Strategies for Meaningful Jazz Blues Comping
Looking to get to work on your jazz blues comping for guitar? This video and PDF lesson will get you started. We'll give you the chords and some cool chord voicings to give you a nice palette to work with!
This PDF will serve as a foundation for you on your quest to generate great jazz blues accompaniment on guitar. We break it down into 3 basic steps in a simple but effective method.
Let's build from the bottom up.
Jazz Blues Comping: Roots and Guide-Tones
In the first step, you'll learn how to comp on the jazz guitar blues with basic shell voicings. You can compare this to the way we first learn barre chords when we're starting out as these shapes are movable and the root is always in the bass.
If you're not familiar with comping using shell voicings, click here here to find out about our Comping 101 course.
Jazz Blues Comping: Rootless 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 these lay out nicely on the 3rd and 4th strings.
Next, we'll add an extension on the 2nd string. 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 (an F note).
Jazz Blues Comping: Guide-Tones with Two Extensions
In this third step, we'll 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.
Yeap! Your Bb7 chord is now Bb13 (with a 9th) but without the root.
The joy of rootless comping awaits!
Jazz Blues Comping: Chromaticism
In this next step, you add chromaticism and some nice rhythms to take this concept and make it your own. Memorize the chord progression and play your own great blues comping at the next jam session!
Hungry for More? Check Out the Master Index
And lastly, I highly recommend the Comping Lesson of Your Dreams.
Get All the Fundamentals of Comping with the Comping Toolkit
Want to learn more about comping in jazz and blues? Check out our comping toolkit with all of the fundamentals you need to get started!
**Note from the editor** This post was updated on 1/15/2019 to improve quality and readability.
Marc-Andre Seguin is the webmaster, “brains behind” and teacher on JazzGuitarLessons.net, the #1 online resource for learning how to play jazz guitar. He draws from his experience both as a professional jazz guitarist and professional jazz teacher to help thousands of people from all around the world learn the craft of jazz guitar.