Comping the Blues part 2: Voicings

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Comping the Blues part 2: Voicings Class Content | Tom Lippincott

Picking up where part 1 left off, part 2 explores a logical and systematic way to create chord voicings on a jazz blues that are rich in color and textural variety. The rootless chords used as the basis of this approach are perfect for playing in situations with a bass player and particularly in groups where the guitarist is the only comping instrument. Many of these voicings are incorporated by the great jazz pianists and guitarists in their comping. If you’ve ever been frustrated by the stock “jazz guitar” voicings and have wondered how some of the legends like Wynton Kelly, Red Garland, Joe Pass, Jim Hall, and others get that lush but funky sound on a jazz blues, then this class is for you. You’ll discover simple ways to incorporate smooth voice-leading, oblique and contrary contrapuntal motion, and an effective melody in the top voice. This approach, while coherently organized, will also encourage you to eventually be able to create your own chord voicings on the fly for even more access to creative playing and following what is happening in the moment rather than being stuck playing the same old “grips.”

While these voicings are specially tailored for comping on a blues in a straight-ahead jazz setting, many, if not all, of them can be easily ported over to other standards and jazz tunes and even different styles of music.

Comping the Blues part 2: Voicings covers:

  • a few basic common-practice guidelines for adding color tones to the chords on a jazz blues
  • exploration of different color tones on shell voicings covered in class 1
  • incorporation of both 3-note and 4-note chords with various mixtures of color tones and chord tones
  • discussion of altered color tones on dominant chords: when to use which ones
  • explanation of the “inner 9th” concept used in Jazz Guitar Harmony, with expanded possibilities
  • various chord synonyms that can make learning new voicings easier
  • comping etudes on Bb and F blues incorporating the voicings, rhythms, and techniques from class 1
  • thorough investigation of various common jazz blues chord substitutions incorporated into examples
  • moving the shell voicing to the lower strings to increase the possibilities for tone color on the upper three strings
  • final two-chorus comping etude presenting a summation of all techniques and ideas explored in both classes
  • 103 minute running time
  • includes 20 pages of written examples and exercises
  • All example performances are titled and numbered for easy navigation. Examples are shown in close-up view where pertinent.
  • MP3 backing tracks are provided for written examples, as well as full-length tracks for comping practice.
Full Class + Download
Comping the Blues part 2: Voicings 01:43:04

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