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  1. #1

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    I have never ever comped behind anyone ever, i played for several years with singers i always played on the same song at the same time as them. like wise with piano players.

    Wes Montgomery never ever comped for anyone he played with them adjusting chilli and garlic to suit,

    ie voicings volume blah blah blah


    i know whats coming with this................ should be fun........

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Durban
    i always played on the same song at the same time as them

    adjusting chilli and garlic to suit,

    ie voicings volume blah blah blah
    I thought that was comping.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by morroben
    I thought that was comping.
    It is.

  5. #4

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    Actually on “Smokin’ at the Half NOte” you can hear Wes Montgomery comping quite a bit.


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  6. #5

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    I like the way Herb Ellis comps for Oscar Peterson here, and the way Oscar comps for Herb.

    For reasons unknown, this YouTube video refers to the song as "Wampton Blues". It's Wes Montgomery's "Naptown Blues." Herb had left Oscar's trio and Oscar had added a drummer and done without a guitar. This album was a reuniting of Oscar (and Ray Brown) and Herb. Not for good, just for one damn fine album.


  7. #6

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    So...what's comping?

  8. #7

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    The one time I heard Wes live was in Central Park in NYC. Late 60's. Might have been Wynton Kelly on piano.

    During the piano solos, Wes put his guitar on the stand and walked over behind the piano.

  9. #8

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    I do think a lot of over-comping happens. Pianists, I'm looking at you! But guitarists do it too. I've said it before and I'll say it again - learning to comp for bass solos is a great way to learn. You learn really fast how easy it is to over-comp in that scenario. Listen to a Grant Green or a Hampton Hawes comp for a bass solo - I think for us mortals, doing that but a bit busier for other instruments is pretty close to the sweet spot.

  10. #9

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    I suspect that someone is confused, and thinking that "comping" means "composing", when it's actually a shortened version of 'accompany'.

  11. #10

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    Starting at :50 you can hear Wes comping for Wynton Kelly. Its almost a "Charleston" pattern.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny
    I do think a lot of over-comping happens. Pianists, I'm looking at you! But guitarists do it too. I've said it before and I'll say it again - learning to comp for bass solos is a great way to learn. You learn really fast how easy it is to over-comp in that scenario. Listen to a Grant Green or a Hampton Hawes comp for a bass solo - I think for us mortals, doing that but a bit busier for other instruments is pretty close to the sweet spot.
    To my mind, Herb Ellis was one to over-comp. I often find his playing behind other soloists to be very distracting. Then the bongo-drum thing he did... I know some people really do like that, but I don't. Comping should help focus the spotlight on the soloist and support the soloist if they need it.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny
    I do think a lot of over-comping happens. Pianists, I'm looking at you! But guitarists do it too. I've said it before and I'll say it again - learning to comp for bass solos is a great way to learn. You learn really fast how easy it is to over-comp in that scenario. Listen to a Grant Green or a Hampton Hawes comp for a bass solo - I think for us mortals, doing that but a bit busier for other instruments is pretty close to the sweet spot.
    What, you supposed to comp on bass solos?? It's usually a good time to check up on messages or get a new drink, am I doing something wrong?

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    What, you supposed to comp on bass solos?? It's usually a good time to check up on messages or get a new drink, am I doing something wrong?
    Sounds like you're doing it right. No guitarist wants his great comping associated with bass solos.

    I'd love to have:

    1. A drummer show up without drums, explaining, "they're too noisy, I have an egg shaker and I'll tap my foot".

    2. A bassist say, "no solos for me -- since, when I solo, nobody is playing bass, and then the band doesn't sound good, and I'm the bassist".

    3. A loud alto player say "I'm sorry, was I too loud? I'll play quietly", rather than "Is your Marshall stack malfunctioning? I can't hear it".

  15. #14

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    I've always seen comping as the most essential part of any applicable music style. Together with melody, it is what will make or break a player. If one wants to work, play in bands, or just become a good musician, they'd better work on comping. Most of the guitar players not associated with comping, (like Wes, Martino, Grant Green with his beautiful old-fashioned approach), were stellar at it.

    In less musically applied terms, there is a time for individualism and being in the spotlight, but also a time for cooperation and stepping back. I've worked and played music with artists that weren't like that, and it was a sad experience..

    One funny thing, on the few occasions I had to lay out for big parts of the songs, more or less like a horn player (due to instrumentation, band, etc), I realized how much "not used" to that us guitar players are. I felt it took me out of the zone. Later, mostly by working in theater, I got more used to it I guess..

  16. #15

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    Reality is, guitarists get hired to comp and play rhythm more often than they get hired to solo.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Reality is, guitarists get hired to comp and play rhythm more often than they get hired to solo.

    True. But one must not forget that the music is not about getting hired.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter

    One funny thing, on the few occasions I had to lay out for big parts of the songs, more or less like a horn player (due to instrumentation, band, etc), I realized how much "not used" to that us guitar players are. I felt it took me out of the zone. Later, mostly by working in theater, I got more used to it I guess..
    I'm glad you brought this up. I feel there is a big gap in jazz guitar education. No one is talking about what to do with yourself when you have to, or asked to, 'lay out', or 'sit back' while pianist in the band is comping or playing solo. I always feel a bit lost, or even stupid when waiting for my solo, or after the solo... on the bandstand.

    Every one else is playing and enjoying themselves, (except horn players waiting, but they used to it from early age, plus can walk off the stage since they don't have a cord attached to their amps..). So yea, that is not taught. And yet, you want to look cool so the chicks dig you. I recomend practicing with your guitar in front of the mirror, not playing, but rather have that sophisticated look, like you really spiritual, above the ground person. It takes time, but hours of practice will pay off, you'll be ready to not comp great. It should be taught in Berklee, I think so.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    True. But one must not forget that the music is not about getting hired.
    Reality is, guitarists get asked to comp and play rhythm more often than they get asked to solo.

    Does that work better for you?

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    True. But one must not forget that the music is not about getting hired.
    Hear, hear. Spoken like a true Peterburzhets!

  21. #20

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    To comp or not to comp..... ........
    As much head butting going on this thread, it's still a very good topic.

    Coming from a lead guitar background in Rock I always looked down on rhythm playing, you did enough to support the song, waited for your few bars of solo, and hoped/wished/or was happy to have a rhythm player to do the grunt work.

    In jazz it's a highly regarded skill that in earlier days was requirement for guitarists until electronics and the emergence of the Jazz guitar soloist that lead their own bands. Strumming chords and the many inversions, on up to chord solos, have taken accompanying to very high levels, but this is what you have to ask yourselves.

    HOW MANY JAZZ GUITARISTS MADE A BIG NAME FOR THEMSELVES OR MADE A HUGE ARTISTIC STATEMENT COMPING?

    .......... ZERO.

    Fact is virtually all the Jazz guitar greats are known for their improvisational skills not their comping. I'm sure it's regarded here on JG very highly because we are jazz guitar geeks either trying to acquire these skills or have mastered it to a degree. For the average listener it goes almost unnoticed.

    Same for chord solos, I'm mystified by them because it's a challenging skill and I can only splash in a chord here & there in a solo, but it usually puts listeners to sleep, while someone playing inspired single note lines can get an audience on it's feet in appreciation.

    If you're going to back a vocalist, it's a great medium to apply yourself to, if you're playing with other instruments IMO you should improv as much as you support the others, and let's face it, thumping out chords is part of the game, but playing improvisation and solos is where the real inspired and progressive Jazz comes from.

  22. #21
    tonyb300

    an interesting slant on things, i had not thought about that.

    Ted Greene chord solo maybe??????????????

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    To my mind, Herb Ellis was one to over-comp. I often find his playing behind other soloists to be very distracting. Then the bongo-drum thing he did... I know some people really do like that, but I don't. Comping should help focus the spotlight on the soloist and support the soloist if they need it.
    Seems like Oscar was fine with it. That's good enough for me.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb300
    To comp or not to comp..... ........
    As much head butting going on this thread, it's still a very good topic.

    Coming from a lead guitar background in Rock I always looked down on rhythm playing, you did enough to support the song, waited for your few bars of solo, and hoped/wished/or was happy to have a rhythm player to do the grunt work.

    In jazz it's a highly regarded skill that in earlier days was requirement for guitarists until electronics and the emergence of the Jazz guitar soloist that lead their own bands. Strumming chords and the many inversions, on up to chord solos, have taken accompanying to very high levels, but this is what you have to ask yourselves.

    HOW MANY JAZZ GUITARISTS MADE A BIG NAME FOR THEMSELVES OR MADE A HUGE ARTISTIC STATEMENT COMPING?

    .......... ZERO.

    Fact is virtually all the Jazz guitar greats are known for their improvisational skills not their comping. I'm sure it's regarded here on JG very highly because we are jazz guitar geeks either trying to acquire these skills or have mastered it to a degree. For the average listener it goes almost unnoticed.

    Same for chord solos, I'm mystified by them because it's a challenging skill and I can only splash in a chord here & there in a solo, but it usually puts listeners to sleep, while someone playing inspired single note lines can get an audience on it's feet in appreciation.

    If you're going to back a vocalist, it's a great medium to apply yourself to, if you're playing with other instruments IMO you should improv as much as you support the others, and let's face it, thumping out chords is part of the game, but playing improvisation and solos is where the real inspired and progressive Jazz comes from.
    Sorry, your premise is completely incorrect. Jim Hall, for instance, was hired as much for his accompanying as for his soloing by the likes of Sonny Rollins and Art Farmer and Jimmy Guiffre and Chico Hamilton, etc., etc. And he is only one of many. Your own shortcomings are not everyone else's, by the way. Most of the very best guitar accompanists (see above) improvise their accompaniments, they are not "thumping out chords" unless that's the job, such as big band playing. So, to wrap it all up, most of the great jazz guitarists are known for their ability to solo in single line and chord styles, and accompany other players or singers in such a way that it makes them sound great.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb300
    HOW MANY JAZZ GUITARISTS MADE A BIG NAME FOR THEMSELVES OR MADE A HUGE ARTISTIC STATEMENT COMPING?

    .......... ZERO.
    Like Ed Bickert, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pisano, Freddie Green... nobody ever heard of those guys.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb300
    HOW MANY JAZZ GUITARISTS MADE A BIG NAME FOR THEMSELVES OR MADE A HUGE ARTISTIC STATEMENT COMPING?

    .......... ZERO.
    Freddie Green. It’s all he did.