"Drop voicing" How useful it is ? Sound, or Root movement or anything? I know the mean of drop2 and drop3 but I don't understand How useful it is?

  • I assume you mean the system of inversions. They are often relevant, for example when you want to voice lead a chord progression. Look up "voice leading" if you are unsure what that means.
    – user43681
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 5:12

1 Answer 1


For guitar, drop voicings are used to make chords more playable (because of the way the guitar is constructed compared to say a piano). On guitar, the use of Drop-2 chords is extremely common because of this. Drop voicings, from a more general perspective, open up a chord so it takes up more harmonic space and makes it less dense. For example, Drop-3 chords with the root in the bass give a very nice sound with generally a large gap at the bottom. For example, a Cmaj7 in drop-3 with root in the bass would be spelled C B E G from the bottom up. Notice the 7th from the C to the B at the bottom of the chord and the close minor 3rd of the E to the G, giving it a much more open sound compared to the standard C E G B. Drop 4 voicings are more rare in use because they just replicate the first chord with the bass note 1 octave lower (e.g., C E G B is still C E G B in drop-4, but the C is now an octave lower). Other combinations exist and are used (like Drop2+4, Drop2+3, etc) but they are more special use for things like voice leading or to achieve specific effects.

In short, the point of drop voicings is to give us other sounds and shapes of chords that follow an easy-to-use pattern. They also facilitate playing certain types of chords on guitar.

  • 1
    Close voicings, i.e. stacked thirds, are playable on the guitar. The first FMaj7 chord that most everyone learns is such a voicing.
    – user39614
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 16:22
  • You have a good answer here. If I may suggest: "They also facilitate playing certain types of chords on guitar" could be made more specific. Your original idea was good here, but "can't play" was too strong. It is as a general rule difficult to play stacked thirds on a guitar since this tends to involve fairly large stretches, and drop voicings are a good way to systematically find more playable voicings. I think that this is the point that you were trying to make from the start, and it is an important one.
    – user39614
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 16:36

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