5 Reasons You Should Focus On Comping In The Practice Room

5 Reasons You Should Focus On Comping In The Practice Room

5 Reasons You Should Focus On Comping In The Practice Room

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

Jazz Guitar Comping Lesson – 4 Cool Steps To Sound Like Ed Bickert

Jazz Guitar Comping Lesson – 4 Cool Steps To Sound Like Ed Bickert

Jazz Guitar Comping Lesson – 4 Cool Steps To Sound Like Ed Bickert

Want to learn how to do jazz guitar comping like Ed Bickert? In this deep dive Youtube lesson, I share with you the 4 essential things you need to do to sound like him, which will supercharge your rhythm section chops (the lesson comes with PDF and audios of the examples played + backing tracks for practice – see the link above to get access).

By the way, I recently released an in-depth course on the secrets of Ed Bickert’s jazz guitar comping approaches, so you can learn the fast path to sounding just like Bickert on the bandstand.

Pro tip: If you’re looking for jazz standards to build your set-list, with all the resources and backing tracks in one place, it might be worth giving my FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy a try.

It’s got a huge collection of lessons on the site and features many courses focussed around learning classic jazz standards (melody, comping, soloing, chord melody and more).

The best part:

You can get a no obligation, 14-day FREE access pass to the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy to see if it is a good fit for you, no credit card required. To get instant access, go here: https://www.fretdojo.com/free-trial/

Wrap Up

I hope you enjoyed today’s post on this very important topic of re-kickstarting your practice routine for jazz guitar.

How about you – what ideas do YOU have for getting your practice routine “back into gear?”

Leave a comment below with your ideas and thoughts on this topic…

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

Walking Bass For Jazz Guitar – Three Easy Steps

Walking Bass For Jazz Guitar – Three Easy Steps

Recently I put together a how-to guide to building walking basslines on jazz guitar. Today’s post is a sneak peek of the first lesson. Find out how to get the full series of these lessons on walking bass by clicking here.


In this lesson, you’re going to learn:

  • How to assemble single line basslines on guitar in 3 easy steps
Lesson Resources:

(Right Click + Save As…)

Though walking bass might seem a complex technique, it doesn’t take much work to get a convincing bassline under your fingers.

As you’ll see in the above video, you can break down the basic approach to walking bass in just three simple steps.


Step 1: Play Root Notes On Beat 1 of Each Bar

The bulk of the bass player’s job is to emphasize the root notes of the harmony. So establishing the sound of the root note on beat 1 of each bar makes a lot of sense for a bass player.


Step 2: Add Approach Notes On Beat 4 of Each Bar

The next step is to add some sort of approach note on beat 4 that leads to the root note of the next bar. It sounds most jazzy when you add a chromatic note as the approach note, however, you can use diatonic notes as well as approach notes. (Diatonic means using the scale notes that relate to the current key).


Step 3: Add ‘Walking Notes’ on Beats 2 & 3


To complete your walking bassline, you just need to add two more notes in between the root note of beat 1, and the approach note of beat 4.

These can be any of the following:

  • Diatonic notes from the scale of the given key
  • Chromatic notes, or
  • Arpeggios.


Task:  Watch the above video, then learn to play each of the musical examples given in each of the three steps above. Once you’ve done that, experiment taking the principles covered in this lesson to compose or improvise your own basslines over the progression used in these examples.

In the next lesson, you’re going to learn how to play chords at the same time as this walking bass line – sounds hard to do? If you know a few simple tricks, it’s not hard at all. I’ll show you how to do it in the next lesson of this series…


This concludes this free excerpt of my ‘Walking Bass For Jazz Guitar Primer’ lesson series. To get instant access to the rest of the lessons in this new series (as well as a large number of other lessons), they are all included in my new online program, the FretDojo Academy Club. Find out more about the Club here…

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

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