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  1. #1
    Hi,

    I know, it's basic. I begin to learn these concepts but a face what seems to be a contradiction (between two explanations. )

    Drop 2 & the inversions (1st for instance) are two permutations that I understand. If we combine the two, the result depends of the order. 1st drop 2 ... the inversion ... or the other way around.

    Let's say ... we have a C Maj 7

    Option 1
    C Maj 7 : C E G B
    Drop 2 makes : G C E B
    Then first inversion gives us : C E G B

    Option 2
    Then the other way around :
    Let's say ... we have a C Maj 7 : C E G B
    Then first inversion gives us : E G B C
    Drop 2 makes : B E G C

    This page gives option 2 :
    Drop 2 Chords | Guitar Lesson World

    This page gives an option 3 : ... which confuses me totally ...
    Dominant 7 Drop 2 Voicing - Fundamental Changes Music Book Publishing
    Here do we make inversions on the drop 2 until we get an E on the bass ... the way it is for a 1st inversion without any drop 2 applied ... if it's the case. Why do we harm ourselves so much ?

    Or ... must I play ping pong instead ?

    Thanks for any explanation ... except if it involves algebraic geometry ...

    Nicolas

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Technically the inversion is defined by what note is in the bass. So you form the voicing first by dropping the 2nd note from the top and then label what inversion it is by what note is in the bass. Don't worry about it that much though. You can look at it however you want. The 2 most common ways to organize them for yourself is what note is on the bottom or what note is on the top.

  4. #3

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    When I look at the chord grids, I know all of them.

    But, I never heard the term "drop-anything" until long after I'd learned them. And, I still don't see any advantage to it. Perhaps someone will explain what I'm missing in that regard.

    I do understand that it's a tool arrangers use for voicing horns.

    Guitar is more limited than that. For example, if you're trying to create some melody, either in a chord melody or in comping (goal: your comp should be interesting enough to stand on it's own), you may begin with the top note (aka soprano voice).

    If you know the name of the chord you're trying to play (or a group of possibilities), and you know the highest note, you only have a finite number of choices -- that is, notes you can reach. You'll probably have to consider a few at a time, so you're not trying to reach way down on the B string and way up on the G string, for example. There are various ways to extend the palette, like open strings, adding 6th or 9ths, omitting notes, reharm etc.

    Possibilities are even more limited if you know the bass note you want. Then, you organize your voice leading.

    Where in that process do I need to know "drop-n"?

    Maybe it's to learn the voicings at first? I'd suggest learning via chord melody is an excellent way to do it and doesn't require knowing which is a drop what.

    I know that I'm in a minority here, but what am I missing?

  5. #4

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    These are just names of note groups that arrange themselves differently on the guitar neck.

    Why can it be helpful to know the name? Because drop2, drop3, drop 2&3, are also mnemonics that describe how to make them. If you learn how it works you don’t have to buy books with chord grids. Nice huh?

    And for the inversions. An easy way to make them is 1. Take any chord shape you know 2. Move the notes up the string so that root becomes 3, 3 becomes 5, 5 becomes 7 and 7 becomes root. Repeat until you hit the starting chord one octave up. You jow have 4 chord shapes for the price of 1. In practice, some of then will fit your hand better than others. Some will be muddy. Keep the comfortable non-muddy ones, those are the ones jazz cats tend to use. That’s it.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond
    Why can it be helpful to know the name? Because drop2, drop3, drop 2&3, are also mnemonics that describe how to make them.
    As Thomas Echols points out, you can convert any drop-2 chord to drop-3 by raising the tenor voice an octave. Similarly you can convert drop-2 to drop-2&4 by lowering the tenor voice an octave.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond
    These are just names of note groups that arrange themselves differently on the guitar neck.

    Why can it be helpful to know the name? Because drop2, drop3, drop 2&3, are also mnemonics that describe how to make them. If you learn how it works you don’t have to buy books with chord grids. Nice huh?

