Canadian Musician


Hal Rodriguez

Swing Guitar Comping Part 2

Here’s my transcription of Herb Ellis comping the last 4 choruses of a blues. As in Part 1, there’s plenty of simple, but cool chord voicings and substitution ideas here to learn. A couple of my favourite moments are when Herb uses both the #9 and b9 in bar 72 and when he replaces the Bb7 with minor chords in bars 79 and 80. Notice how inserting these chords creates more chromatic movement and interest. I’ve found that even learning just a few of these moves has changed the way I play rhythm and makes comping over a blues just as fun and inspiring as soloing.

Herb Ellis' Jazz Blues Comping 4 Herb Ellis' Jazz Blues Comping 5 Herb Ellis' Jazz Blues Comping 6

Hal Rodriguez is a Toronto based musician, published writer, and music transcriber who has done work for premier guitarists like Oz Noy and Derryl Gabel. For Skype lessons and transcription services, he can be contacted at You can also follow him on Twitter @halwit, on, and at

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