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Tom Lippincott

Advanced Jazz Guitar Harmony 1

Drop 2&4 and Drop 2&3 Chords

In Class 5 of Jazz Guitar Harmony, a system was explored for finding all of the drop 2 and drop 3
voicings in all four inversions for the diatonic seventh chords of the major scale. Although it is
assumed that most students reading this will already be familiar with this system or will have
familiarity with these voicings from other sources, the following is a brief explanation of the "drop"
system for seventh chords for anyone unfamiliar with the system or for anyone who may benefit
from a review.
C^ C^
Ex. 1 12fr 7fr
Example 1 shows a close position C major 7 chord
˙˙ ˙˙˙
4 ˙
played on two different string sets, top four and
middle four: &4 ˙ ˙
R,3,5,7 R,3,5,7

Any close position (all four notes placed as close together as possible to fit within an octave)
seventh chord can also be inverted three times to form four distinct arrangements of notes which
are still, however, all close position, or fitting within the span of one octave. Below, example 2
shows the original, or "root position" C major 7 chord along with the three other inversions:

Ex. 2
ROOT POSITION FIRST INVERSION SECOND INVERSION THIRD INVERSION
w
& w
w
Ów
w w
w
w
w ww
w
w ww
w
THE ROOT IS BROUGHT THE 3RD, E, IS BROUGHT THE 5TH, G, IS BROUGHT UP
UP AN OCTAVE TO UP AN OCTAVE TO FORM AN OCTAVE TO FORM THE
FORM THE FIRST INVERSION THE SECOND INVERSION THIRD INVERSION

Notice that these inversions, which sound really nice and are quite easy to play on piano, are
very difficult, and in some cases almost impossible, to play on guitar. Because of this, guitarists
borrowed a method known as the drop technique from big band arrangers. Traditionally, inversions
are visualized from the bottom up according to which note is "in the bass" or lowest. So, the first
inversion has the third "in the bass," the second inversion has the fifth "in the bass," and so on.
But when a big band arranger was writing for four horns in a section, he wasn't really concerned
with the bottom note as much as the top note (the melody written for the lead horn player),
because the bassist was going to take care of which note was "in the bass." With this in mind,
arrangers tended to think of the chords played by the horns from the top down. If an arranger
wanted to get a bigger, more expansive sound from the horn section, he might bring the second
voice from the top down an octave, and he would call this a "drop 2" voicing. Dropping the third
voice from the top by an octave would yield a "drop 3" voicing. Guitarists soon adopted this drop
technique to arrange the notes in seventh chords in ways that weren't quite as painful to play as
close position voicings.
Tom Lippincott

2
In example 3 below, a second inversion In the next example, the third inversion of
C major 7 in close position has the second note C major 7 in close position has the third note
from the top dropped by an octave. The resulting from the top dropped by an octave, giving us
chord is called a "drop 2" voicing. Notice that a "drop 3" voicing. This chord also ends up
the drop 2 "version" has the root, C, on the bottom with the root as the bottom note. Notice that
now. You can also see that this voicing is fairly this chord is also, unlike its close position
easy to play on the guitar. counterpart, fairly easy to play on the guitar.

C^ C^7
Ex. 3 Ex. 4 8fr

˙ ˙˙ ˙˙˙ ˙˙
& ˙˙˙ ˙˙ & ˙ ˙
˙
CLOSE POSITION DROP 2 VOICING CLOSE POSITION DROP 3 VOICING
VOICING VOICING

Notice that the above voicings are no longer close because their span is greater than an octave, and
thus they are considered "open" voicings. All of the voicing types besides close position span more
than one octave and are therefore all called open voicings.

There are three other possible "drop" voicings: drop 2&3, drop 2&4, and double drop 2,
drop 3, where the second note from the top is dropped two octaves and the third note from
the top is dropped one octave. The result is that, along with close position, drop 2, and drop 3, we
end up with six possible ways to arrange any four notes, plus three other inversions of each voicing.
This gives us a grand total of 24 ways to arrange the notes in any four note chord.

Here's an example using C major 7 (notes in each chord arranged left to right, lowest to highest):

Root position 1st inversion 2nd inversion 3rd inversion

Close position CEGB EGBC GBCE BCEG

Drop 2 CGBE EBCG GCEB BEGC

Drop 3 CBEG ECGB GEBC BGCE

Drop 2 & 3 CEBG EGCB GBEC BCGE

Drop 2 & 4 CGEB EBGC GCBE BECG

Double drop CBGE ECBG GECB BGEC


2, drop 3

Jazz Guitar Harmony part 5 gave a thorough and systematic exploration of drop 2 and drop 3
voicings. This class will delve into a similar discussion of the next two voicings on the above
list, drop 2&3 and drop 2&4. These voicings tend to have a very distinctive sound due
to the relatively large span from top note to bottom note, the resulting intervals from note to
note, and the "holes" in the middle part of the voicings.
Tom Lippincott 3

Examples 5 and 6 illustrate using the aforementioned "drop" technique to create first a
drop 2&4 and then a drop 2&3 voicing. This time, rather than just dropping one of the notes
of the close voicing by an octave, we are dropping two of them:
Ex. 5 drop 2&4 voicing Ex. 6 drop 2&3 voicing

C^ C^ C^ C^
top note ˙˙˙ ˙˙ top note ˙˙˙ ˙
2nd from top 2nd from top
& 3rd from top
˙ ˙˙ & 3rd from top
˙ ˙˙
˙
4th from top 4th from top

To get a drop 2&4 voicing, start with a To get a drop 2&3 voicing, follow the same
close-voiced four-note chord (can be any procedure as drop 2&4, but drop the second
inversion but must be close-voiced and note from the top and the third note from the
contain 4 different notes). Drop the second top each down an octave, leaving the top note
and fourth notes from the top each down and the fourth note from the top where they
an octave, keeping the top note and the were originally.
third note from the top where they were
originally.

