Drop 2 chords are the most popular chord voicings in jazz guitar, and serve a wide variety of purposes, including comping, soloing and chord melody. They have been used by many of the great jazz guitarists including Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery. By understanding how drop 2 chords are built you can quickly learn to play them over the entire neck and begin to use them to comp or solo over your favorite tunes.
Chances are you are already using drop 2 chords in your guitar playing. Having a good understanding of drop 2 voicings can be a valuable tool for players of any experience level when comping or improvising a chord solo.
What is a Drop 2 chord?
Drop 2 chords are seventh chords that are built by dropping the second highest note of a closed position chord down one octave, making that note the bass note of the chord.
In the following example, we start from a Cmaj7 chord in closed position. The second highest note is the 5th (G), that is dropped down one octave to create a drop 2 voicing. The result is a Cmaj7/G. The 7th is moved to the B-string, in order to put the voicing on 4 adjacent strings:
Major, dominant, minor half diminished, diminished chords…. they are all in the full document here: Drop 2 Chords and Inversions
Harmonizing melody sample: