Playing the Ab Minor Chord (G# Minor) on Piano
A-chording to the laws of music theory, there are easy ways to understand Ab minor! In this short article, we explain everything you need to understand and play this chord.
Learning to play the piano opens up when you throw chords into the mix. Chords are like different recipes for combinations of notes to create the perfect musical treat. Mastering the details of crafting these confections takes time and practice.
Chords and inversions.
You’re playing a chord when you play two or more notes simultaneously. When you play three notes at the same time, you’re playing a triad.
A triad usually begins as major or minor. A major chord comprises the major scale’s first, third, and fifth notes. You build it using two intervals, a major third, and a minor third.
You build minor chords from the major scale’s first, third, and fifth notes, but the third is flat (lower by a semitone). It has the same two intervals in reverse – a minor third and then a major third.
An inversion is when you play these notes in a different order.
Triads appear in three positions:
Root position: 1, 3, 5.
First inversion: 3, 5, 1.
Second inversion: 5, 1, 3.
If you’re a real beginner, start learning about chords from this article on our site. When you feel ready, continue your chord journey by learning to play Ab/G# minor.
Building an Ab minor chord.
To make an Ab minor chord, we start from the Ab major scale.
To make an Ab major chord, take the first, third, and fifth degrees of the scale:
To make it minor, flatten the third degree of the scale (which is the second note of the chord):
Ab minor – First inversion.
The first inversion is when you play the chord in this order:
3, 5, 1.
This is Ab minor in first inversion:
Ab minor – Second inversion.
The second inversion is when you play the chord in the following order:
5, 1, 3.
This is Abm in second inversion:
Want to learn more about chords? You can do it here.
The darker side of Ab – G#:
You may have heard that Ab is also called G#. It’s all about the context, and it’s got to do with a rule that you cannot have the same letter appear twice in a scale or chord.
This can make the lettering of some scales dense. You might remember that a seventh of G is F#. This means that if the G becomes G#, the F# must keep the same letter but raise by a semitone. This becomes F double-sharp (written as Fx).
All of the above Ab tables are here below, with the new lettering of G#. Don’t get too caught up in it – they still sound the same.
G# major scale:
G# major chord:
G# minor chord
G# minor first inversion:
G# minor second inversion:
Popular songs with Ab minor.
Check out some popular songs that use the Ab/G# minor chord:
- I Wanna Be Your Lover – Prince
- Brothers in Arms – Dire Straits
- Eyes Without a Face – Billy Idol
- My Hearts’ Desire – Kane
Are you ready?
You’re never really ready to start learning chords. It is a never-ending rabbit hole. But every step of the way, there are rewards and fruits for your labor. So no better time to start than right now! Start to practice playing Ab/G# minor, and make sure you also get the Simply Piano app–it’s an interactive, fun, and easy way to learn chords.