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  1. #1

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    I've noticed that when guitar players comp for another guitar player one on one, at least from the limited ones I've seen, that they tend to walk bass or play chord voicings within the bottom 3 or 4 strings (E, A, D, G)?

    Perhaps done to stay out of the other guitarist's way?

    Is this a common practice, to stay out of the other guitar player's 'range' or ... just a coincidence?

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  3. #2

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    Depends on who's doing the comping...I've heard plenty of other ways of doing it.

    Honestly, if I was playing with another guitar player, the low chords would be fine...but I really think walking bass is a "use sparingly" effect on guitar. An electric guitar does NOT have the same tone as a bass in my opinion, and it could get cluttered fast.

    As for the low chords, maybe not too much with the E and A strings together, but with a brighter tone I hear some modern guys doing that and it sounds great.

    In a "straight ahead" environment, I think of Jimmy and Doug Raney as the gold standard.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by jobabrinks
    I've noticed that when guitar players comp for another guitar player one on one, at least from the limited ones I've seen, that they tend to walk bass or play chord voicings within the bottom 3 or 4 strings (E, A, D, G)?

    Perhaps done to stay out of the other guitarist's way?

    Is this a common practice, to stay out of the other guitar player's 'range' or ... just a coincidence?
    This is a question I've been meaning to ask for a long time. Thanks for posting this.

    The Jimmy and Doug Raney stuff that Mr Beaumont mentioned is on a level that I'll certainly never achieve in this lifetime. Amazing playing.

    I'm a rank beginner and mediocre guitarist, but I do get together with another guitarist once a week. I need him play the "1" in every measure and stay away from any fancy stuff on the high strings or I get thrown off. When I comp for him I stay primarily on the bottom 4 strings with occasional voicings that include the B-string. I'm trying to comp for him the way I want him to comp for me.

    At this stage of the game I'll probably never play with a band or even a bass player. 2 guitars is where my interest is so I try to watch as many as I can find. From my observations straight up 4-to-the-bar on the lower strings seems to be the most common way of comping for another guitarist. I saw Jack Wilkins play with a local semi-pro player and when he comped it was simple 4-to-the-bar on the lower strings with an occasional walking bass line. Watch Frank Vignola with Jimmy Bruno, Vinny Raniolo, Bucky Pizzarelli, etc.

    In fact, I'd call it "rhythm" playing rather than "comping". That's not my idea. I saw Rich Severson interviewing John Pisano and Pisano drew a clear disticntion between comping and playing rhythm.

    I'm getting off on a tangent here. I agree with your observations and would say that it's fairly common practice.

    I'm really interested in this and would love to here what the experienced people have to say about this.

  5. #4

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    As a regular club-jam participant I often find myself and a pianist comping for another guitarist. Job number one: Communicate with pianist; avoid doubling- and tripling-up. Job number two: Support soloist actively and musically from both the harmonic and rhythmic standpoints.

    My "experience" -- which, on this forum, is almost laughable -- is that leaving rhythmic space is even more important than avoiding any particular register. Wait until you're musically needed before chording. If a horn-style riff or countermelody in octaves works, that's fewer notes to collide with the soloist.

    Seek the space between hanging somebody out to dry and stepping on the soloist, however briefly.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jobabrinks
    I've noticed that when guitar players comp for another guitar player one on one, at least from the limited ones I've seen, that they tend to walk bass or play chord voicings within the bottom 3 or 4 strings (E, A, D, G)?

    Perhaps done to stay out of the other guitarist's way?

    Is this a common practice, to stay out of the other guitar player's 'range' or ... just a coincidence?
    I do a fair amount of guitar duet stuff. I tend to walk a lot, and play sparse, low voicings; my partner in crime tends walk less and to play denser, higher voicings. But we also both switch it around a bit, and play motifs, rhythmic figures, 4-to-the-bar, charleston, counter-melodies, etc. I'd say the main themes to this are 1. stay out of each others way (I go high when he goes low, etc.) 2. maintain a sense of pulse and motion (hence walking bass lines) 3. give tunes a sense of arrangement and identity rather than just melody+blowing 4. differentiate between player one and player two. Throughout, all this the biggest key is to listen and be responsive to what the other guy is doing.

