WHAT IS COMPING? Comping, an abbreviation of accompanying or possibly from the verb, to "complement" is a term used in music jazz music to describe the chords, rhythms, and counter melodies that keyboard players or guitar players use to support a jazz musician's improvised solo or melody lines. In rock or blues this is simply called rhythm guitar but it becomes more than that in jazz. In jazz the guitarist adds into his rhythms some melody chords and changes that fit the tune.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR COMPING? Whether you’re a newbie jazz player, a seasoned veteran or anywhere in between you need to be a good chord comper. When you’re playing in a combo or band a guitarists is playing chords at least 80% of the time. It’s the nature of the instrument and the music. In a big band the guitarist is considered part of the rhythm section. Therefore good comping is an extremely necessary skill and should be a top priority in your playing. There is nothing better than playing a solo over a guitar or keyboardist comping some great chords.
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