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Creating Drop 2 Voicings

Corey Kendrick

Drop 2 is a technique one can use to turn a closed voicings (less than an octave) into an open voicing (an octave or more).
Using this method, we can take a one handed voicing, such as our rootless ii-V-I voicings, into a two-handed voicing
suitable for use comping behind a soloist.
Here's how it works: using a 4-note closed voicing, take the second note from the top and drop it down one octave,
turning it into an open Drop 2 voicing.

4
&4

G min9

G min9

&
b
?

becomes

(Closed)

ww
b ww

?4

G min9
(Open)

w
b ww
w

C 13

F maj9

becomes

G min9

C 13

F maj7

When playing drop 2 voicings, I prefer to play the top 2 voices in my right hand and the bottom 2 voices in my left.
The reason becomes apparent when we examine the scale degrees involved - this puts the 3rd and 7th in your left hand
and the other chord tones in your right. The two voices in your left hand stand alone as a useful two-note voicing.

G min9

&
b
?

C 13

F maj9

G min9

C 13

F maj9

b 3
7

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7
3

3
7

Creating Drop 2 Voicings

The technique can be used with the other inversion of the 4-note rootless voicings, which still leaves 3rd and 7th in the left hand.

D min9

G 13

C maj9

&

becomes

D min9

G 13

C maj9

7
3

3
7

7
3

This is just the beginning of the many applications of Drop 2. A later post will show how to harmonize major and minor scales
using Drop 2 a la Barry Harris. Stay tuned!

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