    And for the inversions. An easy way to make them is 1. Take any chord shape you know 2. Move the notes up the string so that root becomes 3, 3 becomes 5, 5 becomes 7 and 7 becomes root. Repeat until you hit the starting chord one octave up. You jow have 4 chord shapes for the price of 1. In practice, some of then will fit your hand better than others. Some will be muddy. Keep the comfortable non-muddy ones, those are the ones jazz cats tend to use. That’s it.
    Precisely and concisely put. Also good to keep in mind that unusually spread voicings may take some getting used to but their sounds can be ones that are not commonly heard. They're distinctive. AND sometimes unplayable as a "grab" is also very usable as an arpeggiated line. Facility and familiarity with a wide variety of chord families can only benefit and expand the lexicon of sounds available to you. This knowledge keeps you from falling into the trap of predictable comping.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Precisely and concisely put. Also good to keep in mind that unusually spread voicings may take some getting used to but their sounds can be ones that are not commonly heard. They're distinctive. AND sometimes unplayable as a "grab" is also very usable as an arpeggiated line. Facility and familiarity with a wide variety of chord families can only benefit and expand the lexicon of sounds available to you. This knowledge keeps you from falling into the trap of predictable comping.
    I wouldn't argue against anything that helps another player.

    But, for the sake of discussion, here's an alternative approach.

    You learn the fingerboard. I'd suggest by learning to read.

    You learn chord melody, one tune at a time. Each time you learn a new chord or interesting sequence, you find the root in each grip and use that to learn the chord, or sequence, in 12 keys. And, put it on a different set of 4 strings, where possible. After a few dozen tunes, you're going to know a lot of chords and some good sounding harmonic movements. And, you're likely to remember the tune.

    You learn the names of the notes in the chords and scales you use. 12 keys. You learn chords that go together in families, like major types being maj, maj7, maj6, maj9, 69, maj13 and maybe some lydians in there. You learn that Cmaj7 Em7 and Am7 are often interchangeable. Same for Dm7 Fmaj7 Am7 (and their related 9ths). Eventually, you learn that all melodic minor chords are interchangeable (there's more on that, but it's another post).

    Then, anytime you play a chord, you have instant knowledge of what nearby, accessible, notes are worth considering. Whenever you change chords, you'll instantly know the common tones and the guide tones. You'll know all those sequences you learned from the chord melodies, in 12 keys, on multiple string sets, and if you forget, you can find the notes you need by name. You'll be able to play fragments of chords just as easily as the entire chord -- a technique that underpins much of Jim Hall's comping. You'll have access to placing open strings within chords, which can sound great

    It's a lot of work, but when you're done you'll already be playing a lot of tunes in a capable way and you'll know how to read.

    It's about two years of organized effort. You need a book on reading (I'd suggest Colin/Bower Complete Rhythms) and a book or videos on chord melody. I don't have specific materials to recommend on that. Probably videos are better than books, because chord melody may hard to read in books. I say "in books" because the size of the font matters -- it's easier to read multiple notes on a stem if they're big. So, copy the chords, write them out on a grid, find the root, circle it, and move the grip up and down the neck to memorize the chord in every position. If the chord has multiple names like 6 and m7, learn both. For m7b5, m6 and rootless 9th, learn all three. Make sure you know the names of the notes. If there's a nice 2-5 movement learn it in all keys and string sets. Put it into other tunes.

    Knowing the names of the notes is helpful in soloing too. If you see, say Am7b5, and the fingerboard lights up in your mind with every place you can play a chord tone, all over the neck, that has to be helpful, at a minimum, to reduce clams.

    I don't think most people do it this way. Maybe there's a good reason for that. It's what I got from my early teachers plus some things I figured out along the way.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I wouldn't argue against anything that helps another player.

    But, for the sake of discussion, here's an alternative approach.

    You learn the fingerboard. I'd suggest by learning to read.

    You learn chord melody, one tune at a time. Each time you learn a new chord or interesting sequence, you find the root in each grip and use that to learn the chord, or sequence, in 12 keys. And, put it on a different set of 4 strings, where possible. After a few dozen tunes, you're going to know a lot of chords and some good sounding harmonic movements. And, you're likely to remember the tune.

