Tag Archives: bossa music

Bossa Nova Guitar Patterns – 5 Levels You Need To Know

Bossa Nova Songs and Bossa Nova Grooves are really great to check out, and a lot of fun to play. They are also something you study if you want to learn Jazz guitar. In this lesson, I am going to give you five examples of grooves that you can learn. I will go over them starting from very basic and then make it more and more complicated and I am going to demonstrate how they sound using some songs so you can then easily add to your repertoire.

6 Basic Chords to play the grooves

To play the grooves and the songs we need a few chord voicings. Here are 6 chords that should cover what we need.

You can do this by covering a II V I in 2 positions.

The C root on the 5th string

and the C on the 6th string

Let’s get into the grooves and later I will also talk about how the guitar is the king of this style with bass and piano being cheap imitations.

Level 1 – Basic Pattern

The first groove is a simple 1 bar groove that you will find is a part of most of the other examples, so it is really useful to really get it into your system.

The basic version is this:

All the grooves have 2 layers (or more) so here we have a chord layer and a bass-layer. The bass is playing on 1 and 3 of the bar and the chord is above that.

And you can play a bit of So Danco Samba (which is almost Girl From Ipanema, Desafinado or O Pato as well) like this:

Level 2 – Extension of the Basic Pattern

Bossa Nova and Samba has a lot of room for variations, so whatever you play it still pays off to listen to what is happening around you, but at the same time that also gives you a lot more room to improvise and interact with that is happening around you in the band.

Most of the common patterns are two bars and not one bar so here is a basic pattern that is 2 bars long:

And applying this to Girl From Ipanema would sound like:

This takes a little getting used to with the anticipated 4&, but after going through it a few times you will get used to it. And you need it for the other examples in this video.

Level 3 – Easy Variation for a slightly different feel (Bridge of Girl)

To practice off-beats and have another groove that you can actually use quite often in a bridge section or maybe just to add a little energy then you can use this variation that is playing all up-beats with the chords:

And this works great in, for example, the bridge of girl from Ipanema, again the anticipated 4& is something to be a little careful with.

Level 4 – More complicated

Now the groove is getting a little more complicated and the tempo is a little faster, but it still sounds great!

This pattern is often referred to as Partido Alto, and is sometimes played the other way around so that you start in the 2nd bar.

Applying this to Chega De Saudade could sound like this:

Level 5 – Extra Layers and advanced grooves

The final variation of the groove is using the Partido Alto rhythm or the pattern, but now the chord part of the groove is split up into two layers as well. This gives us the ability to use the high part of the chord as an accent, something to play towards.

That is also how it is used, you can see the “high-chord” on 1&  in bar 1 and on 2 in the second bar.

You can apply this groove to the beginning of Night and Day like this:

Comping – Putting It All Together

Comping – Putting It All Together

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