Guitar Lessons for Busy People

Nashville-based guitar teacher
is giving away tips
you can use to triple
your guitar progress today.
Use the form below to sign up for daily guitar playing tips and 31 free video guitar lessons.





 

Basic Bossa Nova Rhythm for Guitar

File Under: Guitar Lessons

guitar tips for bossa nova rhythmRecently, I discussed how you can start feeling the basics of Brazilian rhythm to help you in learning the many incredible styles of Brazilian guitar from Samba to Bossa Nova.

Today, let’s dive into the style that many people think of when they think of Brazilian guitar: Bossa Nova.

Bossa Nova is an extension of the Samba rhythms that came before it.

It usually has a more relaxed and laid-back feel than Samba.

Bossa Nova usually extends across two 2/4 measures. Slight variations between the two measures create the characteristic syncopation and “bounce” of Bossa Nova.

The Basic Bossa Nova

The key here when learning Bossa Nova is to simplify the chords you’re playing so you can cultivate the characteristic feel of Bossa Nova. Until you get the feel internalized, you’ll be effectively lost, and no amount of chord changes or jazz chords will save you.

So, when you’re starting out with Bossa Nova, just work these rhythms patiently while holding on a single simple chord–say, a C major 7, which is just like the C major in 1st position that you already know and love but with the index finger lifted up off of the 2nd string. So your ring finger is at the 3rd fret of the 5th string, your middle finger is on the 2nd fret of the 4th string, and the 3rd, 2nd and 1st strings are open.

Bossa Nova relies on the division of your picking hand into two parts–the thumb is the first part and your index, middle and ring fingers are bunched together as the second part.

This means you’re either playing your thumb (P) or your other fingers (IMA).

Here is the most basic Bossa Nova rhythm. Let’s clap it out to get the feel for it first. Clap only the parts of the rhythm that are not inside parentheses:

1 (e) & (ah) 2 e (& ah)

Right there, you have the kernel that leads to all kinds of Bossa Nova variations.

Now let’s head over to the guitar.

To start building a feel for this basic Bossa Nova rhythm on the guitar, just play the thumb for the 1 and 2. Play the IMA finger block for the & of 1 and the ‘e’ of 2.

That looks like this:

…..1 (e) & (ah)    2  e (&)(ah)

e ——————————–
B ——–0———-0———
G ——–0———-0———
D ——–2———-2———
A –3————–3————-
E ——————————–

So, to get started feeling the Bossa Nova basic rhythm on the guitar, you start right here with a simple chord and work on feeling the clear difference between playing 1 (e) AND (ah) vs. 2 E (and ah). That difference is quite subtle until you really notice the difference, at which point you’ll start to sense the incredible complexity concealed within even this simplest rhythmic variation.

Once you can feel the difference, try changing chords. First, change after you’ve completed that entire rhythmic sequence. Try going from the C major 7 you’re already playing to another simple chord, like G major.

Once you can change from chord to chord after a full measure, you can start exploring what it feels like to have two chords per measure. Start the 1st beat with a C major 7 chord, and change to your G major on the 2nd beat.

From here, it’s a simple process of expanding your ability to play more complex jazz chords while maintaining the same rhythmic feel that bounces through this slight variation.

Stay tuned as we start to extend this basic Bossa Nova pattern to reveal additional variations that further fill out the characteristic Bossa Nova sound!

Triple Your Guitar Progress
Nashville-based Guitar Teacher is Giving Away Tips to Triple Your Guitar Progress Now





 

Matt Coffman, String Love Guitar
Matt Coffman
Guitarist • Guitar Teacher
Author • Change Agent

Free Offer For You
Sign up for my DAILY Guitar Tips Today and...
Get Instant Access to 31 Guitar Lesson Videos (these can save you months of time and hundreds of dollars)
My daily tips will put you on the fast track to playing like your guitar heroes.
Enter your email address below and let's get started...

 

What My Students Are Saying

In the past six years, with Matt’s superior help, I have accomplished more than I ever felt would be possible.

Scott Lindsley
student, age 57

Matt is a dedicated and thoughtful teacher. His love for the guitar is apparent every time we have a lesson and he is great at transferring his love and knowledge of the guitar to his students. I highly recommend him!

Ryan Harding
student for four years

Matt Coffman is by far the best guitar teacher I have ever worked with.

Fiona Culley
student

I’ve been taking lessons from Matt for 6 years now.

I’ve grown in my playing more than I ever thought possible. Before long I had surpassed my original goals that I had hoped to achieve from taking lessons and had to come up with new ones.

I’ve developed fingerstyle skills that I didn’t know existed before starting lessons. I’ve gained a much better understanding of music theory and song structure. I’ve learned very diverse styles from classical, blues, Brazillian, and folk that lead to greater possibilities in my own playing and writing.

Most importantly I’ve been given the tools to grow through a practice method that guarantees results.

I always look forward to lesson times as they’ve remained fun and interesting as well as challenging continuously since the first lesson. I’ve had a great experience taking lessons from Matt and look forward to learning even more.

Andrew Mornout
student for 6+ years

I have wanted to play the guitar my whole life and I pretty much thought it was too late to learn – not true! I am so lucky to have found Matt.

Allison T.
guitar student

Matt has been an awesome guitar teacher.

I started taking lessons from him in March of 2009. From the first lesson it was very evident that he cares about his students and getting them to the level of skill that they want.

Aletha Moore
student

Matt has an excellent approach to teaching.

He doesn’t just teach you to memorize a song, he teaches you to understand the building blocks of that song.

That understanding translates into the ability to take those same building blocks and apply them to the mechanics of other songs. Therefore, he teaches you music, not memorization.

Brian Wilson
student for 3+ years

These are the best guitar lessons I have ever taken and I have been playing for over 30 years.

Matt has taught me the correct way to practice and how to think about my playing. In such a short time, he has really improved my ability to play difficult passages. Matt is a very patient teacher and a good listener. He pointed out issues in my playing that I wasn’t even aware of.

Julie Tissue
student

Matt is my third guitar instructor.

All were good experienced teachers, but Matt is the only one that kept me going long enough to make significant progress. Matt is a very accomplished guitarist, but while he was learning he was also studying effective teaching techniques and methods. If you watch the video lessons on his website, you can get a feel for how well he uses these skills.

Jim Scarborough
student for 3+ years
Your Guitar Playing Will Never Be the Same...
Enter your email address below and let's get started: