Author Archives: admin

Ascending & Descending Comping Exercises

I have always been a big fan of limiting exercises. For example, I have heard Jim Hall, Mick Goodrich, and John Abercrombie talk about practicing improvising on only one string, or a pair of strings. Placing restrictions while practicing is … Continue reading

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Pat Metheny Chord Melody Transcription: James

Happy New Year! I thought I would kick off the new year with a long overdue post to my blog. After a very tough year, I have resolved to pick myself up and have another go at posting information that … Continue reading

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Mike Stern Chord Transcription: Like Someone in Love

Funny how when you get older, it is a lot easier to look back and pinpoint events that changed your life. I was performing with a big band in Japan, and picked up the Mike Stern CD, Standards and other … Continue reading

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Common Tone Substitutions of the Harmonized Major Scale

Common tone substitution is a must have tool in your comping tool box. It is fairly straight forward and is easily incorporated, giving you exponentially more options of chord voicings to choose from. Every chord has other diatonic chords sharing … Continue reading

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Barney Kessel Chord Melody & Chord Solo: Satin Doll

For about a year I had Barney Kessel’s album “The Poll Winners” stuck in my Volkswagen Rabbit’s auto-reverse cassette deck (circa 1987). I couldn’t get it out and the knobs didn’t work either, so I was forced to listen to … Continue reading

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Line Cliché, Chromatic Cliché or C.E.S.H. Voicings.

The term CESH (Contrapuntal Elaboration of Static Harmony) scared the bejesus out of me when I first read it. The what of what? After I initially balked at the language, I found the idea to be both familiar and usable. … Continue reading

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Down the Pipe: A Jazz Ending

Years ago I was playing jazz with an old timer. Largely due to the fact that I am starting to get into old timer territory myself, I use that term carefully and respectfully. Anyhow, getting near the end of a … Continue reading

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Wes Montgomery Chord Solo Transcription: Unit 7

Today’s transcription comes from Montreal Jazz guitarist Pat Mahoney. A high energy chord solo from one of Wes Montgomery’s Best recordings: Smokin at the Half Note with the Wynton Kelly Trio. This is a great study in block chords. Actually … Continue reading

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Comping Jazz Part One: Fill in the Blanks

The word comp comes from accompany or compliment. Playing a supportive role to a soloist or vocalist shouldn’t be seen as a dull or mundane duty. It is in fact very rewarding and challenging. It is another form of improvisation … Continue reading

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Pat Metheny Chord Melody Transcription: Old Folks

Pat Metheny’s album “Question and Answer” is without a doubt one of my desert island disks. I have been listening to Pat since I was a teenager and credit him for much of my early inspiration to be a jazz … Continue reading

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