Notice that in the above examples, converting a close position chord to a drop 2&4 yields
a chord in the same inversion as the original close position one (in example 5, root position
C major 7 remains a root position when converted to drop 2&4), whereas converting a close
position to a drop 2&3 yields a chord which is one inversion higher (root position becomes first
inversion, first inversion becomes second inversion, etc.)

Like drop 3 voicings, drop 2&4 and drop 2&3 are commonly played across five strings on the
guitar, with one string remaining uplayed. With drop 2&4 voicings, we will put the two lowest
notes on adjacent strings, skip a string, and then place the two highest notes on adjacent strings.
This means that these voicings can be played on strings 6 through 2 with the 4th string
skipped, or on strings 5 through 1 with the 3rd string skipped. Examples 7 and 8 illustrate
this concept by showing all four inversions of the drop 2&4 C major 7 chord on both sets of five
strings:

Ex. 7 C major 7, all drop 2&4 inversions, bottom five strings Ex. 8 C major 7, all drop 2&4 inversions, top five strings
(strings 6-2, skip 4th string) (strings 5-1, skip 3rd string)

C^ C^ C^ C^ C^ C^ C^ C^
3fr 5fr 8fr 12fr 3fr 7fr 10fr 13fr

w w
w w w
w w w
w w w
° w w w ° w w w
& w w w w
w & w w
w w w
w
w w w w
7 8 12 15
5 8 12 13 5 8 12 13
4 5 9 12
5 9 10 14
¢⁄ 3
3
7
7
10
8
14
12 ¢⁄ 3 7 10 14
4
Tom Lippincott

Next, we'll examine the drop 2&3 voicing. This time there will also be two sets of five
strings to play the chords on, but the skipped string will be between the highest note in
the chord and the three lowest. In other words, we'll have three adjacent strings on the
low end of the chord, and the highest note off by itself separated by an unused string.
This means that the string sets utilized will be 6-2 with the 3rd string skipped, and strings
5-1 with the 2nd string skipped. Examples 9 and 10 below show all four inversions of
C major 7 drop 2&3 voicings, with example 9 showing the four inversions on string set
6-2 and example 10 showing the same four inversions on string set 5-1:

Ex. 9 C major 7, all drop 2&3 inversions, bottom five strings Ex. 10 C major 7, all drop 2&3 inversions, top five strings
(strings 6-2, skip 3rd string) (strings 5-1, skip 2nd string)
C^ C^ C^ C^ C^ C^ C^ C^
3fr 7fr 10fr 5fr 8fr 10fr

w w w w
° w w ° w w w
& w
w ww w
w
w
w
w
w & w
w
w
w
w
w w
w ww
w
w w
3 7 8 12
1 5 8 12
4 5 9 12
2 5 9 10 2 5 9 10
¢⁄ 2
3
3
7
7
8
10
12 ¢⁄ 3 7 10 14

Notice that the four inversions of C major 7 drop 2&4 contain the same notes in the same
exact order regardless of which of the two sets of strings they are played on. If the guitar were
tuned all in perfect fourths, there would only be one fingering to learn regardless of string set,
but because of the major third interval between the G and B strings, the shape of any chord
will change when moved across that "great divide." This means that when, for example, the
root position drop 2&4 C major seven is moved from the lower (6-2) string set to the upper (5-1)
string set, the 3rd, E, will be played one fret higher on the upper set, while the other three notes
will have the same fretboard shape as before. For this reason, it is always important to play any
new chord shape on every available set of strings in order to have maximum flexibility with the
new chord.

By contrast, notice that when a drop 2&3 voicing is moved from strings 6-2 to strings 5-1, the
shape stays exactly the same. To illustrate this, take the root position voicing in the third bar of
example 9, and compare it to the same root position voicing in measure one of example 10.
Simply move the same finger shape across to the next set of strings and down five frets toward
the nut, and you'll have the chord from example 10. This is due to the fact that none of the notes
in the chord move from the 3rd to the 2nd string. The result is that you get a bit of a break with
these voicings: learn the shapes on one set of strings, and you'll already know the shape for the
other set.
Tom Lippincott
5
Another important point to consider is what could be called the inversion "style." Back in
example 2, the four inversions of a close position C major 7 chord were illustrated. In this
example, the lowest note in the root position chord was moved up an octave to form the
first inversion, and so forth. This style of inverting chords is particularly easy to see on a
piano keyboard, and many pianists use this kind of thinking when playing different inversions
of close position chords. Therefore, this method of inverting chords could be thought of as
"piano style."

