From the Woodshed #1: Autumn Leaves 3-note Voicing Etude

Welcome to the first addition of “From the Woodshed.” This section will feature a series of articles explaining specific studies that I have engaged in along the way…

Anyone who has studied with me knows that I am constantly encouraging my students to learn how to comp using sparse/rootless 3-note voicings. These voicings are extremely effective when accompanying a Bassist or any other instrumentalist whose primary function is to hold down the root. However, I have found that students have an extremely difficult time compartmentalizing and implementing these chords.

Generally, I encourage the student to adhere to the following principles:

1) Drop the root of the chord.

2) Do NOT double any notes in the voicing.

3) When possible, add an upper-structure note to the top of the chord.

4) When possible, voice-lead notes by step.

5) Try to stick to the midrange of the guitar in order to avoid harmonic clashes with either the Bass or melody of the song.

Here, I have constructed a simple study based on these principles. You may notice that I have relegated the voicings to the 4,3,2, string set.This is quite purposeful as it allows the student to focus on simple step-wise movements.

Click the Image to Download the PDF for this lesson:




  1. Tony,

    Thanks for this. Guide tones with an extension on the second the second string right?

    How is the triad pairs book coming?

    Take care,

    Martin Daly

    发自我的 iPhone

    > 在 2014年4月28日,2:00,Tony Greaves 写道: > > >

  2. thanks for the lesson. Doesn’t seem to be much out there on comping. Especially a lesson done with the very clear principles given as guidance.

    thanks again!

  3. thanks for this new series Tony, i find these mini lessons really helpful

    especially when it comes to comping

    thanks again and looking forward to your book on triad pairs



    On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 2:00 PM, Tony Greaves

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