Jazz Comping


Senior Member
Hi all,
Recently I have been dealing with a problem about comping. I know it's not suppose to be random so what are you supposed to be playing exactly? I know you play the melody of the song but if a soloist is playing, your not gonna get what he is playing because its improvised. So my question is during a solo how would you comp according?

Thanks for the input.


Gold Member
There's usually a "question & answer" thing going on; you play counterpoint and complementary to the previous melodic line. Also, I don't think it's worlds appart from what you'd do in a rock tune by filling in with ghosted doubles and regular notes. Don't forget how much rests can say, too.



Platinum Member
There are certainly other takes on this, but from my perspective, the most important thing I'm trying to get out of my comping in MOST situations is a swinging groove with the other rhythm section instruments - i.e. the piano, guitar, bass, vibes, etc. Only once that is established do I worry about following the soloist around. That doesn't mean I'm not listening to them, for direction, for ebb and flow, etc., just that I'm not going to disturb the swing to play call and answer with the soloist unless I know that things are solid underneath.