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Post new topic Any Improvisation tips for Jam Sessions?
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Author Topic:  Any Improvisation tips for Jam Sessions?
Jim Williams

 

From:
Meridian, Mississippi, USA - Home of Peavey!
Post  Posted 17 Oct 2013 10:59 am    
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I plan to take my lap steel to a Country jam session soon. I know where the chords are and am learning some suitable licks for backup, but I might be expected to do a little break here and there. There is no way to know what will be played or in what key. Any tips on finding a lead or at least a starting note? I'm pretty good at finding a melody if I know where to jump off from Smile. I play C6 6 string by the way.
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GFI SM10 3/4, 1937 Gibson EH-150, 2 - Rondo SX Lap Steels and a Guyatone 6 String C6. Peavey 400 and a Roland 40 Amps. Behringer Reverb Pedal.
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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post  Posted 17 Oct 2013 12:13 pm    
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Are you familiar with standard chord shapes on regular guitars? That may help you figure out what key you're in. If nobody's telling you what key the song is when you start out, for heaven's sake ASK.

Otherwise you'll be swooping around until you land on the right chord.
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Jim Williams

 

From:
Meridian, Mississippi, USA - Home of Peavey!
Post  Posted 17 Oct 2013 12:59 pm    
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Yes, I know the chord shapes and can figure out the key without a problem...I just seem to have a problem figuring out what note to start a lead on at times.
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GFI SM10 3/4, 1937 Gibson EH-150, 2 - Rondo SX Lap Steels and a Guyatone 6 String C6. Peavey 400 and a Roland 40 Amps. Behringer Reverb Pedal.
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Rob Anderlik


From:
Chicago, IL
Post  Posted 17 Oct 2013 1:03 pm    
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I would say knowing the chord progression is the most important thing. Second in importance, however, is knowing that the melodies for most (but not all) songs usually start on a 1st, 3rd or 5th degree of the scale of the key the song is in.

I find that just knowing what scale degree the melody starts on give me a big head start on phrasing the melody and/or coming up with licks that will fit over the chord progression
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Matthew Warman


From:
here and now
Post  Posted 17 Oct 2013 3:03 pm    
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to add to Rob and Brads advice, you can try winging it with playing some 2 note harmony runs for whatever key your in. As you know, each scale can be played with 2 or 3 note harmonys. Sometimes just playing these tastefully can come across just fine - often its the sound of the pedal or lap steel that stands out and adds that bit of spice to the band, if you can play some hot licks as well then more power to you! Cool
If you need to learn a few runs quickly, John Ely's site has a great scale finder - you can learn a couple basic run patterns, play around with the notes and can easily move the pattern up or down for whatever key your playing in. You can also try just playing around and staying close to the actual melody/vocal line of whatever songs you guys plan to jam on if you can work them out beforehand.
harmonized scales:
http://www.planetgaa.com/C6/C6Harm.html
John Ely scale locater:
http://www.hawaiiansteel.com/scalelocator/basic.php
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