I have intended for a while to add some more jazz piano resources to the site, so I thought I would start to remedy the lack of piano info. Below is an informative handout on how to create open voicings using the Drop-2 technique. Drop 2 is a powerful (and slick!) technique that allows you to take a closed (less than an octave) voicing and turn it into an open (8ve or more) voicing. It’s a great way to take voicings you already know and stretch them further, by turning a left hand only voicing into a two-handed voicing. For example, you can take the Rootless ii-V-I voicings posted earlier on the site and turn them into two-handed Drop-2 voicings. You can also alternate Major 6th and diminished chords to harmonize a major or minor scale, a la Barry Harris. Enjoy!
Below is a transcription of excerpts from the Barry Harris Masterclass YouTube video (viewable below). Mr. Harris uses some incredible Drop-2 voicings here and some beautiful contrary motion.
Here’s the video. Behold the skill of the great Barry Harris:
I took my favorite parts from that transcription and put them through all 12 keys. These are great exercises to develop new sounds in all keys and to workout some new Drop-2 voicings.