What Are Drop 2 Voicings - How To Play Them On Guitar

How to play drop 2 chords on guitarDrop 2 chords are very used and appreciated by guitarists of all styles, they are formed by dropping the second highest note of a four-note chord in close position down an octave. The main feature is that they don't require string skipping making them quite easy to play on guitar.

What Does Voicing Means?

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 as drop 2-4 or drop 3 voicings.

How Drop 2 Chords Are Built?

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 voiced 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, just take G, that is the second highest note, and drop it to the bottom. So the voicing would be G C E B. 

Jazz Guitar Chords Tutorial - Drop 2 Voicings

Drop 2 Major 7 Chords

Now that we have dropped the 2nd voice of the closed voicing we get four drop 2 major seventh chord. The formulas are :

  • R 5 7 3
  • 3 7 R 5
  • 5 R 3 7
  • 7 3 5 R

Here are twelve Drop 2 major 7 chord positions on the guitar neck. You can see the root position (R 5 7 3) in black, the first inversion (3 7 R 5) in blue, the second inversion (5 R 3 7) in pink and the third inversion (7 3 5 R) in green. 

The chords in the first guitar diagram have the bass note on the sixth string. In the second diagram the bass notes are on the fifth string and in the third diagram they are on the fourth string.

Drop 2 Minor 7 Chords 

The following guitar diagrams show how drop 2 minor seventh chord look like on the guitar freatboard. The interval structure is :

  • R 5 b7 b3
  • b3 b7 R 5
  • 5 R b3 b7
  • b7 b3 5 R

Drop 2 Dominant 7th Chords

Drop 2 Dominant seventh chord formulas are :

  • R 5 b7 3
  • 3 b7 R 5
  • 5 R 3 b7
  • b7 3 5 R

Here are 12 drop 2 dominant chord guitar shapes.

Drop 2 Half-Diminished Chords

Drop 2 m7b5 (half-diminished) chords have the following interval structure :

  • R b5 b7 3
  • 3 b7 R b5
  • b5 R 3 b7
  • b7 3 b5 R

Drop 2 Diminished 7th Chords

The interval formulas for Drop 2 diminished seventh chords are :

  • R b5 bb7 b3
  • b3 bb7 R b5
  • b5 R b3 bb7
  • bb7 b3 b5 R

Here are twelve drop 2 dim7 guitar shapes.

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