    John

  7. #6

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    A guitar duo that seems to do this pretty well is Andy Brown and Howard Alden. There are a number of YouTube videos of them playing both in a group and just as a guitar duo. Both do what I consider to be a great job.

  8. #7


    One of the instances I mentioned, but there are many others...

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jobabrinks


    One of the instances I mentioned, but there are many others...
    I bought this whole video from Truefire when it first came out. There's so much to be learned by watching these two interact. The slow down feature has really come in handy.

  10. #9

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    That's really nice ...

    Frank sound like he's playing with brushes ...wonderful ...

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jobabrinks
    I've noticed that when guitar players comp for another guitar player one on one, at least from the limited ones I've seen, that they tend to walk bass or play chord voicings within the bottom 3 or 4 strings (E, A, D, G)?Perhaps done to stay out of the other guitarist's way?Is this a common practice, to stay out of the other guitar player's 'range' or ... just a coincidence?
    The priorities of the comping player in this scenario will likely be:

    Play the song
    This means providing the rhythm and harmony for the soloist, using chords

    Make the song sound best
    This means making judgement with respect to the song as to what makes the song sound best, so choosing the appropriate rhythm styles and chord forms, and doing this with regard to the soloist, so choosing styles and forms that do not cover, cloud, or clash but support and help feature the soloist (staying out of the soloists' way, both rhythmically and harmonically)

    Make the soloist sound best
    This means playing to the soloist's strengths and weaknesses (or often the same thing, their preferences), so for an advanced soloist who explores more rhythmic or harmonic freedom the appropriate styles and forms might be relatively simple, but for a simple soloist they often sound best if the accompaniment is more complex... it really depends and you have to use your musical judgement, as in all things Jazz

  12. #11

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    some double barreled comping is always nice...



    cheers

  13. #12

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  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by jobabrinks


    One of the instances I mentioned, but there are many others...

    Hes not comping. That's rhythm guitar. And outstanding rhythm guitar, I must say.

  15. #14

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    For me one important thing is paying attention to your range, which usually means playing lower notes and voicings, as the soloist will probably be playing higher. Also to practice minimalism, to try to support the music playing as little as possible. Try to break up and imply the rhythm rather than constantly playing it. With a good partner, try to focus on interplay, as it can really make a difference in how interesting a duet sounds.

  16. #15

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    I find listening to two jazz guitarists to be mostly unappealing, and in reality, often view it as a forced economic compromise, rather than an artistic choice. Not always true, but often enough to be another pity facing lack of jazz opportunities.

    Is comping for another guitarist really that different than comping for a trumpet or sax??

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Hes not comping. That's rhythm guitar. And outstanding rhythm guitar, I must say.
    Yeah Frank has a wonderfully loose right hand
    Birrelli is amazing at that too ....

  18. #17

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    Danny W.

  19. #18

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    Yea... just like all the other skills, there really is much more to it.

    The tune, the arrangement and how the performance is organized...

    There are some standard common practice approaches, that are basically part of what arrangements and Styles imply.

    And yea... there are standard technical skills, which you should be aware of and together before you can probable even try and use them. I mean if you aren't aware of the standard Line cliche's, montunos, chord patterns and all the other harmonic BS. It's pretty difficult to use your ears and then actually interact and improv with a soloist.

    Most just use what chords and licks they have memorized and try to create a counter part or what ever style you or the music implies.

    I would suggest becoming aware of the standard styles and the standard rhythmic and sectional parts that reflect that style. The standard harmonic chord patterns and melodic lead lines, (the melody or licks of the style), which imply the harmony and feels of those styles.

    A lot of players have been using the Drumgenius phone app for examples of styles and variations with different feels and tempo. Which seems great, most don't want to really go in the theory, harmony etc... approach. I use the app to give drummers or rhythm section examples of feels for head arrangement at gigs... when musical terms or notational examples aren't going to work.

    Anyway, there can be a lot to actually comping. The most important and starting point.... have your TIME together. You can suck at almost any other aspect, but you just can't screw up TIME. It's pretty lousy when soloing... and also need to keep time and imply the basic harmony etc... ( I know, that should be a given).

