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Lyle Ronglien >> Jam Sessions - Rock Style >>

Jam Sessions - Rock Style

Lesson 5 - Jam in A7

Lyle: I'm going to show you a few riffs and scales to play against this jam track in A:

chord chart

Lyle: Here's one way you can play the chords along to the jam track:

Lyle: Here's how I played the rhythm in the lesson sample video:

Lyle: The three chords - A, G, and D are used in the jam track. A7 isn't ever played but it is implied. The A is the V chord in the key of D, G is the IV chord in the key of D, and D is the I chord of itself. So the chord progression of this jam is based off the 1 - 4 - 5 chords in D, we're just playing them backwards from the 5 to the 4 to the 1 in D. The V (5) chord of a key is the "dominant" chord such as the A7 or A9 type chords. So we treat the A chord in this jam as A7, the dominant chord in the key of D.

Lyle: You can play a D major scale over this jam because as I've just pointed out the 3 chords are all related to the key of D. Listen to the audio of this tab file. It's the D major scale played over the jam track:

Lyle: This next scale pattern is tricky but good to practice for your fingers:

Lyle: Here's the D major scale again, but this time using a 2 octave pattern and all hammer-ons:

Lyle: The 5th mode of the D major scale is A mixolydian. Notice how the two scales share the same notes:

Lyle: Here's a riff made from the notes in the A mixolydian scale pattern at the low end of the neck:

Lyle: The A Mixolydian has the same notes as the D major scale.

Lyle: This is why I call the jam in A7, because the A chord is the V or dominant chord of the progression.

Lyle: One of the favorite scales to use over a rock style jam like this is the A minor pentatonic. Here's a riff made from this scale:

Lyle: The A major scale has a G# in it. That would sound good with this jam because of the G chord in it.

Lyle: Here's a classic rock style riff:

Lyle: Since the jam is based around A7, the V chord in the key of D major, what minor scale/mode can you use to play against this jam?

write: Dorian maybe.

vince: A min pent?

Lyle: The relative minor for the key of D major is B minor:

write: B Aeolian?

Lyle: Yes, the B Aeolian, or B relative/pure/natural minor scale. It can have any of these names.

Steve: What about B Phrygian

Lyle: That's not related to the key of D.

Lyle: B Phrygian is the 3rd mode in the key of G major.

write: So you are saying that it would have to be F# Phrygian?

Lyle: YES!

write: Now it starts to click.

Lyle: Any mode in the key of D major will work against this jam track which is based around the A7 chord.

Lyle: Modes in the key of D are:

Lyle: D Ionian, E Dorian, F# Phrygian, G Lydian, A Mixolydian, B Aeolian, C# Locrian.

Lyle: Like in this jam, the A chord is the "tone center" so I would say the A mixolydian mode would be the mode of choice because A is the V chord in the key of D, because all three chords in this jam are related to the key of D.

Lyle: For more info about modes, check out my CD-ROM called Understanding the Modes by Riff Interactive. ;-)

write: Lyle in the rhythm track I notice you use power chords hammering on and leaving out the third. Does that make it easier to use a minor pentatonic scale.

Lyle: The Am pentatonic has a flatted 3rd in it. The A mixolydian has a major 3rd in it. When you play a flatted 3rd against the A7 sound you are really playing a #9 sound, creating an altered dominant sound. This is why the Am pentatonic will sound good over this jam.

Lyle: I'm going to take a break right here but you can keep on jammin'!  All the jam tracks for this series are available for download off my web site, . They are in a high quality MP3 format that you can save and burn to a CD so you can drop it in your home stereo system and crank it up. Email me if you have any questions -  Thank you! - Lyle

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