Blog - Comping

This months blog will focus on 'Comping' - this technique is a great way to improve your rhythm skills and incorporate some excitement into your playing, freshening up those dull strumming patterns with a percussive feel.

'Comping' is slang for accompaniment - meaning 'something that accompaniments music' - Think Jazz vocalist accompaniment by a pianist.

This technique involves highlighting chord root notes as well as adding a percussive beat, thus creating an almost band like sound that accompaniments the music, vocals etc.

Technique

After building the G chord focus on plucking the low E string with the thumb of your fretting hand. Placing your 1st finger on the D string, 2nd finger on the G string and finally your 3rd finger on the B string to produce a 'claw shape'. This claw shape will be responsible for plucking the chord as well as adding the percussive sound to the rhythm. In order to achieve a desirable percussive sound aim to slap the guitar strings with the base of your hand (where the hand joins the wrist). This part of your strumming hand is fairly 'bony' and will help you obtain that 'whacking sound' simulating a snare drum.

Therefore in one bar the bass note falls on beats 1 and 3 while the percussive whack / snare note falls on beats 2 and 4. The claw plucks the chord on the off beat / &'s.

Now begin to play the following exercise - G / Am7 / Bm7 / Cmaj7 / and listen to how you can now spice up your rhythm playing...enjoy!

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