Octave Drop Chord Building 2

So far we’ve looked at these less-obvious octave shapes…

…and used them to map out an overlapping series of C voicings:

The result was (for the most part) the same familiar C chord we’ve all played countless times:

This time out, we’ll use the same logic and methodology to map out some less-familiar territory.


Octave Drop Shape #2

Before we start displacing octaves across the strings, let’s take a quick look at how this shape links to our previous Octave Drop String.

If the third fret of one E string is G, then of course the third fret of the other E string is also G.


But how did I get the rest of that C triad? Well, on some level you could say that the only feasible C and E we can play are those ones, but the truth is that I already knew this shape well.


We’ll start with this C major triad:

…which you may also recognize from this C barre chord:

Starting with the highest note (G), we’re displacing it by an octave/dropping it from the 1st string to the 4th string.

Again, we can do this by having a firm grasp of our note names, or we can do this by visualizing octave shapes.


Beware Of Inertia

Because this all maps neatly to barre chords we’re already familiar with, your first instinct may be to reach for this:

But for our purposes that would be wrong.


C-G-C isn’t a C major triad—it’s missing the note E.

Again, using either note names or octave shapes, you should arrive at this:

And then we’ll do this move one more time to drop the C from the 3rd string to the 6th.

Taken all together, Octave Shape #2 looks like this:

It’s worth mentioning that I’m not asking you to play all the notes in that 5th example all at once—no one’s hands are that big.


In a future unit we’ll play them as a series of arpeggios, but for now it’s enough for you to be able to play each of the 3-note voicings and think of each of them as a C chord.


See you in the next lesson,