September 26, 2014 by Don Russo
In Part 1 of this series, I stressed the importance of learning from your mistakes and failures. So here is part 2:
I have never been the type to learn a style of music and not get out and play it. So, as I was studying jazz tunes in my guitar lessons, I wanted to try and hook up with some guys to play jazz. I perused the want ads and found an ad for a guitar player wanted for a jazz group. I called and met up with them in a practice shed. They were both studying music at USC and I had just started getting into jazz. So, they called some tunes I didn’t know very well. He asked me if I had a thing called a “real book” and I said “what is a real book?” LOL So, the bass player let me look at his charts. I quickly realized that I was terrible at reading chord charts, and even worse at reading melodies. So, before the next practice, I shedded the tunes the best I could. At the next rehearsal, I was kinda hanging in there and the bass player said “can you comp for me while I solo?” I said, “Comping…what’s that?” Suddenly, the bass player and drummer had to wrap up. I never heard from those guys again. My next guitar lesson couldn’t have come any quicker. When we sat down for our lesson, he could barely get comfortable before I blurted out, “What’s Comping?!” Needless to say, we launched into a music lesson series on comping. Thanks for bringing that to my attention Mr. Bass Player!