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Jam Sessions - Smooth Jazz
Lesson 8 - Jam in Em
This lesson is just a little different than others because I'm going to teach
you a whole song rather than just a single jam. If you have listened to the
media clip from above, you'll know what you're about to learn. It's a song my
brother and I wrote and recorded together, and he plays the bass guitar in it.
Lowell & Lyle
Lyle: Most of this song is easy to play. I'm
going to show you how to play every riff from it and then give you a complete
jam track of the whole song to play along with.
used a Rocktron Voodu Valve pre-amp for recording the guitar parts. The main
tones are from factory preset #136 YTSE JAMMER. It has a combination of
overdrive, chorus, and a slight delay. Use your neck pickup for a fatter tone
too. The clean sound is just a plain clean with a splash of reverb.
The song revolves around the Em and Am chords. The main melodies are generated
from these scales:
Those two scales are related to each other. They use the same
Lyle: Here's the first/main melody riff that the
songs starts with. Try clicking the loop button so the TAB file loops and acts
as your jam track.
Dave: what do
you mean by the "minor notes" for the melody? Just the root and
Minor modes. The E Aeolian minor and the A Dorian minor modes are used for the
oh, minor MODES
Lyle: This song crosses into several veins of
music styles such as rock, smooth jazz, and blues. I really wanted to share this
tune with you because it's one of my favorites and it has a lot to offer the
student who is into perhaps a modern smooth jazz guitar style.
Here's the rhythm clean guitar part that's behind the melody:
Remember, you can loop the TAB file for play-along practice. I'll be giving you
a jam track for the whole song later.
Picky: Any particular reason you call it "smooth" jazz?
Why not just jazz? Is there a difference? tempo?
Lyle: What is the “Smooth Jazz Style”? The smooth
jazz style contains many different styles of music such as blues, rock, Latin,
R&B, funk, hip-hop, and jazz. That's one of the things I like about this
style, it's very flexible and open to interpretation. You can make what you want
with it. The smooth jazz guitar style is very bluesy and can be played on
acoustic or electric guitars.
Lyle: Regular jazz style can have a more
complicated sound to it, like many wrong/outside notes happening or it can sound
like everyone is playing a different song, or lots of fancy chord changes.
Smooth Jazz is....smooth to the ear.
Lyle: The next part of the song repeats the
melody section but this time a harmony guitar part is added. The harmony is made
by simply copying the melody within the same scale but only three notes higher,
Remember that the TAB file acts as your jam track, click the loop button.
Notice the melody and harmony riffs sound so smooth, partly because of the slow
and steady vibrato and also because the sliding around from note to note.
Next is the organ solo. I played this on my guitar which has a midi pickup on it
and triggering a synth to get the sound but you can use a nice clean sound too
and still be able to rip out a good solo. The solo is based around E natural
minor, or the E Aeolian mode:
Ok, here's the "organ" solo!
Here's a video of me playing the organ solo using a regular clean guitar tone:
Just for fun I made another video of me playing the solo again but with a flute
sound from my midi guitar:
Here's a looping jam track of just the Em section of the tune, the same as for
the organ part:
use a Brian Moore midi guitar with an original Midiaxe system built in that is
plugged into and triggering my synths via a midi cable.
Next in the song comes the lead guitar solo. This is played in Am. I don't think
this belongs in the "smooth jazz" style but it seems to belong in the song:
The last part of the song goes back to the melody and harmony riffs. But this
time a super clean guitar adds a few "smooth jazz" riffs on top of the disported
This last section, the ending solo riffs define the whole song and really give
it the smooth jazz feel.
Lyle: Here's a jam track for the whole tune:
The basic song structure is:
lead guitar solo
clean smooth jazz riffs fade out
I've taught you all the parts in this lesson, now you can put them all together
and jam along with me on this song I call "Away".
Good time to take a break.
jack: thank-you, that's a great
Lyle: You can stick around and jam. I've got to
go now. Have a good
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