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I find listening to two jazz guitarists to be mostly unappealing, and in reality, often view it as a forced economic compromise, rather than an artistic choice. Not always true, but often enough to be another pity facing lack of jazz opportunities.

    Is comping for another guitarist really that different than comping for a trumpet or sax??
    Maybe he's asking the question because he has an opportunity to play with another guitarist and not a trumpet or sax player. I know in my case that's the situation.

    I would venture to guess that many who read this forum are never going to play in a band. However, there's a high probability that they might find another guitarist who plays at their level and wants to have some fun playing and learning together.

    Everybody doesn't play at your level, Gumbo. Everybody is not in your situation. Everybody doesn't share your tastes. Lots of us have questions that you might think are stupid and mundane but are important to us.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I find listening to two jazz guitarists to be mostly unappealing, and in reality, often view it as a forced economic compromise, rather than an artistic choice. Not always true, but often enough to be another pity facing lack of jazz opportunities.

    Is comping for another guitarist really that different than comping for a trumpet or sax??
    I agree with you about listening to two jazz guitarist; I typically will not purchase such a recording but there are exceptions (e.g. The Remler \ Coryell recording).

    BUT that wasn't the point of this thread; many amateurs guitar players, like myself, have friends that also play guitar. Therefore we are stuck with playing with each other. It was only in the last 8 years that I became friends with a piano player and now I jam with him once a week or so. Of course I WISH I could find other amateur non-guitarist jazz musicians to jam with,,,, but I have found that to be difficult.

    I do agree that comping for a trumpet or sax isn't "that different" than it is for another guitarist. For the guitar player, the difference occurs when they solo since that has to be done without accompaniment.

    As I'm sure you know comping for a piano player is much different, but the good thing is that the piano player doesn't "need" anyone else.
    Thus spare playing is preferred. (and even when I just sit-out the piano player overplays his hand - pun intended).
    Last edited by jameslovestal; 12-19-2019 at 05:46 PM.

  22. #21

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    the great john pisano was on many classic joe pass recordings...he was joes right hand man...joe wanted no other...they later even did a duets recording



    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 12-19-2019 at 06:06 PM. Reason: cl-

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack E Blue
    Lots of us have questions that you might think are stupid and mundane but are important to us.
    Sorry I gave you that impression. I gave a serious comment on what seemed like a serious question. Not stupid.

    Here's some good two guitar stuff.


  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Hes not comping. That's rhythm guitar. And outstanding rhythm guitar, I must say.
    I wondered if anyone was going to "go there". I found this definition of "comping":

    "the action of playing a musical accompaniment, especially in jazz or blues".

    Of course I'm not saying this is THE definition, but based on this, playing rhythm guitar, with another musician would be a "musical accompaniment". (so maybe you were making a wise crack?).

    If not, this makes me curious how you define "comping". E.g. when there are only two guitars can one ever 'comp' for the other (or is that just playing rhythm guitar).

    Sorry for so many questions that at the end of the day are rather meaningless. BUT I did get something out of the video of Frank and Jimmy: their technique of backing the other was 180 degrees different.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    I wondered if anyone was going to "go there". I found this definition of "comping":

    "the action of playing a musical accompaniment, especially in jazz or blues".

    Of course I'm not saying this is THE definition, but based on this, playing rhythm guitar, with another musician would be a "musical accompaniment". (so maybe you were making a wise crack?).

    If not, this makes me curious how you define "comping". E.g. when there are only two guitars can one ever 'comp' for the other (or is that just playing rhythm guitar).

    Sorry for so many questions that at the end of the day are rather meaningless. BUT I did get something out of the video of Frank and Jimmy: their technique of backing the other was 180 degrees different.
    I generally think of comping as an accompaniment that's not necessarily in strict time. In my big band the piano player generally comps while I play strict rhythm. In a small group setting I usually do a mix of both.

    Danny W.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    I wondered if anyone was going to "go there". I found this definition of "comping":

    "the action of playing a musical accompaniment, especially in jazz or blues".

    Of course I'm not saying this is THE definition, but based on this, playing rhythm guitar, with another musician would be a "musical accompaniment". (so maybe you were making a wise crack?).

