Watch the Smoothisms online guitar lesson by Paul Brown from Smooth Jazz Handbook
I'm going to talk about a couple of smoothisms about the guitar that are different from straight ahead jazz. We've already covered some of the things like octaves. They really allow you to take a song to another level. But in smooth jazz you rarely hear that. In popular music in the chorus you have background vocals come in - you have stacks of notes playing. So the octaves give you a little of that mentality of taking the song up a few notches and that works great. There's certain notes that are loved by jazz musicians, like harmonic notes. In smooth jazz i would use a b5. Smooth jazz takes you out of the song and into a melodic and harmonic thing that pulls you away from the song, so I would use a blues type of phrasing. If you play a major 7 note you could end it with a little blues or pentatonic type of phraseology. With octaves, the little slides really add a lot.