Drop 2 and 4 voicings

Drop 2 & 4 Chords - Advanced Guitar Voicings

Drop 2 and 4 voicingsWhat Are Drop 2-4 Chords?

Drop 2 and 4 chords are created by dropping down an octave the second and fourth note of a seventh chord in close position. They can be very important tools for composition and arrangement. This lesson with diagrams provides useful explanations on how to build and play drop 2 & 4 chords on guitar.

How To Built Drop 2 & 4 Chords?

Keep in mind that "close position" means that all the tones of a chord as close together as they can be. All types of drop voicings (drop 2 voicings, drop 3 voicings and drop 2-4) are built based on close positions.

The example below show how to construct a drop 2 & 4 voicing starting from a Cmaj7 in close position (1-3-5-7). Theoretically there is nothing simpler and at the same time nothing more complicated than to build a drop 2 & 4 chord. A very easy check is to look at the two red marks. You see that the second note (G) is dropped an octave down, as well as the fourth note which, is actually the root note (C). So, we get a new voicing (1-5-3-7), the notes now appear in a different order, this is what we call a drop 2-4 chord.

Cmaj7 - Close position R 3 5 7
Cmaj7 - Drop 2-4 voicing R 5 3 7


Drop 2 & 4 Interval Patterns

Here are three possible drop 2-4 inversions based on the root interval pattern R-5-3-7.

Root Position R 5 3 7
1st inversion 3 7 5 R
2nd inversion 5 R 7 3
3rd inversion 7 3 R 5

How To Play Drop 2 & 4 voicings - Bass on 6th string

Here are the five main types of drop 2 & 4 chords (with bass on 6th string) that you should know. The characteristic of drop 2-4 guitar shapes is that there is a string skip between the second and third highest notes.

How To Play Drop 2 & 4 voicings - Bass on 5th string

Once again the five main drop 2-4 guitar shapes with bass on 5th string.

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