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Lyle Ronglien >> Jam Sessions - Funk Style >>

Jam Sessions - Funk Style - Lesson 9

Lyle: Grab your guitar and jam along! Join in on these jam sessions, which are designed to teach you theory and technique, rhythm riffs, chords, scales, riffs, and solos, as you play along to the jam tracks. Listen or watch the media clips below to see and hear what you'll learn in this lesson:

Jam Sessions - Funk Style - Lesson 9

Jam Sessions - Funk Style - Lesson 9

Lyle: This lesson is a laid-back funk style jam, based on two chords, Fmaj7 to Eb9:

chord chart


Jam Track in F

Lyle: Here's a video clip showing you a couple simple ways to strum these two chords with the jam:

rhythm riffs

Lyle: These two chords are not in the same key together. The Fmaj7 chord is the I chord in the key of F, and the Eb9 is the V chord in the key of Ab. This means when you're improvising over the jam track, you need to switch keys each time the chord changes.

Lyle: You could play notes from the F major scale against the Fmaj7 chord, then notes from the Ab major scale during the Eb9 chord:

F and Ab maj scales

Lyle: The Eb9 chord is the V chord in the key of Ab, so this means you could play the Eb Mixolydian mode as well as the Ab major scale, because Eb Mixolydian is the fifth mode in the key of Ab:

Eb Mixolydian and Ab maj scales

Lyle: If you listened to the lesson sample you would have heard me playing several different riffs. Each time the chord changes in the jam track (every measure), I too change the scale pattern to match the key.

Lyle: Here's what the first riff is like. It's a single melody line going up the neck:

F major and minor climb

F major and minor climb

Lyle: The reason I swith to F minor during the Eb9 chord is because Fm is the relative minor in the key of Ab. Remember the Eb9 chord is the V chord in Ab, so Fm is the relative minor in Ab.

Lyle: The next riff is a good example of the major and minor uses against the two chords. During the Fmaj7 chord you can play the F major pentatonic or the D relative minor pentatonic, then during the Eb9 chord you can play the Ab major pentatonic or the F relative minor pentatonic:

pentatonic riffs

pentatonic riffs

Frost: I cant move my fingers as fast as Lyle.

Support: The software will allow you to slow down the notation if you need to, just select the "tempo" button.

Lyle: Here's a good example of how each note from the F and Ab major scale sound good against the Fmaj7 and Eb9 chords:

major scale riffs

Support: You can also select sections of the notation with the mouse to work on smaller pieces at a time.

major scale riffs

Steven_K: Lyle, would this also fall into the light jazz category ?

Lyle: Yes, Smooth Jazz and Funk Style are close to being the same.

Lyle: Here's an example of how arpeggios can help you come up with cool sounding riffs. I took the Am arpeggio to play against the Fmaj7 chord (Am is the iii chord in the key of F), then Cm arpeggio against the Eb9 chord (Cm is the iii chord in the key of Ab) :

arpeggio riffs

arpeggio riffs

Lyle: I'm using the whammy bar for the pre-bend at 17 and 20 fret locations. I push the bar down about a whole step, then pick the note and slowly release the whammy bar until it comes to regular pitch, then I wiggle the bar for added vibrato. Watch the video closely for this technique.

Lyle: The last riff from the lesson sample is another arpeggio riff, but with a few techniques thrown in, like sweep picking and right hand hammer-on and pull-off.

Lyle: You'll be playing a Dm arpeggio riff against the Fmaj7 chord, then a Fm arpeggio riff against the Eb9 chord.

Lyle: Dm is the relative minor for the Fmaj7 chord, and Fm is the relative minor in the key of Ab, to which the Eb9 chord belongs to.

sweep arpeggio riffs

sweep arpeggio riffs - slow

sweep arpeggio riffs

Steven_K: Lyle, aren't you also tapping the top note of the arpeggio?

Lyle: Yes, a combination of sweep picking and right hand hammer-on and pull-off is being used. The circled/highlighted note is played with the right hand.

Lyle: Put all those riffs together in order and you'll have the solo that is from the lesson sample above. You can try mixing them all up, even try making up your own solos using the scale and key information I covered in this lesson. Two chords, two different keys.

Steven_K: Lyle, for the right hand hammer/pull to come through audibly, is that a function of amp volume, and guitar sustain ? (or am I doing something wrong here)

Lyle: It's all in the right hand technique.

Lyle: That's all for tonight's jam session! Have a good night and I'll see you next week for another Funk jam session!

Steven_K: I'd like to find someone who has knowledge about some difficulties with dexterity some of us older players are having mild arthritis, and what we should or shouldn't do?

Lyle: Steve K, I'm not a doctor and I don't know anything regarding arthritis and the guitar. You might have to hunt around different doctors who might have knowledge about things you should and shouldn't do with your hands and fingers.

Lyle: If you would like extra help with this lesson or you would like a custom lesson made for you so you could download it, email me at for more info. Thanks, Lyle


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