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Lyle Ronglien >> Jam Sessions - Smooth Jazz >>

Jam Sessions - Smooth Jazz Style

Lesson 8 - Jam in Em

Lyle: This lesson is just a little different than others because I'm going to teach you a whole song rather than just a single jam. If you have listened to the media clip from above, you'll know what you're about to learn. It's a song my brother and I wrote and recorded together, and he plays the bass guitar in it.

Lowell & Lyle Ronglien

Lyle: Most of this song is easy to play. I'm going to show you how to play every riff from it and then give you a complete jam track of the whole song to play along with.

Lyle: I used a Rocktron Voodu Valve pre-amp for recording the guitar parts. The main tones are from factory preset #136 YTSE JAMMER. It has a combination of overdrive, chorus, and a slight delay. Use your neck pickup for a fatter tone too. The clean sound is just a plain clean with a splash of reverb.

Lyle: The song revolves around the Em and Am chords. The main melodies are generated from these scales:

Lyle: Those two scales are related to each other. They use the same notes.

Lyle: Here's the first/main melody riff that the songs starts with. Try clicking the loop button so the TAB file loops and acts as your jam track.

Dave: what do you mean by the "minor notes" for the melody? Just the root and b3?

Lyle: Minor modes. The E Aeolian minor and the A Dorian minor modes are used for the melody.

Dave: oh, minor MODES

Lyle: This song crosses into several veins of music styles such as rock, smooth jazz, and blues. I really wanted to share this tune with you because it's one of my favorites and it has a lot to offer the student who is into perhaps a modern smooth jazz guitar style.

Lyle: Here's the rhythm clean guitar part that's behind the melody:

Lyle: Remember, you can loop the TAB file for play-along practice. I'll be giving you a jam track for the whole song later.

Picky: Any particular reason you call it "smooth" jazz? Why not just jazz? Is there a difference? tempo?

Lyle: What is the “Smooth Jazz Style”? The smooth jazz style contains many different styles of music such as blues, rock, Latin, R&B, funk, hip-hop, and jazz. That's one of the things I like about this style, it's very flexible and open to interpretation. You can make what you want with it. The smooth jazz guitar style is very bluesy and can be played on acoustic or electric guitars.

Lyle: Regular jazz style can have a more complicated sound to it, like many wrong/outside notes happening or it can sound like everyone is playing a different song, or lots of fancy chord changes. Smooth Jazz is....smooth to the ear.

Lyle: The next part of the song repeats the melody section but this time a harmony guitar part is added. The harmony is made by simply copying the melody within the same scale but only three notes higher, in thirds:

Lyle: Remember that the TAB file acts as your jam track, click the loop button.

Lyle: Notice the melody and harmony riffs sound so smooth, partly because of the slow and steady vibrato and also because the sliding around from note to note.

Lyle: Next is the organ solo. I played this on my guitar which has a midi pickup on it and triggering a synth to get the sound but you can use a nice clean sound too and still be able to rip out a good solo. The solo is based around E natural minor, or the E Aeolian mode:

Lyle: Ok, here's the "organ" solo!

Lyle: Here's a video of me playing the organ solo using a regular clean guitar tone:

Lyle: Just for fun I made another video of me playing the solo again but with a flute sound from my midi guitar:

Lyle: Here's a looping jam track of just the Em section of the tune, the same as for the organ part:

Lyle: I use a Brian Moore midi guitar with an original Midiaxe system built in that is plugged into and triggering my synths via a midi cable.

Lyle: Next in the song comes the lead guitar solo. This is played in Am. I don't think this belongs in the "smooth jazz" style but it seems to belong in the song:

Lyle: The last part of the song goes back to the melody and harmony riffs. But this time a super clean guitar adds a few "smooth jazz" riffs on top of the disported guitars:

Lyle: This last section, the ending solo riffs define the whole song and really give it the smooth jazz feel.

Lyle: Here's a jam track for the whole tune:

Lyle: The basic song structure is:

organ solo
lead guitar solo
clean smooth jazz riffs fade out

Lyle: I've taught you all the parts in this lesson, now you can put them all together and jam along with me on this song I call "Away".

Lyle: Good time to take a break.

jack: thank-you, that's a great song!

Lyle: Welcome!

Dave: thanks Lyle

Lyle: You can stick around and jam. I've got to go now. Have a good week.

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