    You learn the names of the notes in the chords and scales you use. 12 keys. You learn chords that go together in families, like major types being maj, maj7, maj6, maj9, 69, maj13 and maybe some lydians in there. You learn that Cmaj7 Em7 and Am7 are often interchangeable. Same for Dm7 Fmaj7 Am7 (and their related 9ths). Eventually, you learn that all melodic minor chords are interchangeable (there's more on that, but it's another post).

    Then, anytime you play a chord, you have instant knowledge of what nearby, accessible, notes are worth considering. Whenever you change chords, you'll instantly know the common tones and the guide tones. You'll know all those sequences you learned from the chord melodies, in 12 keys, on multiple string sets, and if you forget, you can find the notes you need by name. You'll be able to play fragments of chords just as easily as the entire chord -- a technique that underpins much of Jim Hall's comping. You'll have access to placing open strings within chords, which can sound great

    It's a lot of work, but when you're done you'll already be playing a lot of tunes in a capable way and you'll know how to read.

    It's about two years of organized effort. You need a book on reading (I'd suggest Colin/Bower Complete Rhythms) and a book or videos on chord melody. I don't have specific materials to recommend on that. Probably videos are better than books, because chord melody may hard to read in books. I say "in books" because the size of the font matters -- it's easier to read multiple notes on a stem if they're big. So, copy the chords, write them out on a grid, find the root, circle it, and move the grip up and down the neck to memorize the chord in every position. If the chord has multiple names like 6 and m7, learn both. For m7b5, m6 and rootless 9th, learn all three. Make sure you know the names of the notes. If there's a nice 2-5 movement learn it in all keys and string sets. Put it into other tunes.

    Knowing the names of the notes is helpful in soloing too. If you see, say Am7b5, and the fingerboard lights up in your mind with every place you can play a chord tone, all over the neck, that has to be helpful, at a minimum, to reduce clams.

    I don't think most people do it this way. Maybe there's a good reason for that. It's what I got from my early teachers plus some things I figured out along the way.
    There are personal routes to discovery. There are exhaustive lexicons of possibilities. The two are not mutually exclusive. I learned chords by having a chart on my wall with all intervallic possibilities. I learned a visual, aural and kinesthetic association with a large number of chords. That was my personal route, and learning the principles of arrangement and the types of chords by groupings was a big expansion of what I already knew. Lots of different approaches became one body of knowledge when I put the time in to play.
    The playing makes the soup base. Families of chord groupings are the tasty bits that make it memorable.
    Love your mention of the Charles Colin book. I used to spend hours in that publishing store in midtown Manhattan off of 8th, they'd have tons of great reference and practice books in file cabinets on the first floor, lessons and practice rooms upstairs. The magic lab where the magic came to be.

  10. #9
    Thank yous guys !

    Especially thanks to ...

    Clint:
    "Technically the inversion is defined by what note is in the bass. So you form the voicing first by dropping the 2nd note from the top and then label what inversion it is by what note is in the bass."

    Theoritically, it's clear now ...

    --------------------------------------------------

    Rpjazzguitar :

    "You learn chord melody, one tune at a time. Each time you learn a new chord or interesting sequence, you find the root in each grip and use that to learn the chord, or sequence, in 12 keys. And, put it on a different set of 4 strings, where possible. After a few dozen tunes, you're going to know a lot of chords and some good sounding harmonic movements. And, you're likely to remember the tune. "

    Practically ... that's what I do ... or should do more !


    --------------------------------------------------

    To raise a rather mathematical question.

    Say, we have a chord made of 4 ( different ) notes.
    There are 24 possible permutations. ( 4x3x2x1)
    If we consider equivalent 2 permutations that are connected by a series of inversions ( 1 2 3 4 --> 2 3 4 1 --> 3 4 1 2 --> ... ) , then we make groups of 4 equivalent permutations. There are 24 / 4 = 6 of these groups.

    But, our [no drop] ; [drop 2] ; [drop 3] ; [drop 2 & 4] create only 4 of these groups ... not 6 (!). There are 2 missing ... [drop 2 & 3] ... and ? Let's see.

    I can simply write these 6 groups in dictionary order. ( I don't write the all 4 members of each group but only the one with 1 on top, for instance.)

