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How to Play Common Jazz Comping Rhythms

Learn how to play common jazz comping rhythms in this keyboard tutorial from Howcast.

Transcript

Hi, this is Stephanie from Tomato's House of Rock and I'm going to show you how to play a common jazz comping rhythm. So when it comes to jazz, a lot of it is all about the off-beats. The off-beats are if you were counting a measure of four, we would have one, two, three, four. The off-beats would be the eighth notes in between those notes, so we would have one and two, and three, and four, and one, and two, and three, and four, and.

So, in jazz, using those off-beats or the "ands" of the numbers can really give you that nice kind of percussive feel. So a nice classic rhythm is if you were to play on the one and then on the "and" of three. So we would have one, two, and three, four, one, two, and three, four. I might add in my right hand just so you can hear it sounding a little bit fuller. We would just have one, two, and three, four, one, two, and three, four, one, two, and three, four. So you can get a lot of mileage out of that.

A second rhythmic pattern that you can try would be playing on the "and" of two and the "and" of three. So slowly so you can hear it we would have one, two, and three, and four, and one, two, and three, and four, and. Again, just with the right hand to add a little bit more we've got one, two, and three, and four, and one, two, and three, and four, and....

Then you can start to mix together. So maybe we'll put our two rhythms together for one, two, and three, four, one, two, and three, and four, and one, two, and three, four, one, two, and three, and four, and. So you can see it's just going to give you a little bit more texture and the same thing can really heighten. If you're listening to what the soloist is doing, you can choose your rhythms according to what sounds like it's really going to play off of them well. So let's hear what that sounds like with some music.

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