Ab7 Piano Chord


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:

  • Ab7 chord notes
  • finger positions for Ab7
  • Absus7 chord notes
  • Ab7#5
  • Ab7#9
  • Ab7#11
  • How to figure this chord out yourself (next time)

Ab7 Piano Chord Notes

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. 

Ab7 Piano Chord Chart

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:

  • play the Ab7 chord in the root hand and root note (Ab) in the left hand
  • play Ab7 in the left hand and melody or improv in the right hand
  • play the root note (Ab) in the left hand and the chord plus melody in the right hand 

Video: How to Play Ab7

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. 

Finger Positions for Ab7 Chord on Piano

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)

Ab7 chord finger positions

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.

Chord Variations Using Ab7

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. 

Ab7sus4 Piano Chord

The A flat seventh suspended chord can be written any of these ways:

  • Ab7sus
  • Ab7sus4
  • Absus7

The notes of the Ab7sus4 chord are Ab, Db, Eb, Gb. 

Yes, everything is flat!

Ab7sus4 Chord Notes

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. 

Ab7#5 Piano 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.

Ab7#9 Piano Chord

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.

Ab7#11 Piano Chord

With the Ab7#11 chord, we need to do something similar to the Ab7#9. That is:

  • find the 11th note
  • raise it
  • add it to the chord.

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. 

How to Figure Out the Ab7 Chord On Your Own

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

abScalenotes.png

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. 

If you need more help understanding key signatures, visit the key signatures page. Want to learn more about 7th chords? Click here.

If you need to look up more chords, visit the Piano Chord Charts page or download your own copy below.

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