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Lyle Ronglien >> Jam Sessions - Rock Style >>

Jam Sessions - Rock Style II

Lesson 6 - E Major

Lyle: This jam track is in the key of E major. It has a "rock power ballad" sound to it. Here's the chord chart and jam track:

chord chart

Lyle: The jam is made from two simple chords played in the open position:


Lyle: That's just the chords, here's the strum pattern for the rhythm riff:

Lyle: You can use an acoustic guitar for the rhythm riff or an electric guitar set for a fairly clean setting, and try the neck or middle pickup. Add chorus and a little reverb to spice it up!

Lyle: You can select the loop feature for the tab playback on this or any of the riffs if that helps you learn it.

Lyle: Now you know how to play the rhythm guitar part for this jam, next I'll show you a few ideas of things you can learn to play against the jam track. Here is the first riff from the lesson sample. It's made mostly from this pattern for the E major pentatonic scale:

Lyle: How we doing out there?

TomH: I'm jamming on the Emaj pent now.

Ken: bending, lots of bending.

jerry: Doin' ok Lyle.

Lyle: Good.

Lyle: Since you are working in the key of E major, you can play any mode from the key of E.

Lyle: The next riff uses the 2nd mode in the key of E, the F# Dorian minor mode:

Lyle: You could use octaves with the 5th and 3rd strings to produce a thick melodic sound like the next riff example made from notes in the E major pentatonic:

Lyle: Now you've learned 3 different things to use when jamming along to this jam track. The first thing was the E major pentatonic scale, second was the F# Dorian minor mode, and the third thing was sliding around notes in the E major key using octaves.

Ken: Do you mute the 4th string in this riff?

Lyle: Yes.

Picky: If you're on the spot for a solo just jamming with your friends, how would you know which scale to use?

Lyle: You have to know what chords are being used while you're jamming, that way you can figure out what key you might be in and then choose the scale you want to use.

Lyle: "Learn your scales"!

Picky: So now that you know what scale to use, how do you make said scale sound like music and not a scale?

Lyle: Good question. From time to time I show you musical ways to play a scale in almost every lesson. I have a great example coming up.

TomH: Don't play them in the exact order, mix them up

Lyle: That's a good idea.

TomH: Nobody but other musicians will know what you are doing anyway :)

Lyle: Arpeggios are every other note in a scale for the most part. Arpeggios are the notes that make up a chord. They are also fun to learn and play in any musical situation.

Lyle: If we took the 7 tones of the E major scale and learned each of the resulting modes and chords that come from the harmonized E major scale, you would end up with these 7 chords all directly related to the key of E:

Lyle: Emaj7 - F#m7 - G#m7 - Amaj7 - B7 - C#m7 - D#m7b5

Lyle: Here's one way to play these arpeggios up the neck starting with E maj:

Lyle: Remember you can slow the tab down and loop it if that helps you learn and practice it.

Lyle: The next riff is a 'musical' way of playing a scale. I'm simply playing unison bends ascending up two octaves of the E major scale:

Lyle: See how a scale can sound musical? It's all how you play it.

Lyle: The last riff in the lesson sample is all made from natural harmonics. Strike the note while the fret-hand lightly touches the string directly over the fret indicated.

Lyle: Here's how the last riff of the lesson sample was played. Each note is a natural harmonic:

jerry: Lyle, what do you use for your sustain?

Lyle: My fingers.

Lyle: I don't let the strings fret out.

Lyle: Add a little vibrato too. That helps keep the strings vibrating/sustaining.

Lyle: Ok, that's it for this lesson. Hope you have fun jammin'!   All the jam tracks from this series are available for download in high quality MP3 format. Visit my web site and go to Jam tracks for more info. Thanks - Lyle

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