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Drop 2 Chords – Voicings, P

Drop 2 Chords – Voicings, Progre


 PUBLISHED IN BEGINNER, JAZZ GUITAR CHORDS, JAZZ GUITAR LESSONS

Drop 2 chords are one of the most popular guitar chord shapes, and are built with the root-pos

These powerful chords are used to comp, chord solo, and build chord melodies by the greatest

Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, George Benson, and others have used drop 2 chords as t

Because they’re essential shapes, drop 2 chords are required learning for any guitarist learning

While learning to play drop 2 chord inversions is important, it’s more important to apply these

That’s why, in this lesson you apply drop 2 chords to major and minor ii V Is, and learn a Blues f

By studying drop 2 inversions, applying them to progressions, and working them on jazz standa
shapes.

Take your time when learning drop 2 chords, there’s no hurry to master these important guitar

Learn one group of inversions, then the next, and make sure to run them through the exercises

Most importantly, apply them to your playing as you take drop 2 chords from the page to the fr

Table of Contents (Click to Sk


What Are Drop 2 Chords?
Drop 2 Maj7 Chords
Drop 2 7th Chords
Drop 2 m7 Chords
Drop 2 m7b5 Chords
Drop 2 Dim7 Chords
Drop 2 mMaj7 Chords
Drop 2 7#11 Chords
Drop 2 Maj7#11 Chords
Drop 2 Chord Exercise 1
Drop 2 Chord Exercise 2
Drop 2 Chord Exercise 3
Drop 2 Major ii V I Chord Phrases
Drop 2 Minor ii V I Chord Phrases
Drop 2 Blues for Alice Chords

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What Are Drop 2 Chord


One of the questions I often get from guitarists about jazz guitar chords is:

“How do you build a drop 2 chord?”

The name drop 2 is used because you take a closed position chord, 1-3-5-7, and “drop” the 2

This forms the initial interval pattern 5-1-3-7.

Here’s how that looks to help you visualize this chord construction.

The closed maj7 chord is on the left and the drop 2 maj7 chord shape is on the right.

When you drop the 2nd note of any closed-position chord, you produce the following interval p
Root Position – R-5-7-3
1st Inversion – 3-7-R-5
2nd Inversion – 5-R-3-7
3rd Inversion – 7-3-5-R

Notice that the 3rd and 7th, and the root and 5th, are always next to each other.

This helps you identify the intervals within any drop 2 chord shape on the fretboard.

Lastly, this formula works for any chord type you can think of, you just alter the interval qualiti

For example, a root position drop 2 7th chord is built R-5-b7-3, a m7 chord would be R-5-b7-b3

The intervals change to match the chord, but the order of the intervals remains the same.

To help you take these shapes onto the fretboard, here are 12 different drop 2 chords for the m

Each of these drop 2 chords is written with a C root, so make sure to move them to other keys a
practice routine.

Drop 2 Maj7 Chords


To begin, here are 12 different Cmaj7 drop 2 chords, which have the interval structure:

Root Position – R-5-7-3


1st Inversion – 3-7-R-5
2nd Inversion – 5-R-3-7
3rd Inversion – 7-3-5-R
Here are four inversions of Cmaj7 on the lowest four strings of the guitar.
You can now learn these chords on the middle four strings.
Finally, you can play these chords on the top 4 strings of the fretboard.
Drop 2 7th Chords
Here are 12 different C7 drop 2 chords, which have the interval structure:

Root Position – R-5-b7-3


1st Inversion – 3-b7-R-5
2nd Inversion – 5-R-3-b7
3rd Inversion – b7-3-5-R

Here are four inversions of C7 on the lowest four strings of the guitar.
You can now learn these chords on the middle four strings.
Finally, you can play these chords on the top 4 strings of the fretboard.
Drop 2 m7 Chords
Here are 12 different Cm7 drop 2 chords, which have the interval structure:

Root Position – R-5-b7-b3


1st Inversion – b3-b7-R-5
2nd Inversion – 5-R-b3-b7
3rd Inversion – b7-b3-5-R

Here are four inversions of Cm7 on the lowest four strings of the guitar.
You can now learn these chords on the middle four strings.
Finally, you can play these chords on the top 4 strings of the fretboard.
Drop 2 m7b5 Chords
Here are 12 different Cm7b5 drop 2 chords, which have the interval structure:

Root Position – R-b5-b7-b3


1st Inversion – b3-b7-R-b5
2nd Inversion – b5-R-b3-b7
3rd Inversion – b7-b3-b5-R

Here are four inversions of Cm7b5 on the lowest four strings of the guitar.
You can now learn these chords on the middle four strings.
Finally, you can play these chords on the top 4 strings of the fretboard.
Drop 2 dim7 Chords
Here are 12 different Cdim7 drop 2 chords, which have the interval structure:

Root Position – R-b5-bb7-b3


1st Inversion – b3-bb7-R-b5
2nd Inversion – b5-R-b3-bb7
3rd Inversion – bb7-b3-b5-R

Here are four inversions of Cdim7 on the lowest four strings of the guitar.
You can now learn these chords on the middle four strings.
Finally, you can play these chords on the top 4 strings of the fretboard.
Drop 2 mMaj7 Chords
Here are 12 different CmMaj7 drop 2 chords, which have the interval structure:

Root Position – R-5-7-b3


1st Inversion – b3-7-R-5
2nd Inversion – 5-R-b3-7
3rd Inversion – 7-b3-5-R

Here are four inversions of CmMaj7 on the lowest four strings of the guitar.
You can now learn these chords on the middle four strings.
Finally, you can play these chords on the top 4 strings of the fretboard.
Drop 2 7#11 Chords
Here are 12 different C7#11 drop 2 chords, which have the interval structure:

