chord.
If you're at the point of playing the Ab7 chord, you may have worked out what you are playing in the right hand and left hand.
If you're not sure, you can do any of the following:
Below you can see how how to play the Ab7 piano chord and what it should sound like.
Did you notice I played some of the notes quite a ways into the keyboard? If your fingers fit in those placed, I'd recommend that as well. But do whatever feels comfortable.
Sometimes it can be confusing to work out which fingers to use when playing the Ab7 piano chord as it has a lot of black notes.
You can use the same fingering you used for other seventh chords. I recommend the following:
Right hand: fingers 1, 2, 4, 5 (everything but the middle finger)
Left hand: fingers 5, 4, 2, 1 (everything but the middle finger)
If you're an intermediate or more advanced player, you may not want to use these fingers and that's fine. When changing chords, you do what works. But for beginners, it is great to get this position stuck into your muscle memory.
There are a number of chords that use the Ab7 chord as its base but then alters it slightly. Below are some of the more common alterations and the notes in these chords.
The A flat seventh suspended chord can be written any of these ways:
The notes of the Ab7sus4 chord are Ab, Db, Eb, Gb.
Yes, everything is flat!
This chord is built off of the Ab suspended chord which is Ab, Db, and Eb.
You make this a suspended seventh by adding the lowered 7th - Gb - on top. And that makes it a suspended seventh chord.
If you see an Ab7#5 chord, the first thing you start with is the Ab7 chord notes.
So we are starting with Ab, C, Eb, Gb.
Next, we need to raise the 5th (that is what the sharp means before the 5). The 5th in this chord is Eb. Find the fifth by counting up from Ab or the root of the chord: Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb.
Raise it up moving it up one semitone. Eb becomes E.
Ab7#5 notes are: Ab C E Gb.
In order to play the Ab7#9 chord, first you start with all the notes of the Ab7 chord. Next, we need to find the ninth note. Find this note by counting up all of the notes of the Ab scale starting with the root of the chord, Ab.
Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb
Bb is the ninth note.
Now, raise that note - this is what the sharp before the 9 means. We need to take it up one semitone.
Bb becomes B.
Ab7#9 piano chord notes are: Ab C Eb Gb B.
Note that if you need to drop one note in order to play this, drop the Eb or the fifth.
With the Ab7#11 chord, we need to do something similar to the Ab7#9. That is:
This chord starts with the Ab7 chord notes - Ab, C, Eb, Gb.
Next, find the 11th note. Do this by counting up from the root note of Ab.
Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C, Db
Db is the 11th note.
Now raise Db up one semitone to D. That makes it #11 instead of just 11.
The notes of the Ab7#11 chord are: Ab C Eb Gb D.
If you need to drop a note out of this chord in order to play it, try the Eb.
Once you are at the stage of being able to play Ab7, it is important now for you to understand some chord theory so you can figure out chords like this.
The Ab7 chord is a dominant seventh chord. This means it belongs to a different key - it's the dominant or 5th chord in the key of Db major. So all the notes of this chord come from that key.
But what I find is a better way to figure this chord out is from the key signature or scale of the root note - Ab - and the chord formula.
The chord formula for a seventh chord is: 1, 3, 5, b7.
The b7 refers to the 7th note being lowered.
Next, let's look at the Ab major scale.
Apply the formula to the scale:
1 = Ab
3 = C
5 = Eb
b7 = Gb (G is the seventh note and we lower that to Gb)
You can apply this formula to any key signature or major scale for any chord.
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