By contrast, imagine four singers singing the four notes of the same C major 7 chord.
The traditional four choral parts of soprano, alto, tenor, and bass would typically be covered
by two female singers singing the higher two notes and two male singers singing the lower
two notes. In this situation, the piano style inversion wouldn't work very well since that would
require the bass voice to sing up an octave, higher than the soprano! A more practical approach
to inverting the chord for the four singers would be to move the soprano up to the new high
note, and then move each of the three other singers up one "notch" in the chord, so that the
alto would be singing the soprano's old note, the tenor would be singing the alto's old note,
and the bass would be singing the tenor's old note, as illustrated below in examples 11 and 12:
Ex. 11 C major 7, "piano style" inversion Ex. 12 C major 7, "choir style" inversion

ROOT POSITION FIRST INVERSION soprano ROOT POSITION FIRST INVERSION


w ww alto w ww
& w
Ów
w w
w tenor
& w
w
w w
w
THE ROOT IS BROUGHT UP bass
ALL FOUR VOICES MOVE
AN OCTAVE, WHILE THE OTHER UPWARD, PRESERVING
THREE NOTES REMAIN WHERE THE VOICE ORDER.
THEY WERE.
By contrast, example 13 illustrates that when the "piano style" inversion is used on an open
voicing like a drop 2&4, it won't work because the voicing spans more than an octave. Moving
the lowest note, C, up an octave, puts it right in the middle of the chord and forms a different
type of voicing (in this case, a second inversion drop 2). As a result, only the "choir style"
inversion will work on open voicings. Example 14 shows the same drop 2&4 voicing with each
voice moving up one "notch" in the chord to the closest note in the chord above. Regardless of
how the notes are arranged, root always goes up to 3rd, 3rd to 5th, 5th to 7th, and 7th up to the
next octave root. This preserves the order of voices and also preserves the voicing type
(drop 2&4 in this case). It can be helpful when working with these inversions on one set of
strings on the guitar to think of each string as a voice, the lowest note being the bass, the
second lowest being the tenor, and so forth.

Ex. 13 C major 7 drop 2&4, "piano style" inversion Ex. 14 C major 7 drop 2&4, "choir style" inversion
ROOT POSITION 2ND INVERSION ROOT POSITION FIRST INVERSION
DROP 2&4 DROP 2 DROP 2&4 DROP 2&4
w w soprano w w
w w alto w w
& w w
w tenor & w w
w w w
bass
C MAJOR 7 MOVING THE LOWEST VOICING TYPE IS
ROOT POSITION NOTE, C, UP AN PRESERVED
DROP 2&4 OCTAVE, YEILDS
A VOICING THAT IS
NO LONGER DROP 2&4
Tom Lippincott
Drop 2&4, Drop 2&3 Chords
6
Root position chords
Drop 2&4 from 6th string: R5 37

F^ G-7 A-7 Bb^ C7 D-7 EØ F^


8fr 10fr 12fr 13fr
3fr 5fr 6fr

bw w w w
° w w w w
w
& w bw
w w w w
w
w
w bw w
w
w
w
w
w
w bw
w w w w w
5 6 8 10 11 13 15 17
2 3 5 7 9 10 12 14

¢⁄ 3
1
5
3
7
5
8
6
10
8
12
10
13
12
15
13

Drop 2&4 from 5th string: R5 37

C-7 D-7 Eb^ F7 G-7 AØ Bb^


Bb^ 6fr 8fr 10fr 12fr 13fr
3fr 5fr

w bw w w w
w
° w bb w w
w w w bw w w
w bw
& w
w w
w
w
w bw
b w
w
w
w
w w bw
bw
5 6 8 10 11 13 15 17
3 4 6 8 10 11 13 15
3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15
¢⁄ 1 3 5 6 8 10 12 13

Drop 2&3 from 6th string: R37 5

B-7 C^ D7 E-7 F#Ø G^


G^ A-7 10fr 12fr 14fr
3fr 5fr 7fr 9fr

w w w w w
° w #w w #w
& #w
w w w
w
w
w #w
w
w
w
w
w #w
w w
w
w
w w
w w w
3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15
4 5 7 9 10 12 14 16
¢⁄ 2
3
3
5
5
7
7
8
9
10
10
12
12
14
14
15

Drop 2&3 from 5th string: R37 5


G7 A-7 BØ C^
C^ D-7 E-7 F^ 10fr 12fr 14fr
5fr 7fr 9fr

w w w w w
° w w w w w w w
w w w w w w
w
& w
w
w w
w w
w w
w w
w w w
3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15
4 5 7 9 10 12 14 16
2 3 5 7 9 10 12 14
¢⁄ 3 5 7 8 10 12 14 15
1st Inversion chords 7
Tom Lippincott
Drop 2&4 from 6th string: 37 5R

D^ E-7 F#-7 G^ A7 B-7 C#Ø D^


3fr 5fr 7fr 9fr 10fr 12fr 14fr

#w w
° w ##w w w
w #w
w w w
& #w
w
w
w
w
w
w
w
#w #w
w
w
w
w
w #w
# w
# w w w w
3 5 7 8 10 12 14 15
2 4 6 7 9 11 12 14

¢⁄ 4
2
5
3
7
5
9
7
10
9
12
10
14
12
16
14

Drop 2&4 from 5th string: 37 5R


D7 E-7 F#Ø G^
G^ A-7 B-7 C^ 12fr 14fr
9fr 10fr
3fr 5fr 7fr

w w w #w
w w
w
° w w
w #w
w w w w
w #w
& #w
w w
w
w
w
w
w #w
w
w
w w w
w
3 5 7 8 10 12 14 15
3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15
4 5 7 9 10 12 14 16
¢⁄ 2 3 5 7 9 10 12 14

