Chord Voicings & Performance Studies to Dial-in Your Jazz Guitar Comping

Chord Voicings & Performance Studies to Dial-in Your Jazz Guitar Comping

In order to be adept at jazz, a guitar player must learn a vast vocabulary of chord voicings, as well as have the confidence to hang with the band, complimenting the other members. In Creative Jazz Comping, Sean McGowan’s newest course from TrueFire, he’ll take you through an intuitive way of of learning, memorizing, and applying chordal ideas and comping strategies in a modern jazz context.

With these free jazz guitar lessons taken from the course, we’ll sample some of the ways that Sean teaches, wrapping things up with a performance study that utilizes these comping techniques. Grab your guitar and let’s get started!

Guide Tones + 2 Voicings: Two Extensions – Demonstration

Download the tab and notation for this jazz comping lesson.

This section will show you how to build and apply complex four and five-note chord voicings, with and without the roots.

Phat Philly Voicings for a ii-V-I

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Now we’ll be utilizing these full sounding voicings and voice-leading through various major and minor ii-V progressions.

Slash Chord Applications for a ii-V-I

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This section will explore a number of substitution devices and concepts for slash chords and hybrids, and also work through various ii-V progressions.

Combining Anticipation & Delayed Attacks

Download the tab and notation for this jazz comping lesson.

Now let’s look at how to combine these two important rhythmic devices in the context of a ii-V-I, and bring our harmonic voicings and thinking to life by creating rhythmic interest and syncopation.

Only Friends – Overview

Let’s take our concepts of Phat Philly voicings, plus the Triangle and Figure Eight shapes, and apply them to another chord progression. This étude features the chord changes to “Just Friends”, a very popular standard among guitarists. We’ll also explore some different articulation effects using the pick, sliding, and hybrid techniques.

Only Friends – Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this jazz comping lesson.

Only Friends – Breakdown


If you’re looking for even more comping ideas, make sure to check out the rest of the course on TrueFire. There you’ll find even more modern jazz techniques and performance studies which put it all together. And, as always, each course comes with tab, notation, and backing tracks to practice on your own. Get comping now!