    If not, this makes me curious how you define "comping". E.g. when there are only two guitars can one ever 'comp' for the other (or is that just playing rhythm guitar).

    Sorry for so many questions that at the end of the day are rather meaningless. BUT I did get something out of the video of Frank and Jimmy: their technique of backing the other was 180 degrees different.
    There’s sometimes a bit of confusion over the terminology I think. Some people make a distinction between that 4-to-the-bar style (aka ‘Freddie Green’) (= ‘rhythm guitar’), and other ‘looser’ types of accompaniment (= ‘comping’). Herb Ellis makes this distinction in one of his videos on YouTube.

    A good example of the ‘comping’ would be any of the Jimmy and Doug Raney duet tracks you can find on YouTube.

    For 2 guitars either approach can be used depending on preferences, the kind of tune, skill level etc.

  27. #26

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    7-string guitar, perfect for working with another guitarist, or any other instrumentalist or vocalist. One can maintain a nice, round, warm bass line while comping over it. I learned my approach by trying to sound like the Jim Hall-Ron Carter duo rather than Bucky Pizzarelli or Van Eps, whose approaches are wonderful but more orchestral. I even take "bass" solos while the other guitar-holder comps for me.

    Beats working for a living.

  28. #27

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    Yea... love John Pisano and Pass together... as duo or in ensemble.

    Anyway... so if your just having fun... or performing at festival There are generally different results, or at least you are trying for different results. When performing, unless your a star and have hit after hit to perform... you usually need to have your performance be in the entertaining style, the audience is who your performing for. And if your there, you should already have your skills together.

    We're not there, right, so we're talking about developing skills that help you perform tunes, in different styles and create interesting and entertaining performances of Tunes.

    So there are basic and advanced comping or accompaniment, parts of an arrangement. Take any tune, in any style... they all fit within forms, the sections of time that repeat. The better you get, and the better the players your performing with.... the more you can spontaneously or in the moment... adjust or develop the performance... Live.

    Live performance is always enjoyable to watch, it's exciting and audiences become involved in the performance... OK, we're probably not there yet either. I'm just trying help show you where playing tunes can go... When your develop skills, in duos performance skills, your able to create many versions of the same music and have organization of how you perform with those versions using performance skills.

    Example... most can add Tags or interludes of simple vamps... right. like at end of solo, vamp on a II- V7 , like on Wave etc...

    The II V is a prearranged 2 chord vamp with preorganized feel and development . So there are many other similar devices.

    So... really when you playing in a Duo, in a jazz style.... your creating an arrangement of the tune, Live.

    Like I posted above... there are tons of boring standard technical skills and arranging techniques that, (like simple II V tag), are part of what comping or accompany can become when performing in Duos. But it's not like you just start using them... they require practicing, just like working on basic lead line comping etc...

    It's complicated and there are many technical skills that need to become internalized. Would become a large detailed Thread in itself.

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    It's complicated and there are many technical skills that need to become internalized. Would become a large detailed Thread in itself.
    What are you imagining a thread like that would look like? Are you talking technical or musical/performance skills? Or first one, then the other?

  30. #29

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    Hey Matt... don't know exactly. Probable together... but the performance would obviously follow skills etc...

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny W.


    Danny W.
    They were great. I believe that Carl Kress used fifths tuning as follows. B?-F-C-G-D-A. And, he tuned the A string down an octave.

    As far as two guitars together -- for me, it's all about time feel.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by WILSON 1
    Ramon Banda on drums. He passed away this last year. I was lucky enough to play with him once. Great drummer and great human being.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soccerpoodle
    Ramon Banda on drums. He passed away this last year. I was lucky enough to play with him once. Great drummer and great human being.
    Nice video; I assume it was taken in Southern California, given Mundell Lowe and Frank Potenza lived in the are. Frank is still around and many in my circle of friends have taken lessons from him. Maybe this is Steamers? (or it could be a now closed Japanese Restaurant that was in Huntington Beach, where I saw Lowe with Ron Eschete a few times, that I have a bootleg recording of).

    I have seen Ramon Banda at Steamers many times with Eschete as well as others. Fine musician.

