Jazz Guitarist’s Guide to Creating a 2 Feel
When comping in duo situations, the guitarist’s first call comping technique is usually walking bass lines with chords.
The bass lines in this technique are usually played in quarter note rhythms with the chord on 1+.
While this rhythm is effective, another feel that can be employed to create a contrast is the 2 feel. This lesson is a 3 step guide on how to create a 2 feel to better your jazz guitar comping skills.
The chord progression used for the 2 feel examples is from All The Things You Are, but this feel should be practiced over different tunes that you are working on.
Two feels tend to work best at medium to fast tempos because they are quite sparse.
The audio tracks were recorded at 130 beats per minute for practice purpose, but try and work them up to faster tempos.
2 Feel Step #1 — Roots and 5ths
The first step in creating a two feel is to play a through a progression using ascending and descending fifths as shown in the example below.
Contrary to popular belief, fifths on guitar have more applications that rock guitar riffs.
2 Feel Step #2 — Chords
Now that you can comfortably outline the harmony with fifths, the next step is to add chords.
The chords in this 2 feel example are all in 1+, like in quarter note feel comping.
2 Feel Step #3 — Passing Tones
By this point, you can play a two feel. To fill out the space and add tension, here is one final exercise that teaches how to add a passing note on beat 4.
Aside from bar 5 of the chord progression, every passing tone is a chromatic above the note it is targeting.
These passing bass notes can either be a half step above or below the root of the chord you are targeting.
Jazz guitarists often mix and match the two to create interest.
Further 2 Feel Practice Exercises
Once you can play through each of the exercise smoothly, apply the 2 feel exercise to the rest of the ATTYA chord progression.
This 3 step guide to creating a feel is only a starting point, feel free to experiment with different ideas.
For example, you could use root and 3rd instead of root and 5th on the first exercise.
Do you use 2 feels when you are playing jazz guitar? Share your thoughts below.