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Bb Blues Comping

Hey there! Why not talk about comping… the way too often forgotten of our practice sessions. The coolest thing about comping is that it might get you a job if you are good at it! Although I have no idea what I am talking about since I never got any jobs for my comping abilities, but that’s what everyone say so it might have some truth into it.

So for this lesson I decided to go upside down and to show you the result first… I am tired of writing text… I WANT TO PLAY! Just kidding, but in fact there is so much to say on this subject that I thought it would be great to have an example to refer to and avoid that all the ideas and concept become too abstract.

That is why; I will not explain any substitution or re-harmonization concepts here. What I would like is that you pay attention to the voice leading between chord changes, the melody  and the rhythm. You will notice that:

  • The voice leading is more accentuated in chord changes than when moving shapes of the same chord.
  • The melody come from a variety of melodic material; chord tones, minor blues pentatonic, passing tones…
  • the rhythm is varying between syncopated chords and ‘on beat’ chords. Long sustain, long rest…. etc

Those three points are the foundation of a good comping, the rest is ‘gravy’. In the next lesson(s) I will go through all the concepts I have used in this little comping etude. Enjoy!



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