Strengthen Your Picking and Fretting Hands with "Drop Two Chord Arpeggios"

The latest in our super-popular Weekly Workout series explores drop two chord arpeggios. You'll work through a variety of chord types using diatonic chords of major and melodic minor scales, all the while getting a comprehensive workout for the fretting and picking hands.

Drop Two Chord Arpeggios is taught by Sean McGowan, the master guitarist/instructor responsible for Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Essentials, Holiday Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar, and countless articles and lessons in Acoustic Guitar.

From McGowan's introduction:

"Drop Two chord voicings are popular with guitarists of all styles, owing to their ease of fingering, reasonable three-to-four-fret span, and pleasing sound. The term “drop two” comes from big band jazz and orchestral arrangers who, when creating parts for four horns or stringed instruments, would number them one to four (typically the highest to lowest notes in a chord voicing).

The reward in these exercises comes from the finger-switching combinations that occur as you change voicings, and the string crossings required by the picking hand. Unless notated otherwise, use strict alternate picking for each example, and be sure to work with a metronome, starting at a slow tempo. Strive for good tone and accuracy instead of speed, which will come naturally after playing these slowly and faithfully over the course of a month."

Drop Two Chord Arpeggios is available to download and is complete with tab, notation, and 22 minutes of video instruction.


Weekly Workout is a series of monthly exercises made up of interesting technical workouts that will get your fretting- and picking-hand fingers working in different ways, and offer musical studies that will help you visualize and explore the fingerboard. In every lesson, you’ll get a different exercise to work on for each week of the month, as well as a few extra variations and extended practice ideas.


Excerpted from Weekly Workout: Drop Two Arpeggios