Drop 2 Voicings

Can you talk about Drop 2 Voicings? I’ve heard of them, but what are they and how can I use them in my playing?Dropped out in Denver

Dear Dropped Out: Drop 2 voicings are simply re-arranging the order of notes in a chord, to make the structure wider (so the chord spans more than one octave). The easiest way to do it, is to take a chord already in root position, (C, E, G, B) and move the 2nd note from the top (G) down an octave. So by doing this you are left with : G, C, E, B). Now apply this technique to all four inversions of your chord and you get the drop 2 voicing set for C Maj 7. Play these on each group of four strings, and you’ll the full effect of the chord. They can sound very good in the lower register! There are also Drop 3, Drop 2 + 4, and other combination (some are not easy to play on guitar), but I encourage you to experiment with them all and find what suites you. This is the quickest way to take your harmonic knowledge to the next level.

This technique is originally an arranging method for large ensembles, for example, splitting up chords amongst four or five horns in a section (think jazz big band). But they sound amazing on guitar and are more and more commonly found in all styles, not just jazz. So shed your Drop 2s HARD and good luck.

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Categories: Chords, Harmony

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