Jazz Blues Comping

Some tasty rhythm playing for you this week. The first example is a modal Blues in G Major, generally sticking to the G7, C7, and D7 classic three chord trick, but with a couple of twists thrown in. The second example is a more up-tempo Jazz Blues in the key of Bb Major, an ideal chord comp for horn and sax players. The progression is still based around a three-chord Blues but with some new chords added to expand the harmony.

12-Bar Jazz Blues In G

The focal point of this piece is G7 to F/G, which is reminiscent of George Benson’s On Broadway. Hammer on the G7’s B note with your second finger.

Note the ‘Slash Chords’. The F/G works as an extension of G7 (to be precise, G9sus) and is basically a chord of F Major with a bass note of G. Occasionally, Slash Chords make it easier to understand and play a chord than the conventional way – Ab/G is easier to deal with at a glance than G4b9#5!

Jazz Blues In Bb

To add more of Jazz feel, syncopate some chord stabs – rather than playing them on the beat, play them after, on the second and fourth beat. For the Edim7 chord in bars 5 & 6, keep the Eb7 shape down and just add your second finger on the 7th fret.

If you ignore everything but the Bb7, Eb7, and F7 chords, the progression becomes a pretty standard 12-bar. All the other chords are put in to vary the harmony.

As the bass is providing the root notes, you could try only playing the upper part of the chord – try it on the bigger chords. With some practice, using smaller chord voicings like this can really expand your chord comping and rhythmic ideas. Also try experimenting with using just the 3rd and 7th of each chord as these imply the basic harmony the most succinctly.

As always, below the YouTube video you’ll find the backing track to play along with, and below that, the tablature. Aren’t I nice?!

Feel free to ask questions or just share your thoughts in the comments!

Watch the video:

Play along with the 2 backing tracks:

Read the 2 tab sheets:

12-Bar Jazz Blues In G

Jazz Blues In Bb

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