Drop 2 Voicings

Drop 2 Voicings are formed by taking a chord and then dropping the next to the highest note to the bass note. Figure 1 shows this in standard notation.
Figure 1
Drop 2 Example
To form Figures 6, 7, and 8, there were four different types of chords that were used.  Figure 2 and Figure 3 will show you the difference between them.
Figure 2
Degrees and Order
(from lowest to highest note)
Type 1 Root-3rd-5th-7th
Type 2
Type 3 5th-7th-Root-3rd
Type 4 3rd-5th-7th-Root

Figure 3
The 4 types of chords above are the types of chords that Figures 6, 7, and 8 were formed from.  Take a look at Figures 4 and 5 to see how the Drop 2 method affected their degrees
Figure 4
Degrees and Order
(from lowest to highest note)
Degrees and Order
(Drop 2)
Type 1 Root-3rd-5th-7th 5th-Root-3rd-7th
Type 2 7th-Root-3rd-5th
Type 3 5th-7th-Root-3rd Root-5th-7th-3rd
Type 4 3rd-5th-7th-Root 7th-3rd-5th-Root

Figure 5
Now if you look at Figures 6, 7, and 8.  You will notice that they are all Drop 2 chords formed from the 4 types that I have given you.  The first column was formed from Type 4, the 2nd column was formed from Type 3, and so on.  You will notice that Figures 6, 7, and 8 cover most of the common 7th chords.  You will also notice that all the chords are constucted on 4 adjacent strings. On the guitar, there are 3 different sets of 4 strings.  The first set is from the 1st string to the 4th string.  The second set is from the 2nd string to the 5th string.   The third set is from the 3rd string to the 6th string.  You will notice that I separated each row by string sets in Figures 6, 7, and 8.  You can use this method on any chord to get a different voicing by just dropping the next to the highest note to the bass note, but now I will tell you how to form a chart like the one below.  This is very useful when you want to find chords for alternate tunings.

Forming Drop 2 Chord Charts

  1. Pick a key
  2. Pick a set of strings to use when forming chords
  3. Pick a Type from Figure 4
  4. In Figure 4, go to the Drop 2 Degrees Formula (which is in the column on the far right)
  5. Take the degree on the far right of that formula
  6. Go to the highest string in your string set and find that degree in the key that you are in.
  7. Take the next degree from the right in the formula that you got from Figure 4
  8. Go to the next highest string and find the degree of key that you are in
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you have finished constucting your chord
  10. Repeat these steps for all string sets and all types of chords.

Figure 6

F Major 7

  Type 4            Type 3           Type 2            Type 1
Drop 2 Fmaj7

Figure 7

F Dominant 7

Drop 2 F7

Figure 8

F Minor 7

Drop 2 Fmin7