Drop 2 and drop 3 minor seventh (m7) chord voicings and diagrams

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Chord formulas chartMinor seventh chords are made up of a root (1), minor third (b3), perfect fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7). You can built minor 7 chords by stacking minor and major thirds. Keep in mind that minor thirds spanning three semitones and major thirds four semitones. Let's take for example the Dm7 chord. It is built with D, F, A and C. The interval between D and F is a minor third (3 semitones). The interval between F and A is a major third (4 semitones) and there is a minor third between A and C. ​

Formula 1 b3 5 b7
D minor chord D F A X
D minor seventh chord D F A C

 

Abbreviated chord symbols

There are many ways of writing the same chord. It is often very confused for a jazz student to become familiar with all the nomenclature for writing chords. The main symbols for minor seventh chords (example in C) are Cm7, C-7, Cmin7, Cmi7.

Drop 2 minor seventh chord voicings

What are drop 2 chords ?

Drop 2 chords are  are built by dropping the second highest note of a four-notes close chord to the bass. Minor seventh close chord formula is 1-b3-5-b7 giving the following drop 2 chord formula 5-1-b3-b7.

What is an inverted chord ?

It means that the notes of the chord are inverted. The root of an inverted chord is not in the bass. As you can see in the guitar diagrams above, there can be a minor third, a fifth or a minor seventh in the bass. Here are four drop 2 minor seventh chord voicings (The therm "voicings" is the order of notes in a chord), including three 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

Drop 2 Minor 7 chords | Root position and inversions | Bass on 6th string

Root position # 1 

Minor seventh chord drop 2 bass 6 th string 1

1st inversion

Minor seventh chord drop 2 bass 6 th string 2

2nd inversion

Minor seventh chord drop 2 bass 6 th string 3

3rd inversion

Minor seventh chord drop 2 bass 6 th string 4

Drop 2 Minor 7 chords | Root position and inversions | Bass on 5th string

Root position # 2

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 5

1st inversion

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 5 2

2nd inversion

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 5 3

3rd inversion

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 5 4

Drop 2 Minor 7 chords | Root position and inversions | Bass on 4th string

Root position # 3

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 4

1st inversion

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 4 2

2nd inversion

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 4 3

3rd inversion

Minor seventh guitar chord diagram 4 4

Minor 7 guitar chords - Drop 3 voicings

Here are four drop 3 minor seventh voicings with guitar diagrams.

Drop 3 root position  R b7 b3 5
1st inversion (third in the bass) b3 R 5 b7
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) 5 b3 b7 R
3rd inversion (seventh in the bass) b7 5 R b3

 

Drop 3 minor 7 chords - Bass on 6th string

Drop 3 minor 7 guitar chord

Drop 3 minor 7 guitar chord 7

Drop 3 minor 7 guitar chord 2

Drop 3 minor 7 guitar chord 3

Drop 3 minor 7 chords - Bass on 5th string

Drop 3 minor 7 guitar chord

Drop 3 minor 7 guitar chord 4

Drop 3 minor 7 guitar chord 8

Drop 3 minor 7 guitar chord 6

Related minor modes and scales

Here are the minor scales related to the minor seventh chords. By stacking the root, the minor third, the perfect fifth and the minor seventh of each minor mode below we obtain a minor seventh chord. It means that you can improvise over any m7 chord using these following scales.

Dorian mode : This is the second mode of the major scale. 

Formula 1 2 (9) b3 4 (11) 5 6 (13) b7
Intervals W H W W W H W

 

Phrygian mode : This is the third mode of the major scale

Formula 1 b2 (b9) b3 4(11) 5 b6 (b13) b7
Intervals H W W W H W W

 

Aeolian mode (natural minor scale) : Sixth mode of the major scale (natural minor scale).

Formula 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Intervals W H W W H W W

 

Harmonic minor mode IV : Dorian #11 (minor). 

Formula 1 2 b3 #4 5 6 b7
Intervals W H W+H H W H W

 

Dorian b9 (minor). The second mode of the melodic minor scale.

Formula 1 b2 b3 4 5 6 b7
Intervals H W W W W H W

 

Dorian bebop scale : Compared to the dorian mode this scale has an additional note, a major third,  between the minor third (b3) and the fourth. 

Formula 1 2 b3 3 4 5 6 b7
Intervals W H H H W W H W

 

Minor pentatonic scale

Formula 1 b3 4 5 b7
Intervals W+H W W W+H W

 

Minor blues scale

Formula 1 b3 (b10 or #9) 4 (11)  b5 (#11 or #4) 5 b7
Intervals H+W W H H W+H W
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Last edited: 11/07/2017

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