Tag Archives: open piano voicings

The Drop 2 Piano Chord Voicing

Let’s Have Fun With The Drop 2 Piano Chord Voicing

A favorite among pro piano stylists is the Drop 2 piano chord voicing. It is a very easy voicing to understand and implement. That said, in order to maximize the benefit from learning it, like any voicing, using it over and over again will lead to possibilities not otherwise imagined.

Let’s take at a simply basic chord like Cmaj7 in its basic, closed position:

Jazz Piano Voicing - Cmaj7

Look at the 2nd member from the top. In this case, it happens to be G.  Move the G one octave lower, which results in it being the lowest member of the voicing:

drop-2-piano-chord-voicing

It becomes a two-hand piano chord voicing. Since we are taking the 2nd voice from the top and moving it down an octave, we call it “Drop 2.” You can either play the lowest two members with the left and upper two members with the right of you can modify that according to your preference and, of course, how the chord voicing is used in context.

Compare the original Cma7 basic chord structure with this Drop 2 chord voicing and listen! Since we now have an open voicing, the resulting sound is more “open” to our ears as well.

The Drop 2 piano chord voicing will become your friend very quickly if you just give yourself a fair amount of time acquainting yourself with it. On its own, it offers a nice variation of the basic chord. However, when used in conjunction with other Drop 2 positions, it really sounds rather impressive. For example, play the Cma7 in its four closed positions, namely Root Position, 1st Inversion, 2nd Inversion, and 3rd Inversion, respectively. Then turn these chord positions into Drop 2 chord voicings and listen to what you get.  Do the same in reverse, started with the 3rd Inversion moving toward the Root Position. It sounds great!

Furthermore, when you play a chord progression utilizing the Drop 2, you get more impressive results. Explore this piano chord voicing over a I – VI – II – V chord progression, for example.  Once you really familiarize yourself with this voicing through continued application, you know you’ve got something!

Okay, now that we have applied the Drop 2 technique to a basic chord, we can also apply it to any four-note positions that are closed. As an example, let’s say that you are playing a voicing for F9:

F9 Piano Chord Voicing

Again, the 2nd chord tone from the top is the one we will move to a position one octave lower. In this case, that note is an A. Here is the Drop 2 voicing:

Drop 2 Piano Chord Voicing For F9

As with other voicings, play the original voicing and the Drop 2 in various keys to really gain confidence.!

Okay, go ahead and find a favorite standard tune of yours and find places where you can apply the Drop 2 voicing for added dimension. Keep in mind that when the top note of the voicing is the melody note, you have a perfect match! Explore, experiment, and have a ball with it all! As you gain more and more mastery at that piano or keyboard of yours, remember…

Always…

ALWAYS…

PLAY WITH PASSION!

Musically,

Dave