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#1178095 - 04/10/09 06:06 PM Piano Accompaniement  
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Ragtime Clown Offline
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Is there anything wrong with playing piano accompaniment? I have always had this feeling that there is little technical merit in playing piano accompaniment but more and more I see footage of some great artists play that way.

The thing is, I think most piano solo arrangements sound so awful and nothing like the original recording.

My favourite artists all play accompaniment only - McCartney, Lennon, The Carpenters etc - surely there is nothing wron g with this technique.

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#1178755 - 04/11/09 10:29 PM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: Ragtime Clown]  
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BJones Offline
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Originally Posted by Ragtime Clown
Is there anything wrong with playing piano accompaniment? I have always had this feeling that there is little technical merit in playing piano accompaniment but more and more I see footage of some great artists play that way.

The thing is, I think most piano solo arrangements sound so awful and nothing like the original recording.

My favourite artists all play accompaniment only - McCartney, Lennon, The Carpenters etc - surely there is nothing wron g with this technique.


As long as you're accompanying a singer or instrumentalist.

#1181506 - 04/16/09 11:54 AM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: BJones]  
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There's absolutely nothing wrong with playing a piano accompaniment - in fact, its a skill that takes a lot of time and effort to develop - for my money, Ralph Sharon (Tony Bennet's accompianist) was one of the very best. He knew how to weave his lines and voicings in and around the melody line that always set up the next vocal phrase. Personally, I enjoy the role of accompanist and it is different from being the soloist or the lead instrument all the time - like in the piano trio format.

#1181569 - 04/16/09 01:20 PM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: pianojazz]  
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dmd Offline
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I have been searching for instruction on how to do this but have never found anything other than the most basic .... play chords ... instruction. Is anyone familiar with a great instructional site ?


Don

Current: ES8, ProFX8 Mixer, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors, Pianoteq 5,TruePiano,Ravenscroft275,TrueKeys American,Galaxy Vintage D,Ivory II,Alicia's Keys,CFX Concert Grand, The Grandeur
#1182086 - 04/17/09 08:42 AM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: dmd]  
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I remember seeing some Elton John books that I thought were pretty close to what he actually played as accompaniment for his singing. But that's an exception. Like you say, most of the sheet music is pretty lame when it comes to the actual piano accompaniement - no "professional" piano accompaiest would actually play that. Your best approach would be to develop your play-by-ear skills and listen to pianists accompany a soloist - I have some Oscar Peterson accompanying Ella Fitzgerald recordings that I listened to a lot. That's how you learn - by listening.

#1182452 - 04/17/09 05:51 PM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: pianojazz]  
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Doug McKenzie Offline
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I find accompanying a jazz singer to be very satisfying - probably my favorite gig is playing solo piano with a good singer. While there is plenty of material on jazz improvisation around, there is very little on accompaniment.

On my website I have posted over 20 songs (free to download) accompanying jazz singer Michelle Benjamin. Like all of the videos I have done, they set out to be tutorials. All have a clear piano view of the notes being played, and annotations explaining some of the techniques used. Some have scrolling transcriptions.

All are on youtube. If you are interested, go to
http://www.youtube.com/user/jazz2511
and search for 'Michelle'.

All of them are also on my website -
http://www.bushgrafts.com
- where they are much clearer to read.

For those who have a slow connection to download these large files, a DVD is available - http://www.bushgrafts.com/jazz/DVDbuy.htm

Doug

#1182482 - 04/17/09 06:37 PM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: dmd]  
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BJones Offline
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Originally Posted by dmd
I have been searching for instruction on how to do this but have never found anything other than the most basic .... play chords ... instruction. Is anyone familiar with a great instructional site ?


Listen to a bunch of the Mr.Rogers kids show episodes, paying attention to John Costa's accompaniament when Mr. Rodgers "sings". This is the highest level of what's possible while perfectly accompanying the singer.

#1183621 - 04/19/09 04:49 PM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: BJones]  
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Riddler Offline
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It would be nice to have some recordings of vocalists - without accompaniment except for bass and drums - to experiment with and practice with; i.e., playalongs specifically for pianists or guitar players trying to learn to comp for a singer.

