Country School: Comping Ideas

Here is a gallery of country comping patterns for your consideration. Think of these patterns as building blocks, as musical words and phrases and sentences, that your can mix and match to suit your own taste. And don't forget to record yourself as you play them. Your goal should not be to play fast. It should be to establish a deep, unhurried, groove that makes people want to dance!


Country Comping Idea #1

Such two-fisted rhythm playing is the definitive country music comping pattern: Chord root on beat 1, chord 5 on beat 3, and chords "strummed" on beats 2 and 4. Imagine that your left hand is the bass player and your right hand is the rhythm guitar...

country piano comping

Techique Tip: There is never any need to throw your hands at the keys. Use a prepared attack and let gravity drop the weight of your arms/hands/fingers into each note or chord.

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Country Comping Idea #2

Same exact notes as above, but in a different right-hand rhythm, great for medium tempos...

country piano comping

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Country Comping Idea #3

Another variation of the patterns above, great for slow tempos where there is lots of time to play in between the bass notes...

country piano comping

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Country Comping Idea #4

Use walkups and walkdowns in the bass to create forward motion and a sense of anticipation...

country piano comping

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Country Comping Idea #5

Let's add some country twang. This is a very simple pattern: "the 5" of each chords is sustained while "the 2" resolves to "the 3".

country piano comping

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Country Comping Idea #6

This Blues-inspired pattern emphasizes the b3 and b7 of the I and VI chords. Notice the mini-pickups between each two bar phrase used to keep the momentum going.

country piano comping

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Country Comping Idea #7

Here is a country gospel waltz, a great example of mixing two styles of music.

country piano comping

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