Jazz Chording and Comping: Core Skills

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Marcelo Berestovoy

Unraveling the mystery that is Jazz guitar can be a daunting task for any player. Of the skills required to play confidently in that arena, none carry more gravitas than strong confidence in chording and comping. These are core skills. Let's join Marcelo Berestovoy as he breaks down the skills required to play in an improvised Jazz setting!

24 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Full Course Breakdown

Marcelo will walk us through a series of core skills that are required for a solid foundation in Jazz rhythm and improvisation. Each lesson will contain a teaching session followed by an extended practice session so we can truly get these skills under our fingers before putting them all to use against five full instrumental backing tracks!


Introduction to 'Jazz Chording and Comping: Core Skills'

Marcelo Berestovoy introduces us to 'Jazz Chording and Comping: Core Skills'

6:59 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Reviewing the Triads

Let's get things underway as Marcelo gives a review of triads before delving into how to play a major or minor scale via triad.

17:36 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


4-Note Chords

Now Marcelo will apply the same technique we used with triads in the previous lesson, but now with a four-note chord progression.

18:38 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Magic Shells

Chord shells can be a quick and easy way to maneuver through a progression without actually fleshing out the full chord. In this lesson, Marcello provides us with a 12-bar Jazzy Blues progression utilizing this technique.

18:12 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


II - V - I

Here, Marcelo presents us with a 2-5-1 progression that uses both shell and full chord shapes.

16:57 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Extensions: Pt.1

Chord extensions can be added to our basic triads in order to create specific colors or tones. In this lesson, Marcello provides us with a colorful progression using triadic extensions.

20:05 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Extensions: Pt.2

Continuing with our work on extensions, Marcelo discusses the reasoning and logic for the omission or addition of certain notes in an extension.

16:37 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Extensions: Pt.3

Closing out our section on extensions, Marcelo covers another progression utilizing chord extensions, but this time adds another layer of dynamic with some syncopation.

18:12 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Minor Tonality

Moving on, Marcelo discusses the importance of being able to identify the differences between major and minor tonalities.

18:19 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Altered Dominants

Altered Dominant chords can be used to create color and/or tension in an otherwise bland chord progression. In this lesson, Marcelo provides us a chord progression featuring Altered Dominant chords.

18:57 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Dominant Subs

Substitutions are used to create a certain feel of color by subbing out a chord(s) within a progression. In this lesson, Marcello breaks down this method as well as how to ensure the same functionality of the original chord(s).

23:16 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


12 Bar Jazz Blues

Here's a great 12-bar Jazz Blues progression utilizing some of the skills that we've learned thus far.

23:13 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Walking the Bassline

There can be times that the guitarist is the only melodic instrument available during a song or section, and it becomes necessary for the guitarist to provide a walking bassline in addition to their chording/rhythm duties. In this lesson, Marcello provides us with a formulaic approach to this useful technique.

27:55 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Bebop Modern Rhythm Style

Here's a fun progression that makes use of a more minimalist approach to a modern rhythm style.

23:17 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Joe Pass Chromatic Approach

The "Joe Pass Chromatic Approach" states that when playing in a 2 - 5 - 1 progression, the 2 can always be approached chromatically from above the key. Let's join Marcelo as he breaks down this tried and true method.

15:13 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Latin Jazz Comping

Latin rhythms have always played a very important part in Jazz comping. Here, Marcelo provides us with a progression from the realm of Bossanova that highlights this skill.

20:20 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Chord Melody

It's important for a guitar player to be able to determine the underlying melody within a chord progression. In this lesson, Marcelo will lay out his process for constructing a melody-based progression.

16:20 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Syncopated Rhythm Ideas

Syncopation is another level of dynamic that can be used to affect the overall feel of a musical piece. Here, Marcelo presents us with some great syncopated Jazz rhythms.

14:53 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Guitar is the Band

During times that the guitar is isolated or carrying the band, it may be required for us to provide the harmony, the melody, and the bass line. In this lesson, Marcelo highlights his use of arpeggios to navigate this requirement.

19:57 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


One Chord Dorian Vamp

Time to shift gears! In this lesson, we'll apply some of the skills that we've learned over a full instrumental Dorian vamp!

18:16 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Walking Shells

Continuing with our full instrumental backing tracks, here Marcelo applies our chord shell technique that we learned previously to a catchy Swing number!

16:51 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Spring Comes

Let's continue applying the skills that we've learned with this pleasing Modern Bebop-style backing track in Em!

13:31 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Swing Ballad

Now let's revisit our earlier Swing ballad, but this time with a full band which will require us to make the proper concessions to avoid playing within the bass player's range.

14:20 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


12 Bar Swing

Congratulations! We've reached the end of the course and will close it out with this fun 12-bar Swing track.

14:20 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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  • Dallas, TX
  • Playing since 1982
  • 198 lessons at JamPlay
This Latino artist, composer and guitarist, has inspired a new musical trend that he has called “Southern World Music”. This innovative mix of sounds is a blend of the tango from Argentina, flamenco from the south of Spain, and several musical styles from Southern California. Marcelo has done live presentations and recorded with artists like Ricky Martin, Selena, Leon Gieco, Daniela Romo, Sergio Arau and Bebu Silvetti to name a few. In television, he accompanied stars such as Jorge Moreno, Grammy Award winner in 2002 in the “Best New Artist” category. He also composed the song “Gitano Corazon”, recorded by Natalia Oreiro in her album “Tu Veneno”. This album was nominated in the Latino Grammy Award 2001 in the category of “Best Female Pop Album”. He is co-author of the song “One Heart” with Steven Segal, Larry King and Tommy Coster. His musical talent has been shown in movies including “Dirt”, “The Mexican”, “Un Pedazo de Tierra” and “Paulie”. He has participated in television shows, concerts and kick-off parties for movies like “Mission Impossible II” and “The Disapearance of Garcia Lorca”.

Marcelo was born and raised in Argentina. He says he felt a passion for the music since he was about 11 years old when he started to take guitar lessons. His father had a lot of influence in his love for music. Together they used to play the songs that Marcelo wrote. His father always took him to listen to jazz. At this time, listening to jazz gave Marcelo another perspective since he was a rock fanatic. His motivation was first the Beatles and then Charly and Spinetta “the skinny”. Marcelo recalls that by the age of 18, he was playing in different places throughout Buenos Aires, Argentina. He would play four to five nights a week with different groups or to accompany solo singers.

His decision to come to Los Angeles was motivated by his interest in jazz. In 1985, he came to study to GIT and he never returned to Argentina. Marcelo currently lives in Los Angeles, California with his lovely wife and son. He performs live at several local places. In addition to playing the guitar and composing, Marcelo teaches in the “Musicians Institute”, one of the most prestigious in the music world.
Reviews & Feedback 94/100 with 35 ratings

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Fab lesson, to the point and no messing.. honest facts as well.. if you don’t know 12-Bar Blues.. Then stop what your doing right now!! I like it a lot. ????


Given the previous lessons, I already sound Jazz af. I love this course, the instructor, and especially this video.


Marcelo always great


Thanks Marcelo