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Lyle Ronglien >> Jam Sessions - Smooth Jazz >>

Jam Sessions - Smooth Jazz Style

Lesson 6 - Jam in Abm

Everyone come in and find a seat, get tuned up and ready to jam!

Lyle: Here's the chord chart for this 16 bar jam in Abm:

chord chart

Lyle: I'll give you two jam tracks to work with:

Lyle: As you can see, there are a lot of chords. Instead of teaching you all the chords one at a time, I thought I'd just teach you the whole progression using a simple rhythm pattern:

Lyle: To help you learn the chords and the progression, just strum each chord once at the beginning of the measure. You can also use your thumb for the bass notes and your other 3 fingers to "claw" the chord like I do in this video example:

Harper: Has a strange timing... what's the time signature?

Lyle: 4/4

Lyle: Notice the chords alternate from being hit on beat 1, then on the & of 4.

Greg-PortageBay: Almost a Latin feel?

Lyle: Could be

Lyle: The first 3 or 4 chords in this progression have the " Stairway to Jazz Heaven" sound. This is one of the harder to play Smooth Jazz Jams in this series. The chords aren't hard to play, it's just that there are lots of them! Here's how I would play this. I give each chord a little rhythm by separating the bass from the rest of the chord, again using the "claw" technique with my right hand:

Picky: I like this, gives me something to work on.

Greg-PortageBay: Lyle, it seems like Ab blues would work well over this...

Lyle: That's right! >

Lyle: Since the chord progression is in Abm and it's very bluesy, the Abm blues scale is a great choice of scales to use when improvising.

Lyle: Here's a video clip of me just playing the Ab minor blues scale against the jam track. Notice how all the notes fit well with the background music.

Lyle: The Ab natural minor, or relative minor, also know as the pure minor and...Aeolian minor, will work nice here:

Greg-PortageBay: cool beans.. the Dorian is okay, but had a couple sour notes

Lyle: Dorian works nice during the m6 chord.

firsttimer: Why would you not use B Dorian over the Bm6? Is that not the chord you were talking about?

Lyle: You could still use the Ab Dorian against the Bm6 chord too.

Lyle: During the lesson sample I made an example solo for you to work on. The first half of the solo uses notes from the Abm blues scale:

Greg-PortageBay: Very cool, thanks for transcribing that

Lyle: welcome!

Lyle: The second half of the solo is mostly made from the Ab Aeolian:

Lyle: Here's a video of the whole solo:

firsttimer: Why did you an E major 7th arpeggio in the 5th bar?

Lyle: Perhaps because of the chord being played at that time of the progression.

Lyle: EMaj chord was being played during that time, and the notes from the Ab Aeolian are the same as the notes in the EMaj7 arpeggio.

Lyle: Good time to take a break. BTW - All the jam tracks from this series and others are available in high quality MP3 downloads from my web site, Go there and click on Jam Tracks for more info. Thanks, Lyle

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