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Lyle Ronglien >> Jam Sessions - Smooth Jazz >>

Jam Sessions - Smooth Jazz Style

Lesson 9 - Jam in A Maj

Lyle: This lesson is based off a 12 bar jazzy/blues progression. It is in the key of A but in a couple places it switches keys. Here's the chord chart and jam track:

chord chart

Lyle: Here's how you can play the chords for this progression and one example of how to play the rhythm guitar part using these chords:

zz: Looks like your playing your Les Paul tonight:)

Lyle: Going for the sustain!

Lyle: The whole chord progression is a handfull.

zz: Nice axe!

Lyle: Thanks

Lyle: Let's look at soloing over the progression.

Lyle: Since the progression is in the key of A, you could play the A major pentatonic while improvising:

Andy: What would this progression be called? II-V-I?

Lyle: The progression starts in the I. The whole progression is based off the simple I - IV - V theme.

Lyle: You could also use the A Major scale:

Picky: What is the difference in the A major and the A major pentatonic?

Lyle: Good question.

Lyle: The major pentatonic has 5 scale tones, the root, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6, while the major scale has 7 tones, the root, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Lyle: Let's look at the chord chart again:

chord chart 2

Lyle: During the 4th bar, the chords are now in the key of D major. Em7 is the ii chord in D, A7 is the V chord in D. So this means you need to change keys right here during this 4th measure to fit into the new key - D major:

zz: How about E dorian? would that work

Lyle: Yes, during the 4th measure.

Lyle: Same things happens in the 6th bar, a ii - V chord change (Dm7 to G7) in the key of C. So you have to change to the key of C major just for the 6th bar:

Lyle: You could use the D Dorian minor mode during the 6th measure:

Lyle: Remember, you can just jam around using the A major pentatonic.

Lyle: Now let's learn the solo from the lesson sample. The lesson sample starts off by playing a riff that is found again in the last two bars of the progression. This is often called the "turnaround" riff:

Lyle: Here's the first 4 bars of the solo from the lesson sample. Notice in bar 4 it's just a descending D major scale:

Lyle: Here's the next 4 bars of the solo. Notice you'll be switching keys during the Dm7 - G7 chords:

zz: Whats the best way to learn these solos? They almost seem to much to handle in one sitting. Suggestions?

Lyle: Come back for several sittings :-)

Lyle: If everything was easy in one sitting, what would be the fun of practicing?

Lyle: For each one of these TAB files, you can click the loop button and have them play back over and over again, just like having your own custom jam track.

Lyle: During the last 4 bars of the solo, you'll start off with the Bm7 chord and playing riffs made right from the chord, then switch to an E major pentatonic riff before coming to the turnaround riff again:

zz: I guess your right......thats half the fun....practicing.

Lyle: Yes!

Lyle: Remember, this whole progression is based off the key of A major, but watch out for bar 4 and 6, where it changes to D major and then C maj. During the Cm7 chord try playing the C minor pentatonic or Bb major scale there. During the Dm7 chord in the last measure, try the A minor pentatonic or C major scale.

Lyle: That's it for this jam. Enjoy! I'll see you next time - Lyle

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