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Lyle Ronglien >> Jam Sessions - Rock Style >>

Jam Sessions - Rock Style

Lesson 1

Lyle: Turn your amp up all the way and jam! Learn chords, rhythm riffs, scales and modes, lead riffs, theory, and solos as you jam along with the jam tracks in a variety of rock styles.
These lessons are great for the student who is looking for new things to practice, new theory to apply, new ways to improvise using modes, and perhaps best of all, something new to jam to.

Jam In Em

Lyle: Here's your first chord chart and jam track for this lesson:

chord chart

Lyle: Notice this jam in Em has two sections, a verse and chorus. Here's the simple, yet heavy verse riff:

Lyle: The verse riff is pretty simple. Try using a medium overdrive setting on your amp, and the bridge pickup on your guitar. Don't use any effects, keep it dry and tight sounding.

Lyle: The chorus section of the jam changes to a clean tone with a delay setting of 428ms. The chorus section looks long but it's just a repeating riff with a little ending to it.

Lyle: That duration of a delay gives you a quarter note echo at this tempo setting of 140bpm. To calculate bpm into ms, simply take 60,000 divided by (tempo) 140bpm = 428 for your quarter note delay setting.

Lyle: When improvising over the verse section in Em, the E Dorian minor scale is cool to use:

ZZ: Dorian is a minor mode correct?

Lyle: Yes, that is correct. The Dorian minor mode is the 2nd mode of the major scale. The E dorian minor mode is the 2nd mode of the D major scale.

Lyle: Also, the E minor blues scale is always a great scale to use for improvising against a minor jam like this:

Lyle: Here's a solo I made from the E minor blues:

ZZ: Is it a rule of thumb to always improve a minor scale over a minor chord

Lyle: That's a safe rule, yes.

Paul_B: OK question, C major scale = C,D,E,F,G,A,B. So D Dorian is just D,E,F,G,A,B,C For the minor, is this right?

Lyle: Yes! D to F is a flatted 3rd. The Dorian is: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7

I like hitting the 6th in E dorian for this jam track

Lyle: Me too. In bar 8 of the solo above is the 6th degree found in the E Dorian.

Lyle: When improvising over the chorus section, you have to change from the Dorian minor to the natural minor because of the C note in the chorus. (The Dorian minor scale has a C# in it)

Lyle: To sum things up a little, you can use the E minor blues scale over both the verse and chorus sections. Use the Dorian for the verse, the natural minor for the chorus.

Paul_B: Ok I think I got it now E dorian minor same as D major just rest or end on the E am I close?

Lyle: Right.

depar: Lyle, when you think patterns for E Dorian, do you visualize D Major, or "think" in Dorian?

Lyle: I might do both, switch back and forth as my fingers get ready to change into another pattern/mode.

flathead: Does emphasizing the 'A' note in the beginning of the solo add tension because an 'A' note is not in the E minor chord?

Lyle: flathead, good question, I liked starting on that note for that very reason, the A note isn't in the chord and makes you want to resolve to another note. It almost sounds like a wrong note but it's not. A is the 4th in the Em scale, also could be a sus4 note in the chord.

Buud: Lyle - How do you get such long sustains on your solo? Just lots of gain on the amp? What kind of amp are you using. What kind of tube is in it? I have a Univalve and can put in 6L6, EL34, 6550, and 6V6.

Lyle: To get good sustain I pluck the note hard and add a little vibrato. I use a Rocktron Voodu valve preamp and record direct to the soundcard for these lessons.

Jam in F#m

Lyle: Here's another jam.

Lyle: This type of chord progression is popular with heavy rock. Here's your new jam track to work on:

chord chart

Lyle: Go for the bridge pickup and a medium overdrive setting again, no effects. You want to palm mute this riff:

Lyle: The cool scale to use again is the ever popular minor blues scale:

Lyle: When I see a progression like this that has a chord a half step above the first chord, I lean toward using the Phrygian minor scale because it too has a note in it that is a half step above the first note in the scale.

Lyle: Notice that the second note of the Phrygian minor scale is a G note, just like in the chord progression.

Lyle: The Phrygian minor scale is a "mode", the third mode of the D major scale. So you can also play any notes from the D major scale too when improvising to this jam track!

Lyle: Look at the 1st and 2nd strings of the F# Phrygian minor scale, the finger/fret patterns are the same making it easy to play fast. Try this little riff using either hammer-ons or pull-offs:

Lyle: Repeat them over and over, going faster and faster like in this video example:

Lyle: Here's a solo made from the Phrygian minor scale and the D major scale. Bar 4 has a descending D major scale riff:


radica: Do you bar your one finger over the 14's?

Lyle: Yes rad.

Lyle: There's a pinch harmonic (P.H.) note right near the end of the solo. You pick the string with the pick and the side of your thumb at the same time.

Lyle: Any questions?

doulos: Question about the Pinched Harmonics - Should you shoot for a particular harmonic or will it work out all the same?

Lyle: doulos, notice in the video I move my picking hand around the string to get different pitches of harmonics.

Jim: Question - Do you lay something down (improvise) and then notice the mode used, or do you consciously "plan ahead"? I understand the theory, it's the practical approach that eludes me... :-)

Lyle: Jim, using modes gives you two things, a different approach to a melody, and a new place/pattern to play on the neck. That's how I work it MOST of the time.

Jim: I guess I'm asking if you look at the rhythmic progression and choose a mode "logically" before laying pick to string... Or let creativity flow and post analyze?

Lyle: Jim, It depends, once you know what chords are being used, you can apply the correct mode the relates to the key you're in. Stick around for more lessons with my here because I'll be showing little mode tricks along the way in these series of Jam Sessions.

Lyle: All the Jam Tracks from this series are available in high quality MP3 download from my web site

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