    [1234] it's [no drop]

    [1243] it's [drop 3]

    [1324] it's [drop 2 & 4]

    [1342] it's [drop 2]

    [1423] it's my [drop 2 & 3]

    [1432] it's the missing one ... let's call it the [ Last drop ]

    So anybody knows why we don't mention these last two ? [drop 2 & 3] and [ Last drop ] ? Are they particularly muddy ?? ( thanks for the expression Frankhond ! ) ... I should try instead of asking ... yeah ... I go for it ...

    T H A N K S !

    It's my first post in this forum ... and I really liked the feedback I got ...
    Last edited by MinutePapillon; 12-22-2020 at 11:38 AM.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MinutePapillon
    To raise a rather mathematical question.

    Say, we have a chord made of 4 ( different ) notes.
    There are 24 possible permutations. ( 4x3x2x1)
    If we consider equivalent 2 permutations that are connected by a series of inversions ( 1 2 3 4 --> 2 3 4 1 --> 3 4 1 2 --> ... ) , then we make groups of 4 equivalent permutations. There are 24 / 4 = 6 of these groups.

    But, our [no drop] ; [drop 2] ; [drop 3] ; [drop 2 & 4] create only 4 of these groups ... not 6 (!). There are 2 missing ... [drop 2 & 3] ... and ? Let's see.

    I can simply write these 6 groups in dictionary order. ( I don't write the all 4 members of each group but only the one with 1 on top, for instance.)

    [1234] it's [no drop]

    [1243] it's [drop 3]

    [1324] it's [drop 2 & 4]

    [1342] it's [drop 2]

    [1423] it's my [drop 2 & 3]

    [1432] it's the missing one ... lt's call it the [ Last drop ]

    So anybody knows why we don't mention these last two ? [drop 2 & 3] and [ Last drop ] ? Are they particularly muddy ?? ( thanks for the expression Frankhond ! ) ... I should try instead of asking ... yeah ... I go for it ...

    T H A N K S !

    It's my first post in this forum ... and I really liked the feedback I got ...
    I think you have mixed up the naming conventions a bit:

    [1234] - close voicing; the others are all open voicings

    [1243] - drop 2&3

    [1324] it's [drop 2 & 4] (agreed)

    [1342] it's [drop 2] (agreed)

    [1423] - drop 3

    [1432] - not readily playable as block chord on guitar in standard tuning (but can be arpeggiated)

    Drop-2, Drop-3, Drop-2&3 and Drop-2&4 are widely used.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by MinutePapillon

    So anybody knows why we don't mention these last two ? [drop 2 & 3] and [ Last drop ] ? Are they particularly muddy ?? ( thanks for the expression Frankhond ! ) ... I should try instead of asking ... yeah ... I go for it ...
    Not sure who "we" are that don't mention drop 2 & 3 ... =). Drop 2 are very useful and most fit the hand well, so maybe they tend to be mentioned first. And then a million youtubers who just got started repeat what they just learnt and drown the world.

    As for the muddyness, it's up to you to decide what sounds good. But 4-note chords on the lower 4 strings tend to be considered muddy for example. Drop 3 solves the mud issue by skipping a string.

    The way it plays out in practice is that drop-2 and closed voicings are played on 4 adjacent strings (ADGB and DGBE). Drop 3 on three adjacent strings and one skipped string (EDGB and AGBE). Drop 2&4 two adjacent, one skipped and two adjacent etc. You get the idea.

    The easiest way to get this is to sit down and construct some chords (use note paper and write out the transformations to see really clearly what goes on) on the guitar and listen - how do they sound? Some are real easy, other unplayable... which work for you?

    If you are just starting out, drop2 and drop3 will give you all the chords you need for a good part of a jazz career.

  13. #12

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    When I first started out on guitar two things irritated me. The first was Capos and the second was inversions. Nothing has changed!

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond
    Not sure who "we" are that don't mention drop 2 & 3 ... =). Drop 2 are very useful and most fit the hand well, so maybe they tend to be mentioned first.
    I meant my cat, me, and the book we just bought ... ( or what I read in it these last days ). Anyway, sorry for this silly remark.

