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Gibsons Learn & Master Guitar with Steve Krenz

Jazz Guitar: Rhythm Comping

GUITAR STYLES

In a jazz setting the guitarist is often in an accompanying or comping role. intermediate Many nights I have been on a bandstand with an amazing big band looking out over a sea of dancers on the dance floor as I play this style of comping. It can be a very fun and creative way to approach the guitar. One of the most popular jazz big bands was the Count Basie band and their guitarist, Freddie Green, developed this method of jazz guitar rhythm guitar playing. Its often called the Freddie Green approach to jazz rhythm guitar.

The Freddie Green Approach

The Freddie Green approach to jazz comping involves several key elements.
Quarter note rhythm giving it a chunk, chunk, chunk sound. Emphasis on beats 2 and 4. Chords played short using a rhythmic clenching movement in the fretting hand. Primarily 3-note chords played on the lower 4 strings: 6th, 5th, 4th, and 3rd strings.

Chord Forms and Voicings


Major 7th Jazz Chords

The chord tones in the forms are broken down to their most important elementsthe third, the seventh, and the root or fifth. Here are four types of chord forms that are common in jazz rhythm guitar playing.

6th String Root Minor 7th Jazz Chords

5th String Root

5th String Root (Omitted) with 5th in Bass

6th String Root

5th String Root

5th String Root (Omitted) with 5th in Bass

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Guitar Styles: Jazz Guitar - Rhythm Comping

Gibsons Learn & Master Guitar with Steve Krenz

Dominant 7th Jazz Chords

6th String Root

5th String Root

5th String Root (Omitted) with 5th in Bass

Diminished 7th Jazz Chords (Fully Diminished)

6th String Root

Jazz Comping Exercise 1

Now that youve learned some new forms, lets put them to work in a few chord progressions.

Jazz Comping Exercise 2

Jazz Comping Exercise 3

Jazz Comping Exercise 4

Practice these new chord forms and get them under your fingers. After you learn them, you will be able to chunk like Freddie Green all night long with any big band around. Then all you need is a black suit and youll be ready for your next jazz gig! For more ideas and instruction check out the award-winning Gibsons Learn & Master Guitar course at www.LearnAndMaster.com and the lessons section at www.gibson.com for all the help you need to become the player you want to be!

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Guitar Styles: Jazz Guitar - Rhythm Comping