Skip to content
Home » TRIADS » Minor » Ab minor Piano Chord – Charts, Harmony and Music Theory

Ab minor Piano Chord

    Piano Diagram of Ab min in Root Position

    Ab min Chord - Root Position - Piano Diagram

    The Ab minor chord is the minor triad built upon the A-flat key. It is built by combining the Root note (Ab), the minor 3rd (Cb), and the 5th (Eb) notes from the Ab minor scale.


    Structure of Ab minor


    Ab, Cb, Eb


    R, m3, 5


    Fingers Position


    Left Hand

    5, 3, 1

    4, 2, 1

    Right Hand

    1, 3, 5

    1, 2, 4


    Ab minor Chord Inversions


    The Ab minor chord has a total of 2 inversions:

    Root Position: Ab Cb Eb
    1st Inversion: Cb Eb Ab
    2nd Inversion: Eb Ab Cb

     Piano Keyboard Diagrams


    Music Theory and Harmony of Ab minor


    What are Minor Chords?

    Minor chords are one of the two most important types of chords in music, along with the major chord. Minor chords are triads that have a slightly different sound from major chords. They have a darker and more melancholic sound compared to major chords, which have a brighter and more uplifting sound. The difference lies in the 3rd note of the chord – minor chords use a minor 3rd while major chords use a major 3rd.

    Despite their darker sound, minor chords are still considered stable and consonant chords. This means that they do not create a sense of tension or dissonance that requires resolution, unlike some other types of chords such as dominant 7th chords or diminished chords.


    Building the Ab minor Chord: Different Approaches

    Starting from the Ab Major scale

    A minor chord is made up of three notes: Root, minor 3rd, and 5th of a minor scale.


    Ab minor Natural Scale

    Ab minor Scale


    However, for educational purposes, it may be clearer to demonstrate its construction using a major scale, as it better illustrates the relationship between intervals and their qualities.

    To build an Ab minor chord, you can begin with the Ab major scale.


    Ab Major Diatonic Scale up to octave

    Ab Major Scale


    Ab Major Diatonic Scale up to octave Keyless Notation

    Ab Major Scale – Keyless Notation


    To build a minor chord, you can apply the formula R, m3, 5 using these step-by-step instructions:

    1. Begin with the Root note, Ab.
    2. To select the minor 3rd interval of a note, you need to count three half steps up from that note. Alternatively, you could find the 3rd note on the major scale (which for Ab would be C) and then lower it down by a half step to arrive at the note Cb (B), which is the minor 3rd interval of Ab.
    3. Finally, add the 5th interval, which is Eb.

    This formula can be applied to any major scale to create a minor chord with a different root note.


    by Combining Intervals

    A minor chord is created by combining two specific intervals: a minor 3rd and a major 3rd.

    m3 + 3 = minor Chord

    To form an Ab minor chord, begin with the root note Ab and add a minor 3rd interval. This interval consists of three half-steps, so count up three half-steps from the root note Ab to find Cb (B).

    Next, add a major 3rd interval to Cb. This interval consists of four half-steps, so count up four half-steps from Cb to find Eb.

    These three notes – Ab, Cb, and Eb – together create the Ab minor chord. So, the Ab minor chord is made up of a minor 3rd interval between Ab and Cb, and a major 3rd interval between Cb and Eb.

    It’s worth noting that this method is not the easiest way to create a minor chord, but it’s a commonly used approach.


    How to Use Ab min in a Chord Progression


    Harmonic functions are fundamental concepts in music theory that describe the roles played by chords within a specific key and context. In Western music, there are seven primary harmonic functions, which correspond to the notes of the diatonic scale. The most important functions are the tonic, dominant, and subdominant, with major chords denoted by capitalized Roman numerals and minor chords by lowercase ones.

    To gain a better understanding of the harmonic functions of Ab min in various scales, the tables below show the natural minor scales and their corresponding relative major scales for all keys that include an Ab minor chord in different scale degrees. These tables offer a helpful guide to understanding how chords function harmonically and relate to one another in different keys.

