The A flat major scale on piano not a beginner scale but it's one you should learn to increase your "flow" when playing, the learn the key signature of A flat and if you've already learned F, Bb and Eb major scales. It uses a fingering built around the notes of the scale (rather than a standard fingering) and has 4 flats - B, E, A and D.
Here you'll learn:
The A flat major scale starts and ends on Ab - so we're starting on a black note. It has a total of 4 black notes in it's key signature.
The key of Ab has Bb, Eb Ab and Db.
The notes of the Ab major scale are: Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab
The fingering for the A flat major scale on piano is unique for both the right hand and left hand. By this I mean it's not a standard scale fingering. So each one should be learned on it's own in the beginning before trying to play hands together. (Get that muscle memory down!)
One of the different things is that right hand will start on finger 2 and then cross 1 under right away. Left hand will start on finger 3 but end on finger 2.
Right hand fingering for Ab Major Scale:
Right hand fingering: 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
(So this one is maybe not the best for exercising your fingers as 2 are left out in your right hand!)
The left hand fingering is actually the same as the Eb major scale so if you're learned that one, this one won't take quite as long to learn.
Left hand fingering for A flat major scale on piano:
Left hand: 3 2 1 4 3 2 1 2
When putting this scale hands together, you really need to be able to play them hands separately without stopping to think about your fingering and notes first. Once you feel very comfortable and can play it without really thinking about it, you can start putting it together.
Here are some tips for playing the A flat major scale hands together:
The A flat major scale is an intermediate scale so take that into account when learning it. It's like everything else, it takes time and practice to learn.
Fingering for all scales - especially more unique ones like Ab major and beyond, can be found in the Complete Book of Scales, Chords and Arpeggios here on Amazon (this is an affiliate link that will earn a tiny commission).
This is a handy resource when learning scales (and also arpeggios).
If you're playing this scale going up and back down, use the following fingering to help you.
Here are pictures / diagrams of the Ab major scale on piano going both up and back down for the treble clef and right hand and the bass clef and left hand.
Now that you know the A flat major scale, you also know the key signature of A flat major. If the scale as 4 flats, the key does.
The key of A flat has 4 flats: Bb, Eb, Ab and Db.
(The order of the first 4 flats spells the word BEAD, so we now have the whole word!)
Knowing the A flat major scale on piano not only helps you to play that and understand the key signature but you can also understand and know the Ab chord (written as Ab).
Major chords are built off the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the scale. So if you look at the major chord, this means Ab, C and Eb make the major chord.
We could also learn AbM7 chord. This is build off of the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th notes of the scale. We already know the first bit from the major chord. To find the last note, we just look at the 7th note of the scale - G. So the Ab major seventh chord is Ab C Eb G.
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If you've never played the A flat major scale on piano before, you can give it a try this week!
I'd recommend playing it hands separately and going up and back down.
You can also play the A flat major chord at the end of your scale.
If you need more help with fingering for scale, I recommend the book: Complete Book of Scales, Chords and Arpeggios here on Amazon (this is an affiliate link).
You can also find more scale on the Major Scales Page.
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