F Blues Comping Etude #2 – Riffs and Rhythm


This 2nd lesson on comping on an F blues is based around using riffs and developing a way to take riffs through the form. If you listen to piano players like Wynton Kelly, Horace Silver or Red Garland you will often hear them take a specific pattern and repeat it to create an interesting groovy background for a soloist.

This lesson is for the biggest part about creating and using these riff rhythms, but to make it easy to work with them I have included a small part where I go over how to reduce the chords to their 3rd and 7th + one melody note. This way of playing the chords yields a lot of voicings and we can still think about all these voicings as basically the same 3rd/7th with different melody notes.

In developing the riff there are 2 sections. One is a basic rhythm exercise that demonstrates 3 different rhythms that are strong choices to make riffs with. These are demonstrated in 3 choruses on the backing track.

The 2nd section is a 6 chorus demonstration that I have written out. This example demonstrates a lot of different options in playing riffs and in the lesson I discuss how the different examples work and why I play them the way I do.

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