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Creative Comping Concepts for Jazz Guitar

By Mark Boling

Guitar (all) - Intermediate-Advanced
Composed by Mark Boling. Saddle-stitched, Rhythm/Backup. Private Lessons Series. Jazz. Book/CD Set. 40 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc (MB.20414BCD).

Item Number: MB.20414BCD

ISBN 9780786671861. 8.75 x 11.75 inches.

Pianists are the main sources of inspiration for new developments in jazz guitar comping. Yet guitarists have been slow to develop a comping vocabulary with harmonic sophistication, subtle voiceleading, and rhythmic flexibility on the level of the best contemporary pianists. This book seeks to remedy the situation by articulating a comping vocabulary in the context of six of the most often played tunes in jazz: 12-bar blues, rhythm changes, minor blues, a modal tune, and a couple of standards. The comps are written out in notation and tablature and include rhythms with forward motion, chords built in fourth intervals, parallel constant structure voicings, polychords, slash chords, etc. The focus is on developing a contemporary approach to rhythm, phrasing, chord voicings, voiceleading, chord substitution, and reharmonization. A play-along CD recording of the guitar comps with bass and drums helps get the sounds and rhythms in your ear. The theory of how the comping concepts are applied to the music is explained, with ideas on how to use them creatively.

  • Introduction 
  • Acknowledgements 
  • Rhythm 
  • Phrasing 
  • Texture 
  • Voicings in Thirds 
  • Drop-2 and Drop-3 voicings 
  • Guide Tone Voicings 
  • Voicings in Fourths 
  • Voicings in Fourths and Pentatonic Scales 
  • Voicings Derived from the Minor 6 Pentatonic Scale 
  • Voicings Using Combinations of Intervals 
  • Slash Chords 
  • Polychords 
  • Common Tones 
  • Direction of Top Voice 
  • Parallel Motion with Constant Structure Voicings 
  • Intervallic Voiceleading 
  • Diatonic Substitution from the Third 
  • Diatonic Passing Chords 
  • Add a Related Ilmi7 Before Any Dominant 7 
  • Alter Dominant 7 Chords That Resolve Down a Perfect 5th 
  • Chromatic Approach 
  • Dominant Approach 
  • Cycle of Dominants as a Reharmonization Technique 
  • Cycle of II-Vs as a Reharmonization Technique 
  • Chromatically Ascending 4th 
  • Monet 
  • C Minor Blues 
  • Blues In F 
  • Rhythmystic 
  • Soul Three 
  • Whole Nother Standard 
  • Ratings + Reviews

  • 5

    Asheville, NC
    Difficulty Level:
  • 2008-02-14 00:00:00.0 A wealth of information.

    I learn best by listening. So the CD is invaluable. After hearing the first exercise, I was worried I could never learn sounded so cool. But with diligent listening and practicing I have mastered the first piece and am off to the next. A wealth of theory that...

    is best practiced in small chunks as you hear it. There is no magic pill to take to learn and use the techniques taught here overnight, but with repetitive practice your mind and fingers will be able to learn and use them. Mark Boling is a true Jazz Master. Five star book.

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    23 of 45 people found this review helpful.
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  • 5

    Aberdeen, SD
    Difficulty Level:
  • 2005-02-13 00:00:00.0 Outstanding teaching/learning tool

    I can't imagine a better teaching/learning instrument for jazz comping. Explanations are concise and easy to grasp yet they challenge the reader to pursue new and interesting avenues in terms of comping choices. The six jazz etudes are reasonably diverse exercises offering technical as well as theoretical development...

    for the jazz guitar student. The accompanying CD is well done. Each etude is presented four ways - with guitar/fast, with guitar/slow, without guitar/fast, and without guitar/slow. I believe time spent with this book would be a good idea for anyone interested in expanding their grasp of jazz in general and jazz guitar in particular.

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    21 of 45 people found this review helpful.
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