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- Smooth Jazz Style
Lesson 1 - Jam in Em
and welcome to this jam session in the smooth jazz style! The smooth jazz guitar
style is very bluesy and can be played on acoustic or electric guitars. Most of
the time you will want to use a clean sound from your amp along with a touch of
reverb. Also try using the neck pickup for a fatter and warmer tone. I'm going
to teach you the guitar parts from the media clip above. It's a solo from a song
I wrote off my first solo CD (Lyle Vol. 1) called "Spinner". I wrote it one
night after coming home from a concert by virtuoso guitarist Pat Metheney. A
very inspiring performance that night. Let's start with the rhythm grooves for
the lesson then you can learn the solo. In this lesson you'll be jamming in Em.
Here's the jam track for the verse groove and the chords you'll need to know for
chord chart -
Lyle: Here's how to play these chords:
This is a typical ii - V chord progression. The Em is the second (ii) chord in
the key of D major, the A13 is the fifth (V) chord in the key of D major. Using
the first set of chords, I suggest a rhythm groove that goes like this:
Now try that against the jam track.
Lyle: For the second set of chords, try this
rhythm pattern which is very much the same groove:
Here's a TAB for the whole verse rhythm riff. On any of these TAB's you may want
to click the loop button to help play along, or just play along to the jam
you wanted to work on your improvising, you will need a few scale choices to
help come up with cool riffs. Since this jam is in Em, the ii chord in the key
of D, the E Dorian minor scale is a great scale to start with. Listen how the
scale fits against the jam track:
toya: I was
trying Emin pentatonic licks between the chords. Will that work
can see now that E Dorian contains Em pent...
zz: Could we
use F# Phrygian?
toya: Ah, that's great. It shows the intervals
Lyle: Yes you could use F#
Lyle: The A13 chord is a dominant chord and is
also the V chord in the key of D. This means you could play the A Mixolydian
mode over the two chords like this:
just got a request for the bass riff, it goes like this:
That's it, but much faster.
Lyle: Since both chords are in the key of D
major, you can use the D major scale too!
It's true and I slaved over this tune for a couple weeks getting it to sound
right for me.
Lyle: Bm is the relative minor in the key of D
major, just three frets lower. This means you could play a B minor pentatonic
against these two chords - Em and A13:
Picky: How do
you chose your beginning and ending
Lyle: I just choose any of the notes in the scale
to start on and end on, if it doesn't sound good, I try not to do that again,
I'll use a different note.
Lyle: You've been working on the "verse" section
of the jam, now let's learn the chorus section.
chord chart -
chords - chorus
Here's the CHORUS section jam track:
Try this rhythm riff for the chorus section:
Got your hands full I bet.
wp: This is a great lesson
stuff...sounds great on the acoustic
Lyle: Thanks, glad you like
Let's look at improvising over the chorus section. All four of those chords are
dominant chords, and they all belong to four different keys. One way to handle
this is to play Mixolydian modes for each chord like this:
Ready for the big jam session?! Here's the jam track for both the VERSE and
CHORUS back to back:
Lyle: I made a solo using all of the scale
options described in this lesson. Also, one of the things that makes a "smooth
jazz" sound on your guitar is to slide into notes instead of bending notes like
in blues and rock. Check out all the little slides going on in this
slide into a note please...
Lyle: slide up from 1 fret below the target tone
you're after. see solo
Pacer: thanks, it is still
Lyle: The solo is over the whole verse and
chorus. Watch and listen to it on the virtual neck. Notice how close it is the
scale options. You'll also notice it sliding up to different
Lyle: You can find little riffs inside the whole
solo that you like and learn pieces of it at a time.
The video is uploading to you now.
Mike: Boy! I really like the sounds of this Lyle, that
B9 chord form is to die for
Lyle: Here's the original song I wrote and
recorded years ago. It features my guitar synth playing all the solos. Even the
electric piano solo is me playing my midi guitar. I constructed the whole song
and played all the parts from my midi guitar.
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