One of the nicest things about playing jazz is Jazz comping where you play fills and small melodic statements behind the soloist. In this video I am going to go over a very easy way to get started playing jazz chords like this, starting with a very simple version of the chords and an easy way to add melodies to these chords.
I am going to demonstrate this on a Bb jazz blues. Starting with reduced shell voicings and expanding this into a set of chords that you can make melodies with while comping. I also demonstrate how this might work on the blues.
Reducing the voicings for comping
The first thing we need to do is to find some really easy chords for the blues. The way I am going to do that in this video is to just play the 3rd and 7th of each chord. This is also a great way to practice knowing the notes of the chords.
Cm7: Bb, Eb
F7: A, Eb
Before we start adding different variations to the chords to open up how we play them the we can Take this through the Blues this sounds like this:
Getting more options for each chord when comping
This way of playing the chords is pretty easy and is actually giving us a very clear sound of the chords.
To be able to play some more interesting melodies we need have some different melody notes. We already have one, namely the top note of each chord.
The way to do this is to add two more notes on the next string.
Bb7: D F G, 3,5,13
Eb: Db Eb F b7,1,9
G7: F, Ab, Bb b7,b9,#9
Cm7: Eb, F, G 3,11,5
F7: Eb,Gb,Ab b7,b9,#9
Before we start improvising with this we can play this through the Blues as an exercise:
To get started improvising it can be a good idea to work a bit per chord. In the video I give a short example on a Bb7 that you can check out.
Jazz Comping in Action
Once you get a bit more familiar with the chords you can play through the blues likes this:
Make chord voicings easier to remember.
Connecting different types of voicings is important because it makes it easier to use, remember and understand
An important thing to notice here is that the chords on Bb7 are really just like rootless versions of chords you probably already know. If we think about the chords as different variations based on the middle tritone Ab D (marked red) then we have this:
Take your comping further
If you want to check out more on how to practice and think about comping you can check out this lesson on comping on Autumn Leaves:
Get the PDF!
You can also download the PDF of my examples here:
The Best Jazz Comping Concept Awesome and Easy
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