Drop 2&3 from 6th string: 35R 7


Bb7 C-7 DØ Eb^
Eb^ F-7 G-7 Ab^ 11fr 12fr
8fr 10fr
3fr 5fr 6fr

w bw bw w w
° bw w bw
b
& bw w w bw
b bw
w
w
bw bw
w
w w
w
bww
w bw
w bw
w w
w w w
3 4 6 8 9 11 13 15
1 3 5 6 8 10 12 13
¢⁄ 1
3
3
4
5
6
6
8
8
10
10
11
11
13
13
15

Drop 2&3 from 5th string: 35R 7


Eb7 F-7 GØ Ab^
Ab^ B¨-7 C-7 Db^ 11fr 13fr
8fr 10fr
3fr 5fr 6fr

bw bw w w
° w bw bw w w w bb w
& bb w bw w
bw bw
b w bb w
w
w bw
w bb w
w w
w
w
w bw
w w w
3 4 6 8 9 11 13 15
1 3 5 6 8 10 12 13
1 3 5 6 8 10 11 13
¢⁄ 3 4 6 8 10 11 13 15
8
2nd Inversion chords Tom Lippincott
Drop 2&4 from 6th string: 5R 73
AØ Bb^
Bb^ C-7 D-7 Eb^ F7 G-7 13fr
5fr 6fr 8fr 10fr 11fr

bw w w
° bb w w w bw
w w w w
& w
w w w w
w w bw bw
w
bw
w
w
w w
w bw
b w w w w
3 4 6 8 10 11 13 15
2 3 5 7 8 10 12 14

¢⁄ 1
1
3
3
5
5
6
6
8
8
10
10
12
11
13
13

Drop 2&4 from 5th string: 5R 73


Ab^ Bb7 C-7 DØ Eb^
Eb^ F-7 G-7 11fr 13fr
5fr 6fr 8fr 10fr

w w
° w bb w
w bw
w
w
w bw
w bb w
w w w
& bw w w bw
b bw
w
w
w bw
w bw
b w
bww w w w
3 4 6 8 10 11 13 15
3 4 6 8 9 11 13 15
1 3 5 6 8 10 12 13
¢⁄ 1 3 5 6 8 10 11 13

Drop 2&3 from 6th string: 573 R

C^ D-7 E-7 F^ G7 A-7 BØ C^


10fr 12fr 13fr
5fr 6fr 8fr

° w w w w w
w w w w
& w
w w
w w
w w
w
w
w
w
w
w
w
w w
w w
w
w
w w w
1 3 5 6 8 10 12 13
2 3 5 7 9 10 12 14
¢⁄ 2
3
3
5
5
7
7
8
8
10
10
12
12
13
14
15

Drop 2&3 from 5th string: 573 R


C7 D-7 EØ F^
F^ G-7 A-7 Bb^ 13fr
8fr 10fr 12fr
3fr 5fr 6fr

w w w w
° w w w bw w w w
& w bw
w w
w w
w
w bw
w
w w
w bw
w w
w
w
w w w
1 3 5 6 8 10 12 13
2 3 5 7 9 10 12 14
2 3 5 7 8 10 12 14
¢⁄ 3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15
3rd Inversion chords Tom Lippincott
9

Drop 2&4 from 6th string: 73 R5


Db^ Eb7 F-7 GØ Ab^
Ab^ B¨-7 C-7 6fr 8fr 10fr 12fr 13fr
3fr 5fr

° bw w w bw bb w
w
w
w
bw
w bb w
w
&b w bw w bw bw w
w bb w
w bw
b w w
w bww bw
b w w w
w
4 6 8 9 11 13 14 16
1 3 5 6 8 10 12 13

¢⁄ 3
3
4
4
6
6
8
8
10
9
11
11
13
13
15
15

Drop 2&4 from 5th string: 73 R5


G7 A-7 BØ C^
C^ D-7 E-7 F^ 13fr
8fr 10fr 12fr
3fr 5fr 6fr

w w w w w
w
° w w w w w w w
w w w w
& w
w w
w w
w w
w
w
w w
w w w
w
3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15
1 3 5 6 8 10 12 13
2 3 5 7 9 10 12 14
¢⁄ 2 3 5 7 8 10 12 14

Drop 2&3 from 6th string: 7R5 3

Eb^ F7 G-7 AØ Bb^


Bb^ C-7 D-7 12fr 13fr
5fr 6fr 8fr 10fr
3fr

w w bw w w
° w bw w w w bw b ww
& w
b ww
w
b ww
ww
w bw
b
ww b ww ww ww w

3 4 6 8 10 11 13 15
3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15
¢⁄ 1
5
3
6
5
8
5
11
8
11
10
13
12
15
13
17

Drop 2&3 from 5th string: 7R5 3

Eb^ F-7 G-7 Ab^ Bb7 C-7 DØ Eb^


10fr 12fr 13fr
3fr 5fr 6fr 8fr

w bw w w
bw w
b ww
° w bw w w bw b
&b w
b w
b ww
w
ww b ww
b w bb ww b ww ww w
ww
3 4 6 8 10 11 13 15
3 5 7 8 10 12 13 15
1 3 5 6 8 10 12 13
¢⁄ 5 6 8 10 11 13 15 17
Tom Lippincott
10
In the Jazz Guitar Harmony series, the movement of triads and seventh chords through
diatonic cycles was explored. Now we will explore the movement of some drop 2&4
and drop 2&3 voicings through various cycles. The preceding chord scale exercise
explored these voicings moving through cycle 2, with each voice moving upward in 2nds.
Notice that the 7th interval is an inversion of the 2nd interval, the 6th is an inversion of the
3rd, and the 5th is an inversion of the 4th, which means, for practical purposes, there are
really only three different diatonic cycles. Learning to move through chords in cycles using
smooth voice leading mimics typical harmonic motion in music and also forces a player
to become more familiar with all the different inversions. Notice that the last three chords
of cycle 4 are a II V I progression.

