Hey there, and welcome to The Essential Guide to Jazz Blues Comping!
I believe you’ll really enjoy what this course has to offer, as I’m sure many of you have encountered the same frustrating barriers and “brick walls” that we all do at some point, especially where “comping” is concerned. This course will help you play and create more interesting and colorful chordal arrangements. It’s all about “color” and depth.
We’ll be using the “ole faithful” 12 Bar (I – IV -V) blues progression as the foundation for all the other material that follows. There are many variations of the standard 12 Bar blues form. In addition to expanding on the chordal harmony, we’ll be learning new ways to vary and enhance the chordal colors and “flavors”, and how to apply these in a multitude of chord progression situations.
I created this course with one main thought in mind: For years, my students complained that they wanted to be shown exact chord voicings in sequences that they could use for substitutions in progressions. They couldn’t find many examples in books or on DVDs, etc. They wanted to be shown step by step exactly which chord substitutions to play and exactly how and when to play them.
I was always blown away by guitarists such as my mentors and lifelong friends Larry Coryell and the late, great Joe Beck. As a young aspiring player I simply could not understand how they created such amazingly rich chordal arrangements, until they actually showed me. I was still in over my head for a while though, trying to keep up, and get a grasp of what the heck I was doing, or trying to do.
There are numerous chord books and chord thesauruses. It just takes a little time and effort to seek and find the chord forms you like, and just experiment. There are no SECRET chords! Nevertheless, just as with the modes and improvisation people often do get mystified about chords for various reasons. I know, I’ve been there!
Keep in mind: There are only 3 types of chords in music, and we’re all playing the same 12 notes, so how does one create such diverse and rich chord arrangements? Well, the one thing I finally learned was to start simple, and gradually get more and more complex, but only a little bit at a time. This is a lesson that I’ve learned to apply in general to all my musical efforts, and this course has a “linear” flow where each lesson naturally follows the previous one.
Music theory is kept to a minimum except where necessary, and there is more of a focus on the “organic” process of hearing and playing. The chord forms are relatively easy to play and most fingerings cover only 2 or 3 frets at most, with some exceptions…….but these are not Allen Holdsworth chords with big stretches.
You will be learning, seeing, playing and hearing how to enrich your chord progressions through the use of chord substitutions. This is the process of basically using more complex and colorful chords in the place of their simple “mother” or parent chord. We will explore this in depth in the upcoming lessons. This is a very important and significant part of what jazz accompaniment is all about.
Hope you very much enjoy this course as much as I did creating it.