    Ab minor can be found in the key of D-flat minor, but since D-flat minor is considered a theoretical key due to the high number of flats, it is more practical to use the enharmonic equivalent key of C-sharp minor instead. The same applies to F-flat and C-flat major, which are also theoretical keys and can be more easily played using the enharmonic equivalents of E and B major, respectively.


    on Natural minor Scales

    Minor Scales i ii III iv v VI VII
    Ab Ab min Bb dim Cb Maj Db min Eb min Fb Maj Gb Maj
    Eb Eb min F dim Gb Maj Ab min Bb min Cb Maj7 Db Maj
    Db = C# C# min D# dim E Maj F# min G# min = Ab min A Maj B Maj
    • Tonic chord in Ab minor
    • Subdominant chord in Eb minor
    • Dominant chord in C# minor as G# min


    on Major Scales

    Major Scales I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Gb Gb Maj Ab min Bb min Cb Maj Db Maj Eb min F dim
    Fb = E E Maj F# min G# min = Ab min A Maj B Maj C# min D# dim
    Cb = B B Maj C# min D# min E Maj F# Maj G# min = Ab min A# dim
    • Supertonic chord in Gb Major
    • Mediant chord in E Major as G# min
    • Submediant chord in B Major as G# min


    Ab minor Chord Function in Major and Minor Keys

    Understanding Scale Degrees

    When we create chords from a scale, each note in the scale is given a specific degree that reflects its position in the scale. In the diatonic scales, there are seven degrees, and each degree plays a unique role in the overall harmony of the scale.

    1. The Tonic, also known as the I degree, establishes the fundamental tonal center of the scale and serves as a stable foundation for the melody or harmony.
    2. The Supertonic, or II degree, acts as a passing note between the tonic and other scale degrees.
    3. The Mediant, positioned halfway between the tonic and dominant, helps establish whether the scale is major or minor and provides a sense of harmonic balance.
    4. The Subdominant, or IV degree, serves as a complementary harmony to the dominant.
    5. The Dominant, or V degree, generates tension and creates a sense of expectation.
    6. The Submediant, or VI degree, acts as a transitional point between the dominant and tonic.
    7. Finally, the Leading tone, or VII degree, located one half step below the tonic, creates a strong sense of tension and a desire to resolve to the tonic.


    Ab min in Ab minor

    As the tonic chord in the Ab minor scale, the Ab min chord provides a stable and foundational harmonic center for chord progressions. This chord serves as the “home base” of the entire harmony.

    i ii III iv v VI VII
    Ab min Bb dim Cb Maj Db min Eb min Fb Maj Gb Maj


    Ab minor chord Progressions as i degree

    The following chord progressions are examples of how the Ab minor chord can serve as the tonic chord (i degree) in two different chord progressions.

    i VI VII
    i VI VII
    Ab min Fb Maj Gb Maj


    i III VII VI
    i III VII VI
    Ab min Cb Maj Gb Maj Fb Maj


    Ab min in Eb Minor

    The Ab minor chord can also appear as the subdominant chord in the key of E-flat minor. Specifically, it can be found on the fourth degree of the Eb minor scale.

    i ii III iv v VI VII
    Eb min F dim Gb Maj Ab min Bb min Cb Maj Db Maj


    Ab minor Chord Progressions as iv degree

    The following chord progressions feature the Ab minor chord as the subdominant (iv degree):

    i iv III VII
    i iv III VII
    Eb min Ab min Gb Maj Db Maj


    i iv VI v
    i iv VI v
    Eb min Ab min Cb Maj Bb min


    Ab min in Db Minor

    Check G# min in C# Minor


    Ab min in Gb Major

    In addition to its positions in natural minor scales, the Ab minor chord can also be found in major keys. For example, in the key of Gb major, the Ab minor chord serves as the supertonic chord, found on the second degree of the scale. A supertonic minor chord creates a sense of anticipation or expectation, as it usually leads to the dominant or subdominant chords.

    I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Gb Maj Ab min Bb min Cb Maj Db Maj Eb min F dim
    Ab minor Chord Progressions as ii degree

    Try playing the following chord progressions to better understand how the Ab minor chord functions as the supertonic (ii) chord in the key of G-flat major.

    ii V I
    ii V I
    Ab min Db Maj Gb Maj


    I IV ii V iii vi ii V
    I IV ii V iii vi ii V
    Gb Maj Cb Maj Ab min Db Maj Bb min Eb min Ab min Db Maj


    Ab min in Fb Major

    Check G# min in E Major


    Ab min in Cb Major

    Check G# min in B Minor


    Alternative Names for Ab minor

    • Ab-
    • Abm
    • Lab-
    • Lab m
    • Ab min
    • Ab-moll
    • Lab min
    • Ab minor
    • A-flat minor



    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *