An Introduction to the A Flat Minor Scale

The A flat minor scale is rooted in the major scale but features augmentation to make it minor. From the A flat major scale the third, sixth and seventh notes are lowered by a half-step. So, C, F, and G become C flat (Cb), Fb, and Gb.

The A flat natural minor scale is Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, Fb, Gb, Ab octave. The notes are the same as the G sharp (G#) minor scale, which is written as G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E, F#, G# octave.

The G sharp minor scale is enharmonic of the A flat minor scale, which means they comprise the same notes expressed by different names. And don’t forget to read our separate article of E flat minor scale and B flat minor scale.

A Flat Minor Scale – Natural, Harmonic, and Melodic

There are three types of A flat minor scales: natural, melodic and harmonic. Whereas the natural minor scale sounds the same in Ab or G#, the melodic and harmonic minor scales will sound different.

Ab Natural Minor Scale

In the A-flat minor scale, each note receives a flat. On the treble clef, the key of Ab receives seven flats, from right to left, on B, E, A, D, G, C, and F. Each note in the scale is classified by a degree name.

Ab is the scales tonic degree, Bb is the supertonic, and Cb is the mediant. Db, the fourth note in the Ab minor scale, is the subdominant, and Eb is dominant. Fb is the submediant, and Gb, the seventh note in the scale, is the subtonic.

Ab Harmonic Minor Scale

The A-flat harmonic minor scale is almost identical to the natural minor scale [1]. The only difference is the seventh note of the scale. The seventh scale position is raised by a half-step.

In the key of Ab minor, this means that the flat is removed from the G. So, the Ab harmonic minor scale, is Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, Fb, G, and Ab octave.

Ab Melodic Minor Scale

From the harmonic minor scale, the melodic minor scale only differs by one note. In the melodic minor scale, both, the sixth and seventh scale degrees are raised by a half step [2]. So, in the melodic minor scale, the F and G have the flat removed.

Removing the flat automatically raises the note by a half-step. The Ab melodic minor scale, is Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, F, G, and Ab octave.

Another difference from the harmonic scale is that with the melodic minor scale it switches back to natural when descending in the scale. So, going up from Eb, F and G are both raised by a half step. When coming back down, from Ab to G, the flats are reactivated.

So, on the descent, the Ab melodic minor scale returns to Ab, Gb, Fb, Eb, Db, Cb, Bb, and Ab.

The rules to natural, harmonic, and melodic scales are universal to all minor scales. Try putting your minor scale skills to the test in a different key and get used to switching between scale types.

If you found this article, on the A flat minor scale to be helpful, share it with your musician friends on social media. And check back to our blog for the most recent posts and updates. Don’t forget about theĀ A flat minor chord here! Thanks for reading!

Stephanie Su

Started learning music when she was four years old, Stephanie is a music teacher and a music therapist who is highly proficient in Piano, Violin, Guitar, and Ukulele. She likes to learn, teach, and share her music playing experiences.

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