Countless books and videos have been produced on chord voicings that are useful for comping, but the other half (and arguably the more important half) of the equation is rhythm.

What rhythms does one use for comping?

The typical answer is to listen to recordings of the great jazz pianists and guitarists and copy them. While this can be a useful practice, it can be daunting to figure out where to start.

This class takes some of the most common and effective comping rhythms and related techniques and breaks them down in a systematic, step-by-step manner that is logical, straight-forward, and easy to understand and assimilate.

In addition, we will also learn to hear these rhythms, feel them, and play them accurately so that they lock in and groove with an experienced rhythm section.

The written examples use chord grids, traditional notation, and tablature that show the practical applications of these ideas.

While this class applies these comping rhythms and techniques to the blues, they are equally applicable to many other situations.

Comping the Blues part 1: Comping Rhythms covers:

  • brief overview of creating basic shell voicings which are used in the class
  • typical jazz blues chord changes in the keys of Bb and F with brief harmonic analysis
  • a few essential comping rhythms with different articulations
  • variation of the basic rhythms using displacement and multiple combinations of eighth- and quarter-notes
  • adding anticipations to create rhythmic drive and excitement
  • half-step approach chords, both with and without anticipations
  • separation of the parts of the chord to provide textural and rhythmic variety
  • incorporation of rootless voicings for playing with a bassist
  • 69 minute running time
  • includes 7 pages of written examples and exercises
  • All example performances are titled and numbered for easy navigation. Examples are shown in close-up where pertinent.
  • MP3 backing tracks are provided for written examples, as well as full-length tracks for comping practice.

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Class Content

Full Class + Download
Comping the Blues part 1: Comping Rhythms 01:09:23

Course Reviews


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  1. Great place to start


    I have downloaded a lot of Tom’s lessons and I find myself going back to them frequently because there is so much useful information packed into each of them. This is a great place to start learning some rhythmic comping ideas. I am really looking forward to part 2 where he will discuss different chord voicings. If you are new to Tom’s videos I would suggest that this is a good one to start with, then be sure to check out his Blues A Modern Jazz Guitar series. I recently reviewed part 1 of that series and it really helped me create some more interesting lines in my soloing.

  2. Comping the Blues part 1


    Really helpful and informative for the first time I’m feeling the rhythm correctly . The taping exercises really help cement the feel . He clearly explains everything ! This was a good lesson for me …would recommend to any jazz beginner

    by Willie Stephens
  3. Comping The Blues Part 1 & 2


    I’m working on both Part 1 & 2. As to be expected from Tom these course are excellent. Very complete and informative. Thanks Tom.

    by Blair Hunter
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