Tip #153 – Dropped Voices

For the longest time, I had no idea what people meant by “use a ‘drop-2’ voicing on that chord.” That terminology was unfamiliar to me at the time. However, I am here no to tell you all so that you don’t end up in the same situation as I was of not knowing.

Dropped voicing is a simple way of creating an open position chord voicing by lowering specific notes by an octave.

First, you start with a chord (usually, in four-part density with the melody note doubled) just like the examples below:

Then to do “drop-2,” you simply drop the second voice from the top an octave down:

This can also be done as “drop-3” or “drop-4” depending on your liking of the sound. In addition, you can combine certain ones together. Most typically, arrangers use “drop-2 & 4” in their scores:

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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