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LJS 213: How to Comp Over Jazz Standards Like a Pro

Welcome to episode 213 of the LJS Podcast where today we talk about all thing comping. This isn’t just an episode for the guitarists and pianists – everyone can get benefit out of the concepts discussed in this episode. You learn 3 things to keep in mind while you are comping so that you are serving the musicians you are playing with as best as possible.

Listen to episode 213

In my personal opinion, one of the hardest things to teach in jazz is comping. 

Now, if you are a guitar player or a piano player or a vibes player, you understand that comping is hard to put a method to,  hard to put inside of a box. There are so many different things that are involved in comping.

And if you are a saxophone player or a trumpet player, or any horn player, I don’t want you to tune this episode out, because indeed, it is also important for you to understand the art of comping.

However, I, today, on the podcast, will give you 3 important things that you need to keep in mind as a comper when you are accompanying other musicians on the bandstand over jazz standards.

In this episode:

1. Be a rhythmic time keeper

2. Offer supportive harmony

3. Use logical voiceleading in your voicings

Important Links

LJS 50: How to Become and Expert Comper (feat. Keelan Dimick)

Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


  1. Great podcast. Would you accept my vision of rhythm guitar in an orchestra as playing a similar role to that of salt in cooking a meal – when it is present at the correct level you hardly notice it, but you have a feeling of something missing when it is not there at all ?


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