Blues Comping Patterns & Rhythms
In this lesson we will explore some useful voicings, patterns, and rhythmic ideas for right hand comping over the 12 bar blues.
The I – IV – V chords are all related through the circle of 5ths which creates a natural sense of tension and release in the blues progression.
We will now build upon this core principle and introduce some more advanced and interesting harmonies in our right hand.
Triads, 7th Chords, 9th Chords, & 6th/13th Chords
Whilst we can comp with basic triad shapes, the dominant 7th is a very useful sound to incorporate into our chords and voicings when comping.
We can also extend our voicings to include 9ths and 13ths. Steve demonstrates some clean voice leading principles using these colourful extended chord voicings.
The 6th Or The 13th?
If the b7th is not present, the 13th is referred to as the 6th. If the b7th is present, the then the 6th is referred to as the 13th. Having both the b7th and 13th will give you a tense and meaty dominant voicing.
1/2 Step Slides & Chromatics
Sideslipping is a useful technique when playing the blues to add both harmonic and rhythmic variety over our left hand bassline.
We can take any voicing and ‘slide’ into it from a half step above or below. This kind of chromatic movement is excellent for comping. It’s easy to execute and adds lots of motion and interest to our right hand.
Off Beat Comping & Horn Punches
Comping on the off beats is an effective tool which works well with the underlying bassline by accenting the up beat.
Steve also demonstrates the use of more randomly-placed ‘horn punches’ to create rhythmic interest and variety.
Download all rhythms, patterns, and lesson notation in the PDF file below.
Comping Patterns Lesson Notation File Type: pdf