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Jazz Guitar Comping

Overview

This hands-on course provides intermediate to advanced guitarists with tools, concepts and techniques essential to creative and effective contemporary comping. Topics covered include:

comping over straightahead, bebop, modal, funk/fusion, ballads, contemporary jazz, Brazilian and Afro- Cuban styles

  • – creative chord voicings — looking at the fingerboard and voicing chords in a more “pianistic” way; quartal harmony (clusters voiced in 4ths) in modal comping; the possibilities of dissonant intervals such as the minor 2nd; slash chords; tritone substitution; and upper register chord voicings
  • – rhythmic anticipation and syncopation: the “right” places to put chords in treating rhythmic “forward motion;” comping in 3/4, 6/8 and odd meters.

Prerequisites: knowledge of chord/ scale theory; ability to play major, dominant and minor seventh chords and the ii–V–I progression in all keys.

Thursdays 8:15 – 9:45 pm
4/6 – 6/8 (10 weeks)
Steve Erquiaga • $395

Registration

DEPARTMENT: Guitar

COURSE TITLE:  Jazz Guitar Comping

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This hands-on course provides the intermediate to advanced guitarist with tools, concepts and techniques essential to creative and effective contemporary comping.

Topics include:

  • comping over straight-ahead, bebop, modal, funk/fusion, ballads, contemporary jazz, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban styles of music
  • creative chord voicings — looking at the fingerboard and voicing chords in
a more “pianistic” way; quartal harmony (clusters voiced in 4ths) in modal comping; the possibilities of dissonant intervals such as the minor 2nd; slash chords; tritone substitution; and upper-register chord voicings
  • rhythmic anticipation and syncopation: the “right” places to put chords, in order to create “forward motion”; comping in 3/4, 6/8 and odd meters.

COURSE PREREQUISITES:

knowledge of chord/scale theory; ability to play major, dominant and minor seventh chords and the ii–V–I progression in all keys.

COURSE OUTLINE:

Each week students will comp over tunes/recorded rhythm tracks, employing that which they have learned in previous weeks.

Students are encouraged to bring in tunes that they would like to work on

Week 1

introduction to and application of upper register chord voicings

looking at the rhythmic placement of chords in terms of supporting a soloist and in providing a sense of forward motion.

applying the above to a jazz blues progression and a jazz standard

Week 2

further exploration and application of upper register chord voicings and comping rhythms

voice leading

understanding the tritone substitution  and how to use it

Week 3

modal comping  and the use of quartal voicings (voicings built in intervals of 4ths)

applying the above to several modal tunes

continued application of upper register voicings and comping rhythms

Week 4

drop 2 voicings

further exploration of quartal voicings

employing the minor 2nd interval

Week 5

comping ballads

comping tunes in 3/4 and 6/8

slash chords

introduction to Brazilian rhythm guitar

Week 6

continued exploration of Brazilian rhythm guitar

introduction to walking bass lines

walking bass on Blues for Alice changes

Week 7

continued development of walking bass lines

continued application of upper register voicings, comping rhythms, slash chords, quartal voicings and minor 2nds to standards and contemporary jazz tunes

Week 8

the Afro Cuban montuno

combining walking bass with chords

comping rhythm changes

comping up tempos

Week 9

students will “jam” together: walking bass, comping, soloing

jazz/funk rhythm guitar

comping odd time signatures

Week 10

address and revisit any of the material covered

discuss who and what to listen to comping wise for further development

jam on tunes and/or styles of students choice

Steve Erquiaga (guitar)

National and international recording and performing artist; performed at Montreux Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival; performed with Bobby McFerrin, Joe Henderson, Les McCann, John Scofield, David Byrne, Turtle Island String Quartet, Paulo Bellinati, Andy Narell, and Paul McCandless; founder, leader, Trio Paradiso; faculty, Jamey Aebersold Jazz Clinics; publications include Guitar Duets and arrangements from his CD Cafe Paradiso.

 

JCMS Spring Catalog
The Word

“Nowhere else can you learn from such a talented staff in a setting that is devoted to the art form. People at the school obviously care – the instructors, the staff, the other students. Having a welcoming environment devoted to jazz is a powerful aid to those of us just getting started.”

— Harry