Jazz Guitar Blues: Comping for Jazz

How to Create Meaningful Accompaniments in Jazz Guitar Blues Comping Contexts

Here’s your starting point for everything jazz guitar blues comping. This video and PDF lesson covers everything you need to get started and jazz up your blues comping.

Use this PDF to learn the 3 basic steps for generating great jazz guitar blues accompaniments. In this video, a simple yet effective method is laid out for you to make the most out of basic chord shapes. Build from the bottom up:

Roots and Guide-Tones

In the first step, you’ll learn how to comp on the jazz guitar blues with basic shell voicings with roots. This the jazz guitar equivalent to the regular barre chords we first learn on the guitar.

If you’re not familiar with comping with shell voicings, head over here to find out about our Comping 101 course…

Guide-Tones with One Extension

In the second step, we examine rootless chords. Starting from the shells in the first step, we remove the root. This means that you’ll be left only with the bare bone essentials for each chord: the third and seventh degree. Notice how does lay very well on strings 4 and 3.

Then we’ll add an extension on the 2nd string of the instrument. This means that for a Bb7 chord, we’ll add the 13th on the 2nd string (a G note), and for the Eb7 chord, we’re adding the 9th on the 2nd string (the F note).

Guide-Tones with Two Extensions

In this third step, we add one more extension to the rootless chords from the previous step. This means that we’ll be playing (mostly) on strings 4, 3, 2 and 1 on the guitar.

Yep! You Bb7 chord is now Bb13 (with a 9th) but without the root. The joy of rootless comping awaits!

Chromaticism in Jazz Guitar Blues Comping

In step 4, you add chromaticism and nice rhythms to make this whole concept your own. Memorize the chord progression and play your own outstanding blues comping at that next jam session!

Hungry? More Blues Here!

Here’s the blues master index page with all blues-related lessons on this website. You might also want to check out the sister lesson on blues improv here … 

And lastly, highly recommended is the blog/video lesson below:


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