In this second installment on up-tempo jazz endurance exercises, we’ll focus on comping with dotted half notes and dotted quarter notes. I’ve had great results with these exercises while teaching at Temple University, and I hope you experience similar outcomes. To gain the confidence and language necessary to play faster tempos, it helps to have specific goals and work toward them gradually, patiently, and systematically.

As with the whole- and half-note comping material from last month, find a tempo where you can complete each example without becoming fatigued. Organize your practice sessions by keeping a log of your initial tempos and timing yourself to see how long you can sustain them. As your endurance improves, increase the tempo and see how long you can sustain it in a relaxed manner.

Practice the kick, snare, and hi-hat-foot comping examples in this lesson with the standard jazz ride pattern notated in Exercise 1.

Also try practicing each comping example with these ride variations.

Here are the comping exercises to practice with the previous ride patterns.

Once you have control of each individual exercise, try combining the figures to create longer phrases. Then try inserting eight, sixteen, or thirty-two measures of time between each written example to further challenge your endurance.

Next time we’ll explore up-tempo exercises that utilize quarter notes and 8th notes.

Steve Fidyk has performed with Terell Stafford, Tim Warfield, Dick Oatts, Doc Severinsen, Wayne Bergeron, Phil Wilson, and Maureen McGovern, and he’s a member of the jazz studies faculty at Temple University in Philadelphia. For more info, including how to sign up for lessons via Skype, visit