Three cycles of diatonic seventh chords in the C major scale:

Cycle 2/7: C∆ D-7 E-7 F∆ G7 A-7 Bø C∆ (forward is cycle 2, backward is cycle 7)

Cycle 3/6: C∆ E-7 G7 Bø D-7 F∆ A-7 C∆ (forward is cycle 3, backward is cycle 6)

Cycle 4/5: C∆ F∆ Bø E-7 A-7 D-7 G7 C∆ (forward is cycle 4, backward is cycle 5)

Example 15: Major scale in 2nds can be played with the voices moving down rather than up.
Notice that each voice except the root moves down a step while the root becomes the 7th
of the next chord. This example uses drop 2&4 voicings on strings 5-1:
Ex. 15 Cycle 2
C^ D-7 E-7 F^ G7 A-7 BØ C^
13fr 12fr 10fr 8fr 8fr 7fr 5fr 3fr

w
w w
w w w w w
° w w w w w w
w w
w
w w w
& w w w w w
w w
w w
w w
w
15 13 12 12 10 8 7 7
13 13 12 10 8 8 6 5
14 12 12 10 9 7 7 5
¢⁄ 14 12 10 8 8 7 5 3

Example 16: Cycle 3, this time using drop 2&3 voicings on strings 5-1. Notice that only one
note has to move to yield the next chord in the cycle; the root moves up a step to beome the
7th of the next chord.
Ex. 16 Cycle 3
C^ E-7 G7 BØ D-7 F^ A-7 C^
5fr 5fr 5fr 7fr 7fr 7fr 7fr 8fr

w w w w w w w w
° w w w w w w w
& w
w
w w
w ww w
w w
w w
w ww w
w
7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8
5
5 7 7 7 7 9 9
5 5 5 7 7 7 7 9
¢⁄ 7 7 8 8 8 8 10 10
Tom Lippincott
11
Example 17: For cycle 4, we return to drop 2&4 voicings on strings 5-1, but this time the cycle
is repeated to yield additional inversions. Notice that with cycle 4, the root and 3rd of each chord
become the 5th and 7th of the next chord, and the other two voices each move down one step.
Ex. 17: Cycle 4
C^ F^ BØ E-7 A-7 D-7 G7 C^
13fr 12fr 12fr 10fr 10fr 8fr 8fr 7fr

w
w w
w w w w w w w
° w w w w w w w w
w w w w
& w w w w w w w
w w
w
15 13 13 12 12 10 10 8
13 13 12 12 10 10 8 8
14 14 12 12 10 10 9 9
¢⁄ 14 12 12 10 10 8 8 7

C^ F^ BØ E-7 A-7 D-7 G7 C^


7fr 6fr 5fr 5fr 3fr 3fr

° w
w w
w w
w w w w w w
w w w w w
& w
w w
w w
w w
w w
w w
w w w
w w
8 8 7 7 5 5 3 3
8 6 6 5 5 3 3 1
9 7 7 5 5 3 3 2
¢⁄ 7 7 5 5 3 3 2 2

Examples 19 and 20 give some additional practice with cycles. Ex. 19 covers cycle 2 with drop
2&4 voicings, but this time on strings 6-2, and Ex. 20 covers cycle 4 with drop 2&3 on strings 6-2.
Ex. 19: Cycle 2
C^ D-7 E-7 F^ G7 A-7 BØ C^
12fr 10fr 9fr 8fr 7fr 5fr 4fr

w
w w w w w w
° w w w w w w w
& w
w w
w w
w w
w w w
w
w
w
w
w w w w
13 13 12 10 8 8 6 5
12 10 9 9 7 5 4 4

¢⁄ 14
12
12
10
10
10
8
8
8
7
7
5
5
5
3
3
Ex. 20: Cycle 4
C^ F^ BØ E-7 A-7 D-7 G7 C^
10fr 8fr 8fr 7fr 7fr 5fr 5fr 3fr

° w w w w w w w w
& w
w
w
w
ww w
w
w
ww
w w
w ww w
w ww
w w w w
12 10 10 8 8 6 6 5
10 10 9 9 7 7 5 5
¢⁄ 10
12
8
12
8
10
7
10
7
8
5
8
5
7
3
7
Tom Lippincott
12
Notice also with cycle 4 that the two voices which moved from C∆ to F∆, G to A, and B to C are the
ones that remained stationary when moving from F∆ to Bø, whereas the two stationary voices
between C∆ and F∆ became the moving voices from F∆ to Bø. This same staggered movement
of the voices stays constant through the entire cycle.

