Ab Half Whole Diminished

A flat Half Whole Diminished scale for guitar.
The Ab Half Whole Diminished, also called Ab Dominant Diminished scale, is a eight-note scale. Colored circles mark the tones in the diagram (darker color highlighting the root notes).

Ab Half Whole Diminished 2 octaves

Ab Half Whole Diminished scale diagram

Ab Half Whole Diminished full fretboard

Ab Half Whole Diminished scale whole guitar neck diagram
Notes: Ab - A - B - C - D - Eb - F - Gb Intervals: 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 Type: Octatonic, Symmetric

The scale displayed with its numeric formula, notes and intervals.

Formula Notes Intervals
1 Ab Unison
b2 A Diminished second
#2 B Augmented second
3 C Major third
b5 D Diminished fifth
5 Eb Perfect fifth
6 F Major sixth
b7 Gb Minor seventh

The scale formula can alternatively be written as 1 - b9 - #9 - 3 - #11 - 5 - 13 - b7.

The A flat Half Whole Diminished scale consists of eight notes. These can be described in intervals, as notes, or steps, on the guitar fingerboard and written as half, whole, half, whole, half, whole, half, whole (from the first note to the same note on the next octave).
This scale is also called Ab Dominant Diminished scale because of the last note, the minor seventh interval, that is present in dominant chords.
There are two scales known as “Diminished”, the other one is Ab Whole Half Diminished scale.
Another related symmetric scale is the Ab Whole Tone.

This scale is typically played over a dominant seventh chord (and alterations, such as 7-5, in particular) in some progression types in the style of jazz.
A feature of diminished scales is that they are symmetrical, which results in overlapping note relationships. The Ab Half Whole Diminished has the same notes as B Half Whole Diminished, D Half Whole Diminished and F Half Whole Diminished.

Chords are not very often built from Diminished scales, but some possible chords with matching notes are:

  • Abdim7
  • Ab7
  • Dm7b5
  • Ebdim7
  • Fdim7
  • Gbdim7

Although the tones in these chords correspond to the tones of the Ab Half Whole Diminished, creating progressions with these chords will seldom sound pleasant.

Start the audio and play along! Use notes from the scale in the diagram above.

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Slow tempo: