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Thread: Drop 2 Fingerings and Arpeggios

  1. #1
    I like music.
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    Drop 2 Fingerings and Arpeggios

    I'm posting this in regards to something I think everybody who has ever had trouble with learning chords and arpeggios should (re)learn to do.

    I have been getting into a lot of jazz theory and application, and one of the most useful things my guitar teacher did for me was to spend my 1/2 hour lesson just explaining to me how to construct my OWN arpeggios and Drop 2 fingerings. You may say..."Aww, I have to work them out on my own?"

    I say...Hell yeah, there is no better way to learn alternate chord voicings and arpeggios than to work them out yourself, this way you get an intimate grasp of the relationships at work on the fretboard. Working these arpeggios and fingerings have helped me out immensely whenever I've tried analyzing heads on tunes, or tried finding easily accessable fingerings on the fretboard.

    Try this:

    Map out the notes in a CMaj7 arpeggio. It should be C E G B.

    C is the root, E is the M3rd, G is the P5th, and B is the M7th

    Now, in root position, omit the 7th (we will add it back in later), find these notes on 3 consecutive strings, such as the 8th fret on the 6th string, the 7ths fret on the 5th string, and the 5th fret on the 4th string.

    From this, find this arpeggio with two notes on one string, and one note on the other string, then reverse it. (One note on the first string, 2 notes on the 2nd)

    Now repeat this process for each inversion, first starting on the M3rd, then the 5th. Now add in the Maj7ths to all the previous arpeggios you figured out. Now, start on the Maj7, and work out arpeggios as detailed before.

    Now that you have the basic details of how to construct your own arpeggios, repeat for Dmin7 and G7, using the same methods as before. Now you have a handy tool to move around any maj7, min7, or dom7 chord! If you want, you could work out arpeggios for a min7b5 chord, but I don't recommend doing that just yet, just wait until you really need to do it, unless you plan on playing a lot of half-diminished chords and you plan on soloing over them extensively.

    *NOTE: DO NOT DO ALL OF THIS AT ONE SITTING, YOU WILL BORE YOURSELF TO DEATH, AND THAT WOULD BE BAD.*

    Drop2 Fingerings: A Drop 2 fingering is a tool to create alternate voicings for chords, so you have access to these chords all over the fretboard. Start by breaking down the individual chord tones of a chord, such as CMaj7 (C E G B)

    Actually, in the middle of writing this, I found Guni's article on 7th chords, and its section on Drop 2 fingerings, so I'll point you towards that, since it is most likely more accurate than what I'm writing. The only thing that I would add is that if you would like, replace the root with a b9 in a Dominant7th chord, which creates more tension, which actually creates a diminished chord. So if you replaced the root with the b9, you would end up with a moveable chord form.

    http://www.ibreathemusic.com/article/95/2
    Last edited by Dommy; 04-03-2004 at 06:30 PM.
    Hard luck and trouble...

  2. #2
    La vie carnivalesque salsainglesa's Avatar
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    That is a great piece of advise, and a good way to aquire a logic for the fretboard.
    To take it little by little, learn where the intervals are.
    For instance... a major 3d is located at a distance of 4 frets on the same
    string and, on the next higher string one fret above.
    eg. D, on the 5th fret of the 5th string, whose major 3rd , Fsharp can be located on the same string in the 9th fret, or on the 4th string on the 4th fret.
    in that way you can visualize everything, from scales, chords to arpeggios, patterns.
    It is all an internalization process, helped a lot by your theory basis.
    The important thing is not learning the shapes, but what is within the shapes!
    my two cents.

  3. #3
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    You took the meaning of my post very well. This isn't just to help you make arpeggios, it is to help you understand the relationships at work in the fretboard, and when you understand this, you can expand your playing, and then realize the limitations of the fretboard.
    Hard luck and trouble...

  4. #4
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
    Szulc's Site

  5. #5
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    Quite useful too, and added some new perspectives with those voicings. I find that Dim7 voicings are the ultimate in voiceleading chordsolos on dom7 chords. And I almost exclusively use drop 2 voicings to voicelead some songs.

    They have also helped me come up with easy SubV fingerings in progressions such as: III-7 IIIb7 II-7 IIb7.
    Last edited by Dommy; 04-09-2004 at 03:21 PM.
    Hard luck and trouble...

  6. #6
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    Yeah, this kind of approach is teaching a man to fish. Some guitar teachers should be arrested for the way they keep a student for five years teaching riff after riff and never properly explaining triads and basic scales.

  7. #7
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    I'm so glad I make my teacher teach me stuff I want.
    Hard luck and trouble...

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