How to play drop 2 chords

Drop 2 Voicings - Guitar Chords

How to play drop 2 chords

What are drop 2 chords

Drop 2 voicings are very commonly used in jazz. They've been used by great jazz guitar players of all time, as Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Joe Pass, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Scofield and many more. Voicing is the practice of regarding the individual notes of a chord as voices. There are several voicing techniques that can be used to rearrange the notes of a chord (drop 3 or drop 2-4 voicings). This blog page is dedicated to the understanding of the drop 2 voicing technique onlyKnowing how to play and connect drop 2 chords across the guitar neck is very important. In this lesson you will find minor seventh, major seventh, dominant seventh, diminished 7th and half-diminished voicings with diagrams to play them on the guitar.

Drop 2 chord voicings

How to build drop 2 chords

Drop 2 chords are basically made by dropping the second voice down to the bottom of the chord. They are used more frequently than close position chords because they are less stretchy and hard to play. For example a C major 7 chord is made up of C E G B. To make a drop 2 chord, we take the G and drop it to the bottom. So the voicing would be G C E B. 

Drop 2 chords

Now that we have dropped the 2nd voice of the close positions we get four inversions of the drop 2 major seventh chord.

Root position  R 5 7 3
1st inversion (third in the bass) 3 7 R 5
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) 5 R 3 7
3rd inversion (seventh in the bass) 7 3 5 R

Drop 2 Major 7 chords | Root positions and inversions

Root positions

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 6 1

Third in the bass

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 6 2

Fifth in the bass

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 6 3

Seventh in the bass

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 6 4

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 5 1

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 5 3

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 5 2

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 5 4

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 4 1

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 4 2

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 4 3

drop 2 Major seventh guitar chord root 4 4

Drop 2 minor 7 chords | Root positions and inversions

Root chord  R 5 b7 3
1st inversion (minor third in the bass) b3 b7 R 5
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) 5 R b3 b7
3rd inversion (minor seventh in the bass) b7 b3 5 R

Minor seventh chord drop 2 bass 6 th string 1

Minor seventh chord drop 2 bass 6 th string 2

Minor seventh chord drop 2 bass 6 th string 3

Minor seventh chord drop 2 bass 6 th string 4

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 5 2

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 5 3

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 5 4

drop 2 Minor seventh guitar chord diagram

drop 2 Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 2

drop 2 Minor seventh guitar chord diagram

drop 2 Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 4

Drop 2 dominant 7th chords | Root positions and inversions

Root chord  R 5 b7 3
1st inversion (minor third in the bass) 3 b7 R 5
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) 5 R 3 b7
3rd inversion (seventh in the bass) b7 3 5 R

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 6 1

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 6 2

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 6 3

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 6 4

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 5

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 5 2

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 5 3

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 5 4

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 4

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 4 2

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 4 3

drop 2 Dominant 7th guitar chord diagram 4 4

Drop 2 half diminished (m7b5) chords | Root positions and inversions

Root chord  1 b5 b7 b3
1st inversion (minor third in the bass) b3 b7 R b5
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) b5 R b3 b7
3rd inversion (seventh in the bass) b7 b3 b5 R

Half diminished guitar chord diagram 6 drop 2

Half diminished guitar chord diagram 6 drop 2 (2)

Half diminished guitar chord diagram 6 drop 2 (3)

Half diminished guitar chord diagram 6 drop 2 (3)

drop 2 half diminished jazz chord guitar diagram

drop 2 half diminished jazz chord guitar diagram 2

drop 2 m7b5 chord guitar diagram

drop 2 half diminished jazz chord guitar diagram

drop 2 m7b5 chord guitar diagram

drop 2 m7b5 chord guitar diagram

drop 2 half diminished jazz chord guitar diagram

drop 2 half diminished jazz chord guitar diagram

Drop 2 Diminished 7th chords | Root positions and inversions

Root chord  1 b5 bb7 b3
1st inversion (minor third in the bass) b3 bb7 R b5
2nd inversion (diminished fifth in the bass) b5 R b3 bb7
3rd inversion (diminished seventh in the bass) bb7 b3 b5 R

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 6th string 1

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 6th string 2

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 6th string 3

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 6th string 4

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 5th string 1

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 5th string 2

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 5th string 3

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 5th string 4

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 4th string 1

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 4th string 2

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 4th string 3

Drop 2 diminished 7th chords bass on 4th string 4

Harmonization Of The Major Scale With Drop 2 Voicings

How to harmonize the major scale with drop 2 chords

Because the major scale is the backbone of western music for centuries it is important to master for any guitar student, composer, arranger or improviser. In this following we didn't talk about the construction of the major scale, but how to harmonize it with tetrads, also known as four note chords. For this, we will be using drop 2 voicings  and more pointedly the root position interval pattern R-5-7-3.

Let's take a look in details at the interval patterns used for each chord in the three diagrams below :

  • R-5-7-3 for the two major 7 chords.
  • R-5-b7-b3 for the three minor chords.
  • R-5-7-b3 for the dominant chord and.
  • R-b5-b7-b3 for the half-diminished chord. 

The chords have colour coded to help you distinguish them

  1. Major 7 (red)
  2. minor 7 (green)
  3. minor 7 (blue)
  4. Major 7 (pink)
  5. Dominant 7 (brown)
  6. Minor 7 (orange)
  7. m7b5 (purple)

Harmonized major scale with drop 2 chords - Lowest note on 4th string

Harmonized major scale tetrads part 1

Harmonized major scale with drop 2 chords - Lowest note on 5th string

Harmonized major scale tetrads part 2

Harmonized major scale with drop 2 chords - Lowest note on 4th string

Harmonized major scale tetrads part 3

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