1. #1

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    Would someone be able to explain to me what is meant when chord inversions are described as either Drop 2 or Drop 3?

    Thanks,
    Zach

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Sure. This term was invented by piano players, so imagine you are at a keyboard.

    Start with a seventh chord, say G7. Imagine all the notes of G7 lit up on the keyboard: G B D F G B D F G B D F ...

    Any four consecutive notes forms a "close voicing" called that because there are no gaps:

    G B D F
    B D F G
    D F G B
    F G B D

    Drop 2. Take the second highest note and drop it an octave.

    D G B - F (xx0001)
    F B D - G (xx3433)
    G D F - B (xx5767)
    B F G - D (xx9.10.8.10)

    Drop 3. Take the third highest note and drop it an octave.

    B G - D F (7x576x)
    D B - F G (10.x.9.10.8.x)
    F D - G B (1x000x)
    G F - B D (3x343x)

    Exercise: drop 2,4 voicings. With these 12 voicings you have every possible combination of bass note and distinct treble note for G7 chords.

  4. #3

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  5. #4

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    It's really drop 2 and 3 voicings, not so much inversions.

    Why? Because:
    - chords in close/closed voicings can be/are inverted too,
    - the most frequently played Drop 2 and 3 voicings have the root in the bass, and hence are not "inversions".

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by zkinard
    Would someone be able to explain to me what is meant when chord inversions are described as either Drop 2 or Drop 3?

    Thanks,
    Zach

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhaskins
    JGO has it all!

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    Sure. This term was invented by piano players, so imagine you are at a keyboard.

    Start with a seventh chord, say G7. Imagine all the notes of G7 lit up on the keyboard: G B D F G B D F G B D F ...

    Any four consecutive notes forms a "close voicing" called that because there are no gaps:

    G B D F
    B D F G
    D F G B
    F G B D

    Drop 2. Take the second highest note and drop it an octave.

    D G B - F (xx0001)
    F B D - G (xx3433)
    G D F - B (xx5767)
    B F G - D (xx9.10.8.10)

    Drop 3. Take the third highest note and drop it an octave.

    B G - D F (7x576x)
    D B - F G (10.x.9.10.8.x)
    F D - G B (1x000x)
    G F - B D (3x343x)

    Exercise: drop 2,4 voicings. With these 12 voicings you have every possible combination of bass note and distinct treble note for G7 chords.
    Thanks, BDLH!

  9. #8

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    I hope you find it helpful.

    Learn Drop 2 Voicing #1

  10. #9

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    There are also mechanical reasons for drop chords getting one up on playing the piano. With a lead sheet, you see the single note melody line scored, and the chord harmony indicated by a generic chord symbol. The pianist can form the chords so that the melody line is the top note in the right hand. Dropping the second from the top note leaves a gap below the melody note (to set it apart) and makes the right hand ring finger free - so the melody may be played smoothly with the top two fingers of the right hand. That dropped note is played by the top of the left hand an octave below in order to force a nice voicing under which the rest of the left hand may assemble.

    There is a whole series of drop chords. On the piano they mechanically provide a quick way to interpret the chord symbol and integrate the melody line fairly automatically in a way that sounds better than raw chords stacked from their roots, before you really learn how to internalize things.