    "The way it plays out in practice is that drop-2 and closed voicings are played on 4 adjacent strings (ADGB and DGBE). Drop 3 on three adjacent strings and one skipped string (EDGB and AGBE). Drop 2&4 two adjacent, one skipped and two adjacent etc. You get the idea."
    Thank's ! That's clear and useful.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat
    When I first started out on guitar two things irritated me. The first was Capos and the second was inversions. Nothing has changed!
    Oh ... I realize that I have never used this capo-stuff ... Looks like some kind of torture instrument ... no please ! Not the capo !

  16. #15
    Clint:
    "Technically the inversion is defined by what note is in the bass. So you form the voicing first by dropping the 2nd note from the top and then label what inversion it is by what note is in the bass."

    I first got it wrong !

    Look at this table found here :
    Drop 2 Chords | Guitar Lesson World
    Voicing Intervals Drop 2 Intervals Notes for C Major 7 Drop 2 Degrees
    Root 1-3-5-7 5-1-3-7 C-E-G-B G-C-E-B
    1st Inversion 3-5-7-1 7-3-5-1 E-G-B-C B-E-G-C
    2nd Inversion 5-7-1-3 1-5-7-3 G-B-C-E C-G-B-E
    3rd Inversion 7-1-3-5 3-7-1-5 B-C-E-G E-B-C-G
    What must be done :
    1°) do the inversion
    2°) Do the drop 2
    What is not done in this table but seems consistent with the names I find everywhere (example : Dominant 7 Drop 2 Voicing - Fundamental Changes Music Book Publishing) :
    3°) name it as drop2 inversion number n ( depending on the bass ) Example inversion 1 gives : 3715



    For teachers :
    I first understood :
    1°) do the drop 2 with de 1357 --> 5137
    2° Do the inversions Example : inversion 1 gives : 3751
    It's wrong ...
    and I might not be the only fool out there ...so it might be good to be super clear about this.
    Last edited by MinutePapillon; 12-26-2020 at 08:40 AM.

  17. #16

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    Hi MinutePapillon
    Welcome to the forum and thanks for starting a useful discussion. I'm reluctant to stir the hornet's nest of chord-naming too much.
    However, I'm interested in the fundamentals that you describe - especially in post #15 - would you agree with me that the Guitar Teaching World chart you quoted in your post is misleading and the 'Fundamental Changes' page has the naming of inversions correct? I have no connection with either site, but both are interesting.
    I think that the Drop 2 Degrees column of the Guitar Teaching World table doesn't apply to the Voicings column — I'd always want to name an inversion by its bass note, regardless of its voicing. The formation of a drop-voiced chord, created from a close-voiced source chord, would often change inversion when the 'drop' is applied. ('Drop 2&4' voicings would keep the same inversion, because the original 'voice 4' when dropped remains the lowest voice) I think you are on the right track with this now, but Patrick's table looks confusing, at least to me. Do you have any thoughts on this?


    You ask how we can get E into the lowest voice - I'd do this by beginning with a close-voiced third inversion BCEG chord, so that the drop 2 then produces EBCG. I derive all of the drops from close-voiced sources, but these starting points can be any inversion of the 4-way close. I'd then call the resulting drop-chord a 'first inversion drop 2' voicing.


    If you disagree please let me know, I've prepared a word document summary for my own students and can send it to you for your comments if you wish.


    Hope this doesn't give you a headache, the cool sounds produced by systematic sequences of different inversions of the same drop voicings are worth the effort, and become rewarding very quickly.


    Thanks again. and all the best for 2021,
    Mick W
    Last edited by Mick Wright; 01-05-2021 at 10:13 AM.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by MinutePapillon
    Hi,

    I know, it's basic. I begin to learn these concepts but a face what seems to be a contradiction (between two explanations.

    Thanks for any explanation ... except if it involves algebraic geometry ...

    Nicolas
    Verbally, both dropping and inversion may function as either a verb (as something you do to the chord) or an adjective (something you notice about the chord).

    Mathematically, dropping and inversion are not commutative operations (changing the order of what you do to the chords changes the result).