Piano Accompaniment Techniques: Adding Fills
Welcome to this lesson on adding fills when accompanying singers. So far we have covered the fundamental skills and requirements when accompanying a vocalist. We’re now going to take things a step further and explore other aspects of the performance.
We’ll continue to use the tune "Autumn Leaves" in G minor as our sample song and explore the different types of fills which are:
- Arpeggio Fills
- Scale Fills
- Modal Fills
- Bluesy Fills
- Comping Fills
- Bassline Fills
Filling In The Spaces When Accompanying A Singer
Before the performance, you should identify the places where the melody is static. These points in the melody, where the singer is either holding a sustained note, or takings a breath, is a great place to add in decorative touches to complete the sound – just as you would when playing solo piano.
If we analyse the form of "Autumn Leaves", measure 2, 4, 6, and 8 are good examples of these spaces.
Comping Rhythms When Accompanying Singer
Another great way to fill the melodic space is through comping rhythms. In your left hand you can keep your voicings strictly to the pillars – 1, 3, 5 and 7, and in root position. You can experiment with different inversions in the right hand and add more complexity through the rhythmic figures by using anticipation and syncopation. We’ll demonstrate this using the form of "Autumn Leaves".