Ultimately, these cycles should be played with both drop 2&4 and drop 2&3 voicings on all inversions
on all string sets and, eventually, in all twelve keys. Additionally, it is a good idea to become familiar
with harmonies from the melodic and harmonic minor scales. Below is a list of the chord symbols
for the diatonic 7th chords of both scales in the key of C:

C melodic minor diatonic 7th chords: C-∆ D-7 Eb+∆ F7 G7 Aø Bø C-∆

C harmonic minor diatonic 7th chords: C-∆ Dø Eb+∆ F-7 G7 Ab∆ Bº C-∆

Notice that there are only three chords not already covered in the major scale harmonies: C-∆
(C minor/major7, a minor triad with a natural 7th), Eb+∆ (Eb augmented major 7, an augmented triad
with a major 7th), and Bº (B fully diminished 7th, a diminished triad with a 7). The following
examples show how some of the chords from the major scale can be converted to the above three
chord types by changing one note. In examples 21a and 21b, minor 7th chords become
minor/major 7th chords by simply raising the 7th up a half step:
Ex 21a converting drop 2&4 C minor 7 to C minor/major 7 Ex 21b converting drop 2&3 C minor 7 to C minor/major 7
C-7 C-^ C-7 C-^ C-7 C-^ C-7 C-^
10fr 10fr
3fr 3fr 6fr 6fr

bb œœ n œœ bœ œ
° œ œ œ œ
& œœ œœ bb œœ nb œœ b œœ n œœ b œœœ
b nœœ
œœ œœ œ
6 7 11 11
4 4 4 4 8 8
3 4 12 12
5 5 10 10 8 9
¢⁄ 3 3 3
3
3
3
13 14 6
8
6
8

Examples 22a and 22b show the same procedure, but this time starting with a few different
C major 7 voicings and converting them to C augmented major 7 by raising the 5th a half step:
Ex. 22a: converting drop 2&4 C major 7 to Ex. 22b: converting drop 2&3 C major 7 to
C augmented major 7 C augmented major 7
C^ C+^ C^ C+^ C^ C+^ C^ C+^
3fr 3fr 3fr 3fr 10fr 10fr 10fr 10fr

œœ œœ œ œ œ œ
° œœ œœ œ # œœ
& œœ # œœ œœ œ œœ #œœœ
œœ œ
# œœ
7 7 12 12
5 5 5 5 12 12
4 4 12 13
5 6 10 10 10 10
¢⁄ 3 3 3
3
3
4
14 14 10
12
11
12
Tom Lippincott 13

In examples 23a and 23b, we now take half diminished chords and convert them to fully diminished
by lowering the b7 a half step to yield a bb7, or doubly flatted 7th. A doubly flatted seventh is, of course,
the same as a natural 6th, and to simplify the notation, the example below shows the doubly flatted 7ths
as A rather than B double flat. Also notice that because fully diminished 7th chords are completely
symmetrical in structure (all minor thirds), all of the inversion shapes will be the same, so once you
know one shape, you can just move it around the fretboard in minor thirds to get the other three
inversions. This concept is readily apparent in the examples below:
Ex. 23a: converting drop 2&4 C half diminished to Ex. 23b: converting drop 2&3 C half diminished to
C fully diminished C fully diminished
same fretboard shape same fretboard shape

CØ Cº CØ Cº CØ Cº CØ Cº
3fr 3fr 6fr 6fr 6fr 6fr 9fr 9fr

° bb œœ b œœ b œœ œœ bœ œ bœ
œ
œ
œ
& b œœ b œœ bb œœ œœ bb œœ
œ
œœ
œ bb œœ b œœ

6 5 8 8
4 4 7 7 7 7 11 10
4 4 8 7 8 7 10 10
¢⁄ 3 3 6 6 6
8
6
8
9
11
9
11

In the Jazz Guitar Harmony series, the replacement of one or more chord tones with color tones for drop 2
and drop 3 voicings was discussed; for an in-depth discussion of this concept, refer to JGH 5. The basic
technique for drop 2&4 and drop 2&3 is the same as with the above voicings. The idea is to replace
one of the less important chord tones such as the 5th or a middle-to-high-register root with a color tone that
is a step above or below the chord tone. This would be the 11th or the 13th in the case of the 5th, and the
9th in the case of the root. The color tone replacement chart from JGH 5 is included again here on the last
page for easy reference or for anyone who doesn't have JGH 5. In addition, because the drop 2&4 and
drop 2&3 voicings both contain a skipped string in the middle of the voicing, in many cases it is possible to
place a color tone on the vacant string while still including the other four chord tones. Example 24 shows
several examples of chords with color tones replacing one or more chord tones, color tones added on the
vacant string, or a combination of both. In each measure, first the basic chord is shown, then the chord with
the color tones:
Ex. 24: Replacing chord tones with color tones and/or adding additional color tones on skipped string

B+^ B+^(#11) Db7 Db13 Bb7 Bb7b9 [äÈ] C-7 C-9(11)