  34. #33

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    Not sure where it is either. I played with Ramon at a gig in Claremont, California. He was just getting ready to record with Joey DeFrancesco. Humble guy who treated me very well even though he was used to playing with much better players.

  35. #34

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    From the YouTube page:
    L.A. jazz guitarist Frank Potenza and jazz guitar legend Mundell Lowe, along with Rob Thorsen on bass and drummer Ramon Banda in a tribute to the late, great Joe Pass. Jan 13, 2013 performance honoring the Birthday of Joe Pass at the First Christian Church Oceanside, California.

  36. #35

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    Was going to post something from the Chuck Wayne/Joe Puma Interactions album but just watched this wonderful duet (which is less apropos to the comping question) so here goes:


  37. #36

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    Jack Wilkins and Peter Bernstein:


  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I find listening to two jazz guitarists to be mostly unappealing [...] Is comping for another guitarist really that different than comping for a trumpet or sax??
    If the soloist only plays single lines, there is no difference, but more varied timbres for the audience. I played mostly as a duo and trio with a saxophonist and a percussionist, 7 strings guitar. The saxophonist played alto & soprano sax and bass clarinet, which allowed him to make bass lines when I improvised single lines. The only advantage of the guitar duo is to be able to alternate roles. The percussionist, how many, also sang with classical guitar, but he knew nothing about jazz. Sometimes I'd do a counter-melody on his songs. It gave a pretty varied show, and I think not too boring. The hardest part was getting them to accept the outfits of our group Cha' Ba' Da


  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont

    In a "straight ahead" environment, I think of Jimmy and Doug Raney as the gold standard.
    A great example of Jimmy Raney's comping is on "Play Along with Jimmy Raney" Volume 20 in the Jamey Aebersold series. You can separate the music with bass and drums on the left and comping guitar on the left. Pan to the left and you have Mr. Raney comping par excellence.

    Doug

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug B
    "Play Along with Jimmy Raney" in the Jamey Aebersold series. You can separate the music with bass and drums on the left and comping guitar on the left...
    certainly, but in this case, there is no interaction, no dialogue, the accompanist can not take into account what you play and as Pauln says in #10 "Make the soloist sound best". I guess if Jimmy Raney did the comping for you, he wouldn't play like in this Play-Along. It's a bit like Canada Dry Jazz : "The color of jazz, the taste of jazz but it is not jazz". So I, too, played with some very good jazz musicians from Aebersold... who never heard me. Fortunately!
    Last edited by Patlotch; 01-28-2020 at 03:08 AM.

  41. #40

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    So have we come up with a list of skills, techniques etc... that can be learned and practiced, internalized etc...
    -Make the soloist sound best... if we break that down?
    yea backing the soloist, vocalist or the melody etc... is part of comping.

    Personally the obvious things are yea... don't step on the soloist or who ever is out front. But what generally works better... is to have understanding of what the arrangement of the tune your play is or could become. What organizations of Space...Form etc... work together and how they relate to other organizations of performance.

    Variations of everything and the organization of how they work together. Are all part of performance. If you just played and follow a few basic concepts... your going to get boring if your playing more than a few tunes. Great players can entertain with great playing.... but great performances work better within organized forms. Even just head arrangement or verbal arrangement right before performance.
    -Maybe start a list of physical performance techniques and break them down into physical guitar techniques.
    -Then a list of musically organized performance and arrangement techniques, within styles etc...
    -then maybe take three tunes and practice organizing different performances that reflect those lists of performance and style skills.

    You'll come up with many comping approaches and possibilities of using them together when performing. Just a thought.... I'll gladly be part of.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patlotch
    certainly, but in this case, there is no interaction, no dialogue, the accompanist can not take into account what you play and as Pauln says in #10 "Make the soloist sound best". I guess if Jimmy Raney did the comping for you, he wouldn't play like in this Play-Along. It's a bit like Canada Dry Jazz : "The color of jazz, the taste of jazz but it is not jazz". So I, too, played with some very good jazz musicians from Aebersold... who never heard me. Fortunately!

    I was only mentioning the JR recording as an example of how he might comp. I never implied or intended to mean that there was interaction, dialog, etc,etc.