Root Position – R-#11-b7-3


1st Inversion – 3-b7-R-#11
2nd Inversion – #11-R-3-b7
3rd Inversion – b7-3-#11-R

Here are four inversions of C7#11 on the lowest four strings of the guitar.
You can now learn these chords on the middle four strings.
Finally, you can play these chords on the top 4 strings of the fretboard.
Drop 2 Maj7#11 Chord
Here are 12 different Cmaj7#11 drop 2 chords, which have the interval structure:

Root Position – R-#11-7-3


1st Inversion – 3-7-R-#11
2nd Inversion – #11-R-3-7
3rd Inversion – 7-3-#11-R

Here are four inversions of Cmaj7#11 on the lowest four strings of the guitar.
You can now learn these chords on the middle four strings.
Finally, you can play these chords on the top 4 strings of the fretboard.
Drop 2 Chords Exercis
The first exercise is based chords that are only one note different from each other, and then mo

Here’s my favorite example of this exercise that covers 5 different chord types in one exercise.

Play these chords using drop 2 shapes in C before moving them to other keys.

You can use any string set and any inversion to outline these shapes, just stick to the same one

So, if you play the first Cmaj7 chord as a 1st inversion on the middle four strings, keep that inve
exercise.

To help you take this progression to your studies, here’s a sample version of the above exercise

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Here’s another progression that I like to use where the second chord is built by altering one no

To help you take this progression into the practice room, here’s a sample version.

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Lastly, here’s another chord progression you can use to memorize various types of drop 2 chor

And here’s a sample of this exercise to work on in your jazz guitar practice routine.

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Once you’ve worked through these progressions, come up with your own progressions to work

Drop 2 Chords Exercise


This exercise outlines major key ii V I VI changes using drop 2 voice leading.

Begin on any iim7 drop 2 chord, and then move to the closest V7 chord, Imaj7, and VI7b9 chord

Here’s how that looks on the guitar.


When doing so, you will always use the following inversions for each chord.

R-2nd-R-1st
1st-3rd-1st-2nd
2nd-R-2nd-3rd
3rd-1st-3rd-R

This order of inversions is the same for major and minor ii V I vi progressions, so it’s worth mem

Once you worked out this example, move to other inversions of Dm7 on the top-4 strings and v

Then, move on to different keys on that string set, and onto other string sets before applying th

Drop 2 Chords Exercise


You can then repeat the previous exercise with minor key ii V I vi chords, as in the following exa

When doing so, you use the progression:

iim7b5
V7b9
ImMaj7
vim7b5

Here’s how those chords look on the guitar.


Once you have these shapes in various keys and string sets, take them to a tune such as Autum

Drop 2 Major ii V I Chord Ph


As well as running drop 2 chords through progressions, it’s important to learn drop 2 vocabula

The following chord licks use drop 2 chords over the most common jazz chord progression, the

Each of these phrases can be used in your comping, chord soloing, or chord melody as you appl

Because you applying these phrases in real time, learn them in the original key first, then take t

As well, jam over a jazz standard and apply each lick one at a time to your chord soloing and co

This approach prepares you to apply these licks in a jam situation, as well as how they sit on the

There are backing tracks provided to practice them in the given key, as well as audio to play alo

To begin, here’s a Joe Pass inspired drop 2 lick that outlines a short major ii V I progression.

Notice the chromatic passing notes, Gb and Eb, used to add tension to the line.

As well, a Bm7b5 drop 2 chord is used to outline the 3 to 9 shape over G7.

If you’re new to this, check out my lesson on extended jazz guitar chords for background on us

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The next line is a mixture of Joe Pass and Ed Bickert.

Again, Bm7b5 is used over G7, as well as Bbdim7 and Gdim7 over A7b9 in the last bar of the ph

The opening run is a classic Joe Pass lick; one you should extract and apply to any m7 in your ch

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The final major ii V I phrase uses chord scales to outline each chord.
Here, you use diatonic chords, and one passing chord (F#dim7), to outline the progression.

This approach adds movement to the progression, creating interest beyond the shapes you’re

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Drop 2 Minor ii V I Chord Ph


You’ll now apply drop 2 chords to minor key chord progressions.

In this first phrase, you use a common application over the first two chords.

Here, you play Am7b5 over Am7b5, then over D7alt, you play Cm7b5.

When doing so, you create a 7alt sound.

This allows you to use the same shapes over the iim7b5 and V7alt chords, creating different so
Then, over the Gm7 chord, you use Bbmaj7 for the first shape of that chord.

This is another 3 to 9, similar to G7 in the previous 3 licks, only here it’s applied to a m7 chord.

When playing m7 chords, you can play a maj7 chord from the b3 to outline a rootless m9.

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The next line is played over a long minor ii V I progression in G minor.

You use Am7b5 inversions over the first bar, then Ebdim7 and F#dim7 shapes over D7alt, comm

in the third bar, you be use the Joe Pass m7 run you saw in the major ii V I section, this time ove

The line then finishes on a Bbmaj7 chord over Gm7 to produce another example of a rootless G

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The final minor ii V I phrase uses a static rhythm, chords on the & of 1 and 3, to outline the chan

Beyond that, you use a C7sus drop 2 chord to create a Gm11 sound over the last chord.

By lowering the 5th of Gm7 by a tone, you create a Gm11, which is the same shape as a C7sus c

This isn’t a common sub, but it’s one that adds flavor to your comping and chord soloing.

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Drop 2 Blues for Alice Ch
To finish your introduction to drop 2 chords, here’s a study written out over the changes to Cha

Go slow when learning this study, working two or four-bar phrases one at a time until they’re c

From there, connect each phrase to form the whole study.

There’s a backing track included so you can practice playing this study and comp over with the

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