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Jazz Piano Lessons: Introduction to Two Handed Comping

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[MUSIC]
The
next few
lessons,
we are
going
to start
working
on our
two
handed
comping.
You actually spend most of your time
on a jazz gig playing behind others.
You are comping for the soloist,
you're playing behind the head.
Even the bass solo gets
a little comping behind it.
And this stuff is really important, and
oddly enough,
I kind of actually when I'm on the gig,
I prefer to comp a lot of the time, rather
than just be the person who's blowing.
I play often with a band called
The Nomads, and it's a funny band.
It's myself, Dave Weckl, Chris Minh Doky
on bass, and Dean Brown on guitar.
And all four of us would rather be part
of the grooving, making that happen,
the interplay that happens there,
than be the person who's soloing.
But somebody's gotta blow.
So, we do it like that.
Everyone in that band really
thinks like a producer.
When we're playing,
we're really listening.
We're hearing it as
an arrangement rather than
I gotta put some chords under there or
whatever.
A lot of interaction, a lot of listening,
and this is the stuff that gets you hired.
The good gigs that I've done,
the Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn and
so forth, they're the people
who are doing the hiring.
The saxophonist out in front,
the guitarist out in front sometimes.
And they're really listening
as much as anything for
you making them comfortable and putting
what they want to hear behind them.
So we can't gloss over
this stuff because we're
looking to get into
the blowing right away.
It's really important to getting
hired that you know what you're doing
when it comes to playing behind the head
and playing behind the soloist.
You are kind of an orchestrator.
So we're gonna start looking at voicings,
at ways to do that that are interesting.
We're gonna start out with
kind of a very basic thing,
which is the basic voicing and
different permutations of that.
This stuff,
it's a huge part of the jazz sound.
When I listen to, for example,
the Miles Davis tracks that we're
gonna be transcribing,
if you took out Wynton Kelly and
Bill Evans off that record,
it would still be great.
But the textural stuff,
the cool jazz chords are just such
an essential part of it,
that it's time for us to dig into that.
The other thing that I'll point out
is that when we're taking a solo,
it's a really great thing to
take a break in the middle, and
drop some of this stuff in.
McCoy Tyner was really great at that.
He'd be, you know, playing along,
playing a burning linear solo and then.
[MUSIC]
And he'd drop in and
just start playing some melodic
stuff with his chords.
And it really kinda took it to
another dimension for a minute,
really added a nice,
a place to go in the middle of his solo.
So this isn't just for
playing behind the soloist.
Let's take a look at our first voicings,
what we're gonna do as we start
to take the voicings that we
already have, which are the basic
[MUSIC]
that you really don't wanna be sitting
there.
[MUSIC]
That's a way to do it, but
that's not the sound we're looking for.
So in our next lesson,
our first lesson on two handed comping,
we're gonna break that apart,
find a way to voice that most
elemental voicing in a way
that sounds more like jazz,
gives a little more spread on
the keyboard, and sounds a little.
There's something kinda Warner Brothers
about that that we wanna stay away from.
So I'll see you for the next lesson.
[MUSIC]