5 Comping Exercises for Jazz Rhythm on the Blues

Rhythm is much more important than notes. This is very true for jazz and certainly for comping.

The easiest way to learn some new rhythms for your comping is to come up with some small riffs and practice playing those through a chord progression. In this jazz rhythm guitar lesson, I am going to show you 5 great variations on some great Comping rhythms and how they sound through a Blues In F.

Having a solid comping skill set is very important for functioning as a jazz guitarist. Especially if you want to get asked as a sideman, and actually it also really helps you play better solos because you can think with the rhythm section.

This way of really thinking in rhythms as phrases are really important because you can’t think about the notes, you have to hear them.

Content:
0:00 Intro
0:29 5 Exercises with demonstration
1:06 #1 Charleston Rhythm – The Drop2 voicings
2:29 Shell-voicings instead of Drop2
3:34 #1 – Demonstration
4:05 #2 Pulling Forward
7:26 #2 – Demonstration
7:57 #3 Clear Groove
9:28 #3 – Demonstration
10:18 #4 – Up-beat Energy
12:04 #4 – Demonstration
12:36 #5 – Leave it To Bass and Drums
14:24 #5 – Demonstration
14:55 More Drop2 ideas?
15:08 Like the video? Check out My Patreon Page

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20 thoughts on “5 Comping Exercises for Jazz Rhythm on the Blues

  1. Really curious if you find it useful to have these exercises in the video to play along with? I could do that more often I guess 🙂

    0:00 Intro
    0:29 5 Exercises with demonstration
    1:06 #1 Charleston Rhythm – The Drop2 voicings
    2:29 Shell-voicings instead of Drop2
    3:34 #1 – Demonstration
    4:05 #2 Pulling Forward
    7:26 #2 – Demonstration
    7:57 #3 Clear Groove
    9:28 #3 – Demonstration
    10:18 #4 – Up-beat Energy
    12:04 #4 – Demonstration
    12:36 #5 – Leave it To Bass and Drums
    14:24 #5 – Demonstration
    14:55 More Drop2 ideas?
    15:08 Like the video? Check out My Patreon Page

  2. Hi Jens-oh yes, the importance of rhythm!! Can’t sound interesting, unless you have rhythm. Great lesson and thank you. Best,M.

  3. the best jazz guitarist and teacher online … Ive benefitted highly from your lessons for years now and im eternally grateful … And the time stamped lessons are much better i think btw … I hate trying to rewind by hand on youtube ,

    Thanks Jens
    FRANKY..

  4. Definitely useful Jens! Really enjoyed this on comping; simple, yet intricate.

    “If you play too complicated things, then you’re taking away attention from the soloist and that’s not really your job when you’re comping at that point and especially if you’re the sideman of the soloist and he asked you for the gig that’s also an easy way to get fired.” Too funny and ain’t that the truth!

    Thanks Jens and cheers!
    MB

  5. Hi Jens I played with you along! and tried to use your patern to use in my improvised theme! What came to me was that what I learned from Henkmeutgeert;s Blues: Maybe the ending F7-0 D713b9-G7#9 C713b9(on guitar easy to play chromatically downwards…and I sometimes treat the F7 also as a dim so I play Ab7 B7 or D7(or even)13b9 Wes montgomery grip b9 below 3rd and 13 in between 3rd & 2nd string and root uppr
    er sting 1)I found out recently that that works realy nice too…I understand that you are trying to make the easiest version…for everybody doable..I guess you succeeded greatly in that!

  6. other interestin spect maybe is that the 13b9 could also be seen or even substitute a dim-maj7…

  7. My favorite channel for jazz and blues guitar and improvisation! Thanks for the great lesson, Jens!

  8. Hello Jens, very pleased to hear from you; in a recent video, re:chord melody,you mentioned something about PM; I was a little concerned about this ;did it have anything to do with Pat Metheny or something else. My hearing has been bad, recently (bad weather here in Sydney, and as a result I have a middle-ear infection, so I couldn’t quite hear you. I realize that you are very busy, but if you have the time, please contact me via email or sms;again congratulations with your great output, much appreciated.Looking fwd to your next lesson, Best, Max

  9. Hi Jens,
    another great video!

    what do you think about making a video of the standard:“ straight no chaser“ where you explain how you improvise on that song, if you did play that piece 🙂

  10. I think there is very little that is easy about playing jazz so appreciate the advice on an easy way to get fired as a sideman. Good to know lol. This is a great video and appreciate the ability to play along.

  11. jens, i love the way you teach – because most times, really accomplished musicians, when teaching , forget the really basic techniques that we need when we are trying to find information in order to get better. you always hit the spots that i am missing

  12. Great stuff as always Jens! Really great stuff and especially great that you make pdfs for this stuff. Man, it really is incredible and these exercises help me a lot in learning jazz guitar. Ive been playing seriously for about a year and Ive recently started playing with others and I wouldve been completely lost without your comping videos. Also I think its a lot easier to trust someone like you who seems to be a musician first and a teacher second if you know what I mean. When I get advice from people like you or Bob Reynolds it really feels authentic since you are musicians and know what is important. Cheers from Sweden!

  13. Very useful lesson , thanks! Playing along with you is fun and good for my comping skills. Yes you can do that more often.

  14. Hi Jens. How many patterns might you use in a chorus and how do you find the balance. Do you string a few of them together and make something that repeats every 4 bars or so?

  15. Back to the basics 🙂 – very easy but sometimes it is good to back to the fundamentals 🙂

  16. Jens, I love your ideas and lessons. I’ve listened to your live gigs. I’ m begging you to
    To forget everything you tell
    us and play!! I know you can
    close your eyes and play.
    School is out my friend.✌️

  17. Suburb lesson Jens ! Rhythm is the answer. I have always found it helpful to attach word phrases to rhythms and licks. (as in Charleston , # 4 is like the 1st 4 notes of the Dragnet theme). Keep up the great work !

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