Weekly Workouts: Drop Two Chord Arpeggios


The 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. Although we’re presenting these as weekly exercises, there are numerous ways you can approach them, of course. Do whatever feels right for you.

This Weekly Workout is titled Drop Two Chord Arpeggios, which invites players to strengthen their picking and fretting hands with popular four-note chord voicings. From Sean 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). This is comparable to SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) parts in a four-part vocal choir.

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