What we have here are some very basic comping ideas based on the so-called (by me only, I’m sure) “Kenny” note— a snare drum punctuation on the & of 1 or the & of 3. A student is having some difficulties bringing his comping practice into his actual playing, and we had some success starting with this approach of starting with one note, and adding things to it:

You could also call this “jazz comping survival chops”; a bare minimum of stuff that will sound like a lot more than the sum of its parts, if applied musically. Memorize the patterns as you practice them, then throw the page away and improvise with them while playing along with a recording or singing a tune. In general you don’t want to play them repetitively in actual music; mix them up, and put in more space (where you just play time) between ideas. Listen to recordings of Kenny Clarke or Connie Kay to get an idea of the level of density to shoot for at first.

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