Hi all, I just wanted to pass some information on regarding jazz piano comping. I'm pleased to announce that An Approach to Comping: Vol. 2, Advanced Concepts and Techniques is now available (through Shermusic.com). It is a follow up to Vol. 1, The Essentials. Both volumes are dedicated to the subject of comping. The idea is that a student (or professional) would literally comp-along with great jazz records in order to start assimilating the language of comping. Several two-handed transcriptions are included of jazz masters like Horace Silver, Barry Harris, Bud Powell, Ahmad Jamal, Red Garland, Sonny Clark, Tadd Dameron, Bobby Timmons, Wynton Kelly, Hank Jones, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, and Herbie Hancock. In addition, over one hundred comping exercise are included to help you get the hang of it, along with a lot of voicing explanations. Here are the links if interested:
For Vol. 1: An Approach to Comping: The Essentials http://www.shermusic.com/1883217784.php
For Vol.2: An Approach to Commping: Advanced Concepts and Techniques http://www.shermusic.com/1883217873.php
All the best in this New Year.
If you want to push your books here please include some practical comping methods/tricks that people here can study without actually buying your books. There is such a thing as forum etiquette which means providing some good information along with links to your products.
Hi Scot, ok, I got it. I apologize. I was just reading some posts asking about comping and I thought I'd just mention the books. Of course, I'd be glad to offer some tips/info about what I've found doing the research and in playing gigs without trying to sell anything. I'm just interested in the subject of comping, and I think that it's a skill and an art form that you can pursue throughout your career.
I totally agree with your view on comping, comping is one of those mysteries that can puzzle people forever.
There is, however, one golden rule when it comes to comping that I like to share with people interested in the subject -
Golden rule of comping: make the music sound better.
Then I get into the discussion about how to be observational while playing, recording and listening objectively to your own playing, especially while playing with other people, and working on patience so when you miss something you don't "blurt" out some chords to try to make up for it.
I should say, it's my one golden rule (not a universal golden rule!)
I remember reading Horace Silver's autobiography, and he speaks how he's a guy that really enjoyed comping, he wasn't just waiting for his chance to solo. There's also a great video of the late great Mulgrew Miller talking about comping in a masterclass (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lM46cSzupI). He stresses how important it is to play something that feels good and how to be involved in making the soloist/vocalist feel comfortable. He then demonstrates some comping on F blues that's really in there. It's interesting to think about just being in a room alone and to practice comping. Providing a cushion for the soloist is so much a part of it. The interaction thing is important too, but probably comes later--just like you say--number one rule, make the music feel better.
Sorry, that link to Mulgrew Miller talking about comping:
Volume 1 of this educational jazz piano book contains 15 jazz piano exercises, tricks, and other interesting jazz piano techniques, voicings, grooves, and ideas Scot Ranney enjoys playing.
Volume 2 has 14 jazz piano exercises and tricks of the trade, and quite a bit of it is Calypso jazz piano related material, including some Monty Alexander and Michel Camilo style grooves. Jazz piano education is through the ears, but books like this can help.
5 Pro Tips for Practicing Jazz Piano
"Danny Boy" Jazz Leadsheet
Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Notebook
Fundamentos Físicos del Sonido
Let's Take a Look at Steinberg Dorico, Part 1
Summer Music Theory Classes Will Change Your Life