4fr 4fr 8fr 9fr 8fr 9fr 6fr 6fr

added color 5th to 11th


added color b ˙˙ 5th to 13thb ˙˙ ˙ ˙
° # ˙˙ tone n ˙˙ ° b b ˙˙ ° bb ˙˙ tone n b ˙˙˙ ° ˙ ˙˙˙
& #˙˙ ˙˙
˙ & b ˙˙ ˙ & ˙ b˙ & b ˙˙˙
b ˙˙
added color Root to b9 added color
tone 5th to b13th tone
6 6 9 9 10 10
6 9 11 9 9 8 6
4 4 8 9 7
5 5 9 9 8 9 8 8
¢⁄ 6 6
¢⁄ 8 8
¢⁄ 8 9
¢⁄ 6
8
6
8
Tom Lippincott
14
Once basic proficiency is gained with at least a few of the new voicings, the student should begin putting
them into practice as soon as possible by applying them in the context of comping the chord changes to
one or more standard chord progressions. With this in mind, a comping etude is presented here based on
the chord changes to the well-known standard "There Will Never Be Another You" by Harry Warren and
Mack Gordon. Because there are many different variations of these chord changes, first example 25
presents a basic template of the specific chords that the etude will be based on. The chords in
parenthesis above the regular symbols indicate the more basic harmonies, whereas the lower symbols
represent the way these are typically reharmonized by jazz musicians.

Ex. 25: "Another You" basic chord changes

E¨^ DØ G7 C-7 B¨-7 E¨7


& VV VV V VVV VVVV VVV V VV VV V VVV V VVV VVV V

[A¨-6]
A¨^ D¨7 E¨^ C-7 F7 F-7 B¨7
& VV VV V VVV VVVV VVV V VV VV V VVV V VVV VVV V

E¨^ DØ G7 C-7 B¨-7 E¨7


& VV VV V VVV VVVV VVV V VV VV V VVV V VVV VVV V

[A¨-6] [E¨º ] [E¨^]


A¨^ D¨7 E¨^b
AØ D7 G-7 A¨7 G-7 C7 F-7 B¨7 E¨^
& VVVV VVVV VVVV VVVV VVVV VVVV VVVV VVVV bb
Finally, example 26 is a comping etude based on the above chord changes which uses drop 2&4 and
drop 2&3 voicings, including some voicings with color tones and some typical chord substitutions such
as diatonic thirds, scalar diatonic movement, and use of minor/major 7 and augmented major 7 chords
to represent melodic minor sounds. There is also some use of contrapuntal movement. The original
basic chord changes are also listed below the staff for reference.

Eb^ Eb^ DØ DØ B+^(#11)


Eb^ G-7 Eb^ 10fr 8fr 5fr 4fr
6fr 4fr 6fr
chord
grids
œœ œœ ™™ œœ ˙˙ n œ˙ œ œœ ™™ n# œœ
° b œœ ‰ œœj œœ œœ
œœ ˙˙
notation
(with & b b œœ œœ ‰ œœ œœ œœ œœ ™™ ˙˙ œœ™™ #nœœœ
rhythms) œ J J J
basic
harmony E¨^ DØ
6 6 10 10 11 11 12 10 8 6
TAB for 4 6 8 4 4 8 8 11 11 9 6 6
3 7 4
notation 5 5 8 8 12 12 10 6 5
¢⁄ 5
3
8
6
5 5 6 6 10 10 8 5 6
Tom Lippincott
15

B+^ C-^ Eb+^ Eb^ C-% Db^ Bb-%


2fr 3fr 6fr 6fr 6fr 4fr 4fr

# œj œœ œœ œœ ™™ œœ ˙˙ w
° b bb œœœ ™™™™ #œœ
˙
˙˙
n œœ œœ
Œ ‰ nœœ ‰ b œœ œœ ™™ nœœ ˙˙
w
˙
& œœ ™ œœ œœ bw ˙
nœ ˙ J J J

G7 C-7 B¨-7
6 6 6 7 7 10 10 10 10 10 8
6 4 4 4 4 8 8 8 8 8 6
4
5 5 5 5 5 9 8 8 7 7 6 5
¢⁄ 6 2 2 3 3 6 6 6 6 6 4

Eb9 Ab^ B+^ Db13 Eb^ Eb^


Eb7b9 Ab^ Ab^ 6fr
4fr 9fr 9fr 9fr 4fr
4fr 6fr

œœ ™™ œœ œœ ™™ ## œœ ™™ bb œœœ ˙˙ œœj
° bb w˙ n˙ œœ ™™ nœœ ™™ bœ ˙˙ ‰œŒ
˙˙
& b bw
w œ ™™ œœ ‰ œJ ˙ Œœ‰œ ˙˙
œ J J
[A¨-6]
E¨7 A¨^ D¨7 E¨^
6 4 8 11 11 9 9 10 6
6 5 4 8 9 11 11 11 8 4
8 8
5 5 6 10 9 9 9 8 5
¢⁄ 4 3 6 10 10 8 8 6 5 5

G-7 C-7 AØ G-7 F7 C-^ Eb+^


10fr 10fr 10fr 8fr 6fr 3fr 6fr

œœ ™™ œœ ˙˙
° bb œ ™ n œœ œœ œœ n œœ œœ ™™ œœ ˙˙
& b œ™ œœ ˙˙ ‰ œœ ‰ œœ ‰ nœœ ‰ œœ œœ ™™ nœœ ˙˙
J J J J J J
C-7 F7
13 11 11 11 10 8 7 7 10 10
11 11 11 10 8 6 4 4 8 8
12 10 10 10 8 7 5 5 9 9
¢⁄ 10 10 10 10 8 6 3 3 6 6
Tom Lippincott
16

