Comping study on « Blues for Alice » by Bruno

Cette chronique est en anglais car Bruno l'a faite pour The Guitar Channel.
Elle est aussi à disposition tel quel des backstagers francophones.


Comping means “to accompany”. In our case, it means that those chords can be used when accompanying a soloist who is improvising over the song “Blues For Alice”, commonly referred to as “Bird Blues” chord changes. Each diagram represents a full measure, except when slashes are written above the chord—in which case those slashes represent the number of beats for that particular chord.

Blues for Alice (Part 3/6) - Comping study

The circled dot on the Gm7 (final turnaround) is an optional replacement for the bass note. Most of the chords in this study have the root in the bass, except for the diminished 7th chords used as substitutions for some of the Dominant 7 chords. It that case, the dim7 substitutions give us a 7(b9) sound.

Also, note that the Bb7(9) in measure 5 is a Dm7(b5) which is a common substitution. The study can be played with a pick, with your fingers (classical style) or with pick and fingers. Just watch for unwanted notes when strumming.

Since no particular rhythm is indicated, you can play those chords either long and sustained, or more staccato. Variations are always welcome, as long as you respect the 12-bar form, of course...

Also, make sure to bring out the top note of all those chords: after all, that is where the voice-leading is important.


"Blues for Alice" (Part 3/6) by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert (@BrunoPelbac) - Comping study

Blues for Alice - List of Jazz Chronicles

  • The melody
  • 3-note voicings
  • Comping study (this chronicle)
  • 4-note groupings
  • An arpeggio study
  • Improvising with quarter notes only

If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me through The Guitar Channel by commenting below or directly through my website

See you again soon!


Note de La Chaîne Guitare

Si vous souhaitez approfondir certaines notions avec Bruno, il donne des cours en Skype à 37€ au lieu de 48€ pour les détenteurs de Pass Backstage. Voir mon article sur le cours Skype pris avec lui pour vous donner une idée. Le contacter par son site :

Cours de guitare Skype avec Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

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