  43. #42

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    I haven’t read all the comments here, but a lot of otherwise very consummate players often seem to struggle a bit what playing with other guitar players. Not all I’m glad to say.

    The main thing I think is to make an evaluation of who you are playing with. If your duo partner has secure time then you don’t need to spell it out so much. if they are playing a lot of interesting accents you don’t need to play interesting rhythms yourself, unless they leave a gap. Perhaps they might be suggesting some groove or clave to lock into.

    on the other hand if your partner is a little inexperienced or unsure you can support them a lot more, and use simpler voicings and clear repeated rhythmic patterns to help them feel the groove.

    in terms of voicings I have to say a pet hate is when someone drops extensions in my soloing register. It’s particularly egregious on dominant chords because you might well be playing a semitone clash between a 9 and a b9 or something.

    but you can be very creative in how you move between and target chords.

    listen. Play simple when the other plays busier and vice versa. If in doubt lay out. Also dynamics can help here too, aim to be under the level of the soloist.

    lage Lund has said guitarists tend to play their voicings too high and I’m inclined to agree. However chords with the bottom three strings can be a bit too heavy to use all the time.

    2 note shells are a good shout, single bass notes (but not necessarily walking lines) and the odd proper chord for emphasis.

    Bb7 - 6 x 6 x x x
    Eb7 - 6 x 5 x x x
    Eb7 - x 4 5 x x x

    and so on....

  44. #43

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    I can attest for personal experience that Peter Bernstein is an absolute master at duo comping with an amazing ability to ascertain the best way to play for the other player.

    Here he is with forum member Jordan Klemons, who has helpfully transcribed his comping on Jordan’s solo:



    there’s a lot to appreciate here, not just the voicings but the creative nature of Peters rhythms which nonetheless never lose the swing or sense of groundedness in the tempo. Jordan’s a very strong player obviously which gives Peter more leeway to be creative .

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    lage Lund has said guitarists tend to play their voicings too high and I’m inclined to agree. However chords with the bottom three strings can be a bit too heavy to use all the time.

    2 note shells are a good shout, single bass notes (but not necessarily walking lines) and the odd proper chord for emphasis.
    naturally, you should prefer the 3-notes chords on the set of strings ExDG, or AxGB at the top of the fingerboard (~ up to freight 8 ...). Complete chords in drop2 on EADG are often too heavy, and it is better to clear the bass, walking bass or not. If the soloist goes up in the treble, of course we can play higher ...
    Last edited by Patlotch; 01-28-2020 at 02:46 PM.

  46. #45

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    A good exercise is to record yourself comping for a few choruses, then try to play along with it. You soon find out how bad your time is and how annoying your comping style is for someone else!

    I tried this and found a few things to improve:

    - play a chord on beat 1 of the bar, at least quite often. I had a habit of always playing the chord on the ‘and’ of beat 1. Probably sounds cool and hip if you’re playing with a great rhythm section, but in a duo situation it just sounds confusing, when soloing it kept throwing me off knowing where ‘one’ was.

    - work on getting the time better, this is where at least hitting ‘one’ accurately really helps the soloist.

    - keep the rhythms fairly simple, e.g. Charleston type things a lot of the time. Again I was trying to be hip and play too many fancy rhythms. For more variety play some chords short, some long, rather than lots of clever rhythmic patterns.

    - keep the chords fairly simple, obvious really. Keeping to the bottom 4 strings seems to help (e.g. use strings 6,4,3 or 5,4,3).


    I think if you listen carefully to those Raney duets, they are doing stuff like this a lot more than you would think, I got some ideas from them.

  47. #46

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    I was fortunate to have a guitarist and bandmate work with me for over 20 yrs..we would rip apart songs and experiment with chord subs and voicings and work over the melodies of tunes..

    and as other have said if you know the tune..you may have more freedom to experiment a bit..if your playing with another guitarist and he does not know your style .. you should talk about that a bit

    If your playing a tune you dont know very well..use caution and basic chord structures and rhythm to keep the tune together..and use only chord voicings, runs inversions etc you KNOW are going to work..

    holding chords is not just backround sounds..its giving other musicians the freedom to feel safe to experiment in their solos..knowing where "home" is at all times