F-7 Ab-^ Bb13b9 Bb7b9(b13) Eb^ Eb^ Eb^


8fr 11fr 11fr 9fr 8fr 11fr 8fr

œ. œœ ™™
° bb œœ b œœ b œœœ ˙˙
˙˙ œœ œ œ™ œ
œœ
Ϫ
œœ ™™ œ
‰ œœ œ™ œœ ‰ bb œœœ ‰
n b œœ œœ ™™ œ œ™ œœ
& b œ J
Ϫ
J
˙ nœ œ™ J œ
J J J
F-7
. B¨7 E¨^
11 15 15 13 13 10 10 10 11 11 10
9 12 12 12 12 9
12 12 9 8 8 12 12 8
10 13 13 12 12 9 8 8 12 12 8
¢⁄ 8 11 11 11 11 9 10 10 13 13 10

DØ C-7 Ab+^ Ab+^ Ab-^ Ab-^(6) Eb+^


6fr 5fr 6fr 6fr 6fr 6fr 6fr

œ œ ˙ œ œœ bœ œœ œœ
° b œœ ‰ œœ ˙˙ n œ œ œ œœ ‰ nœ
&b b ‰ œJ œJ ˙
‰ œœ Œ ‰ œœ Œ
J J
‰ œœJ Œ ‰ œJ œJ

DØ G7
8 6 6 8 8 7 7 10
6 6 8
7 5 5 9 9 8 8
6 5 5 6 6 6 6 9
¢⁄ 8 6 6 10 10 10 10 6

C-7 C-7 C-9 B-9 Bb-9 A^#9#11 A7#9#11 Ab^9


6fr 3fr 6fr 5fr 4fr 4fr 4fr

œœ ™™ œœ œœ ™™ œœ ™™
° b
œœ œœœj ‰ j j ˙˙˙ ™™™ ‰ n#œœj j
œœœ ™™™n n#œœœ œœœ ™™™ œœœ
j
& b b œœ ™™ b œœ œœ ™™ œœ œœ ™™ n# nœœœœ ‰ bbnb œœœœ
J œœ nœ bœ ˙˙ ™™ ## n œœœ œœ ™™ # n œœ œœ ™™ bn œœ
J
C-7
10 8 8 6 6
B¨-7 E¨7
8 8 8 4 4 6 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
7 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 3
9 8 8 5 5 8 7 6 6 6 6 5 5 5
¢⁄ 6 6 6 3 3 6
8
5
7
4
6
4
6
4
5
4
5
4
5
4
5
3
4
Tom Lippincott
17

Ab-^(11) Eb^ F-7 G-7 Ab^ Ebºª7


6fr 4fr 6fr 8fr 9fr 7fr

j œœ œœ œ œ
° bb Œ ‰ œœj Œ ‰ b œœ œ™
w œj ˙ œœ œ
œœ ‰ œ
& b œ œ w œœ œœ ‰ œœ ‰ nbn œœœ
œœ b œœ w
w J J J
[A¨-6]
A¨^ D¨7 E¨^
6 8 10 11 10
4 8 8 6 6 4 6 8 9 0
3 6 6 8
5 6 6 5 6 8 10 7
¢⁄ 3
4
6
7
6
7
5 6 8 10 9

Ab^ C7#9 Ab^ Bb13b9


G-7 G-7 5fr
10fr 11fr 10fr 7fr 6fr

˙ œ œ™ œœ œœ ™™ j U
° bb ˙˙ œ œœ ™™ œœ œœ ™™ b nœœœ ˙˙ ˙ ˙
& b ˙˙ œœœ œœ™™ œœ œœ ™™ œœ œœ™™ n œœ ˙˙ b ˙˙˙ ˙
J J J ˙ n ˙˙
[E¨º ]
AØ D7
10 10 8
G-7 A¨7 G-7 C7 F-7 B¨7
0 0 11 13 13 11 11 8 8 8 8
8 8 10 12 12 10 10 8 8
8 8 6 6
¢⁄ 12
14
12
14
10
10
11
11
11
11
10
10
10
10
7
8
7
8
6
8
5
7

Eb^9 Eb-9 F13sus4 E^9#11 Eb^9


6fr

° w
w
& bbb ˙˙
˙˙
˙˙
˙
˙˙ #˙
#n# ˙˙˙ w
˙ bb ˙˙
n ˙˙
˙ ww
w

6
4 4 4 4 6
3 3 3 3 0
3 3 0 4 0
¢⁄ 5
3
4
2
3
1
2
0
6
6
18 Tom Lippincott

Color Tone Replacement chart

The chart below indicates the four basic chord tones of Root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th in the first column,
and, in the following columns, color tones that can typically replace that chord tone for each chord
type are listed. In general, color tones should not be used below approximately the guitar's open
D or fourth string.

A "—" indicates that this chord tone usually should not be replaced. A color tone in parenthesis
indicates that care should be taken when using it. Note also the special cases of 4 replacing 3 on
a dominant 7 chord and 6 replacing 7 on a major or minor seventh chord. These cases will
change the basic name of the chord but are still viable variations of the original chord type.

Chord Tone Major 7 Dom. 7 Minor 7 Half Dim.

R 9 9, b9, #9 9 9

3 — 4 (for sus4) (11) (11)

5 #11, 13 #11, 13, 13 11, (13) —

7 6 (for 6th — 6 (for min6 —


chord) chord)

Keep in mind that this is merely a common-practice guide. Each guitarist must use his or
her own judgement and ears to decide which chord tones to replace and/or which color tones
sound best in a particular situation.