5 Reasons You Should Focus On Comping In The Practice Room

by | May 2, 2019 | Jazz Guitar Lessons | 4 comments

Comping, i.e. playing the chords in the rhythm section, often considered to be an afterthought for many a jazz student.

But here’s the thing:

Ironically, as a jazz guitarist it’s the MOST important skill you will probably ever acquire.

5 reasons why:

#1. It’s the thing you spend 90% of the time doing on the bandstand. At some gigs you might only take a few solos here and there, but without a doubt – you’ll be comping the whole night long.

#2. Comping can be just as creative as soloing – the possibilities in rhythmic placement, chord inversions, and interactions with the other musicians are endless.

#3. It helps you develop the rhythm feel in your playing overall, which is the most important thing in jazz.

#4. Getting your comping solid can improve your “fretboard literacy”, which will in turn enable you to have more security when you solo. E.g Joe Pass often talked about the way he thought in terms of chord shapes to help him navigate the fretboard. and…

#5. If you are a skilled at comping and can keep the rhythm section moving, you’re much more likely to be booked for more gigs in the future.

Now the exciting bit: I’ve recently released a brand new course entitled “Comping & Chord Soloing Deep Dive”, presented by special guest Greg Stott, Associate Lecturer of Jazz Guitar at the ANU School of Music.

Simply put, this new course is brilliant.

Greg Stott has put together a comprehensive and step-by-step methodology for building up essential comping skills. This was the course I wished I’d had when I was first building up my comping techniques.

The best part:

You can access this course FREE by signing up to a 14 day, obligation FREE trial to the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy, my online learning platform for jazz guitar. Sign up here for instant access to the new course as well as my entire collection of video courses (no credit card required): https://www.fretdojo.com/free-trial

Now the exciting bit:

If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here's what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

Wrap Up

I hope you found awesome tips  in the video.

What are your exciting ideas and thoughts on this topic?

Let me know in the comments.

Greg O’Rourke
Founder, FretDojo
World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education


  1. David caton

    I use older dance band chords or Bart chords ext your chord dictionary shows mainly t roads using the lower strings.which should i use?

  2. adam miller

    you need to have comping lessons over standards that start out basic and move into chord soloing. I would love to purchase a series on this topic over 4 or 5 tunes

  3. Richard

    Keep in mind the difference between rhythm backup and comping.

  4. nate NATE



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