Does such a thing exist?

Ed


http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.

#1184159 - 04/20/09 03:24 PM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: Doug McKenzie]  
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Hop Offline
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Doug,

Very nice! It's pretty overwhelming, but very interesting and well presented.

Anyone who hasn't looked at these links is missing something.

Hop


HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130
#1184181 - 04/20/09 04:07 PM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: Hop]  
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Jazz+ Offline
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Aebersold has play-alongs for vocalists. The "It Had To Be You" set is very good.

#1184484 - 04/21/09 09:20 AM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: Jazz+]  
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Thanks, Jazz+.

If I'm not mistaken, from the description I take it that these are equivalent to complete recordings minus vocalist and minus piano. I'm really trying to find complete recordings including vocalist, minus piano. Inotherwords, I'd like to practice with a vocalist, to experiment with ways of comping without being too in-your-face.

I think I might have to look around for recordings by jazzy vocalists which just happen to have minimal orchestral backing.

Thanks,

Ed


http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.

#1184540 - 04/21/09 11:40 AM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: Riddler]  
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EP Offline
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Actually, these Aebersold sets are solo piano, designed as backup tracks for vocalists, although the piano (played by Steve Allee) is excellent for study of an accompaniment style.

You might want to check out the book-cd set "Accompanying the Jazz/Pop Vocalist" by Gene Rizzo, published by Hal Leonard. It's the only one I know of that has what I think you're looking for. It has the piano track on one channel and the vocalist on the other, so you can dial out the piano and play along.

You could also try the Music Minus One catalog - I don't know if they'd have what you're looking for, but it might be work checking.

#1185974 - 04/23/09 04:35 PM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: EP]  
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EP,

Yes, the Rizzo book looks like what I had in mind.

Thanks,

Ed


http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.

#1186854 - 04/24/09 11:26 PM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: Riddler]  
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BJones Offline
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Originally Posted by Riddler
EP,

Yes, the Rizzo book looks like what I had in mind.

Thanks,

Ed


If you wish to hear one of the world's greatest accompaniast, here he is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j31K7cxtvEs

And here's Martial "On Green Dolphin St." with an absolutely unique style in all of jazz. A concept of rhythm and harmony like nobody else.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPfs...next=1&playnext_from=PL&index=68

#1190356 - 04/30/09 06:41 AM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: BJones]  
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Exalted Wombat Offline
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Has anyone actually come out and stated that it would be absolutely wrong NOT to play accompaniment style while accompaning a singer or other soloist? :-)

#1191653 - 05/02/09 07:37 AM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: Jazz+]  
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Bullitt Offline
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Norway
Hi

Didn't want to start a new thread, so I figure the question might fit here.

I sometimes see reference to playing chord piano. Is chord piano same as comping, or does it just mean playing the melody with a full chord instead of one note melody?

Cheers

#1191666 - 05/02/09 08:37 AM Re: Piano Accompaniement [Re: Bullitt]  
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majones Offline
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Deep East Texas Piney Woods
Originally Posted by Bullitt
I sometimes see reference to playing chord piano. Is chord piano same as comping.....

Short answer - Yes.
Quote
or does it just mean playing the melody with a full chord instead of one note melody?

If you are comping, unless you are playing echo melody (my term) the melody is left to others and you provide only chord harmony. Comping is slang for accompaniment. That said, you can comp with chords and occasionally throw in melodic phrases....... or you can accompany the vocalist playing the tune along with the vocalist. IMHO that's not comping, that is accompanying. Two different things.

To go on ---- chord piano as I do it is I have several two handed chord patterns for 4/4 songs and several two handed chord patterns for 3/4 songs then I mix and match those patterns for the song I'm now playing. My chord piano revolves around playing the chord progression and leaving the melody line to others - I'm working toward having my voice providing the melody. Working both hands and singing the lyrics at the same time is coming a little slower that I expected.

Malcolm

Last edited by majones; 05/02/09 08:58 AM.

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