Bossa Nova Chords Progression – Seduce The Six Strings Baby (Guitar Lesson)

Bossa Nova Chords Progression – Seduce The Six Strings Baby (Guitar Lesson)

Bossa Nova Chords Progression – Seduce The Six Strings Baby (Guitar Lesson)

Yeah baby – in today’s beginner jazz guitar lesson you’ll learn a very cool bossa nova chords progression – and I’m going to show you how to build up one of the most useful bossa nova guitar rhythm patterns step by step.

If you can play one bossa nova rhythm well you can play them all I think, so today I’m going to show you one of the most useful bossa nova guitar patterns that I tend to use when playing Brazilian guitar chords at gigs.

Stick around to the end of this bossa nova guitar lesson because as a bonus I’m also going to give you some very useful jazz chord voicing tweaks to help make your playing instantly sound more authentic with those cool Brazilian guitar chords.

Bonus PDF Download: To get your free printable PDF which has the bossa nova guitar tab for this lesson, go here>>

Video Sections:

00:00 Introduction
01:31 Exercise 1 – Basic Bossa Nova Guitar Pattern
02:06 Fingerstyle Warmups For Bossanova Guitar Chords
05:34 Exercise 1a – Alternating Bass on Bossa Nova Guitar Chords
07:07 Exercise 2 – Adding Syncopation
10:02 Exercise 2a – Syncopation + Alternating Bass
11:29 Exercise 3 – Chords Anticipation in Bossa Nova Chord Progressions
16:22 How Insensitive Bossa Nova Comping Example
17:22 Next Steps

Let’s go through everything I cover in the video step by step:

Step 1 – Basic Pattern For Bossa Nova Chord Progression
(see video at 01:31)

1-bossa-nova-chords-progression

Let’s build this up little by little. Start with a basic Dmaj7 chord and only hold that one for this exercise.

So pretty easy in the left-hand, but on the plucking hand, we’ve got a bit of fingerstyle work to do. Fingerstyle is the preferred plucking technique for bossa nova comping as it’s very natural to play these kinds of rhythm patterns like this.

Notice how the thumb plays on beats 1 and 3 of the pattern. This is typical with bossanova guitar chords – the bass remains steady on these beats while the fingers create interesting counter rhythms over the top.

Use the thumb for the bass notes and your index, middle and ring fingers for the top notes. As a warmup exercise, alterate playing a bass note with the thumb with the top three open strings with your fingers to get a grip on the movements.

This can take a bit of time to get used to, so don’t worry if you can’t do that straight away – practice make progress!

 

Step 1a – Alternating Bass on Bossa Nova Guitar Chords
(see video at 05:34)

1a-bossa-nova-guitar-rhythm

This one is very similar to the first one above. The only difference is how you alternate the bass between the 5th and 6th strings, creating more interest.

Step 2 – Adding Syncopation (see video at 07:07)

2-bossa-nova-guitar-tab

Awesome – we’re nearly to the point where you’re going to be able to play the full bossa nova guitar pattern I’m leading you to.

 This one provides a bit more syncopation to the rhythms you are playing with the fingers.

 It’s good to stick to a steady groove with bossa nova guitar, but sometimes it’s nice to mix up things a little bit and put a little bit more syncopation in those upper notes.

Yes, it does look complicated on the sheet music, but when you listen to it and play along with the video, your ears will make sense of how the rhythm should go.

 

Step 2a – Syncopation + Alternating Bass (see video at 10:02)

2a-brazilian-guitar-chords

We are getting sooooo close to our ultimate bossa nova chords progression pattern, but just one more step before we get there. 

You’re going to do the same thing that we just did in the previous exercise, but all we need to do now is alternate the bass note back and forth between the 5th and 6th strings.

 

Step 3 – Chords Anticipation in Bossa Nova Chord Progressions
(see video at 11:29)

 

3-bossa-nova-guitar-pattern

Here it is – the final pattern! 

This is actually very similar to the pattern that you did in the previous example. This time, you’re adding a little upbeat anticipation on some of the chords.

Instead of just a single chord in the fretting hand, you now have:

Dmaj7 | Bbdim7 | Am7 | D7(b9) | Gmaj7

Notice on the upbeat to the Bbdim7 and the D7(b9) I anticipate the chord by an eighth note.

If you want to sound really hip with this Brazilian style, grab the chord voicing on the upbeat to the next bar here and there when you play bossa nova chord progressions.

Also, as I demonstrate on the video, have a go at moving the top note in the voicings up and down as you play the pattern to make a quasi-melody – this can make the comping sound very sophisticated.

 

Wrap Up & Next Steps:

Bonus PDF Download: To get your free printable PDF which has the bossa nova guitar tab for this lesson, go here>>

I hope this post got you inspired to give this bossa nova chords progression pattern a try.

Bossa nova guitar is one of the coolest comping techniques and is essential knowledge for any jazz guitarist – many jazz standards are in a Latin feel and so at some point you’ll definitely to be asked to play with this kind of rhythm pattern.

Over to you – leave a comment to let me know what YOUR favorite bossa nova tunes are so I know which bossa nova chord progressions I should focus on in future lessons on this website.

 ~ Greg O’Rourke

BMus (Hons), ANU

Founder, FretDojo.com

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Lessons

Ready to take your jazz guitar playing to the next level?
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Jazz Guitar Chords: Unlock Hundreds of Voicings From THREE Easy Shapes!

Jazz Guitar Chords: Unlock Hundreds of Voicings From THREE Easy Shapes!

Jazz Guitar Chords: Unlock Hundreds of Voicings From THREE Easy Shapes!

Get your FREE Handy PDF Download: Click this link to get a print friendly version of all the jazz guitar chord exercises in this video for your practice.

Tired of wading through huge overwhelming books of jazz chord shapes? Then this jazz guitar lesson is for you…

In this video you’ll discover how the most useful jazz guitar chords are constructed, and how you can easily derive literally HUNDREDS of cool jazz chords from just THREE basic shapes.

This lesson will also give you some great exercises for playing ii – V – I progressions like a pro on the bandstand.

If you want learn jazz comping and want the ultimate quick start, then this guitar lesson will show you everything you need to know.

I hope you enjoy this lesson – let me know what you think by leaving a comment below…

Peace,

Greg O’Rourke

Founder, FretDojo.com

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

 

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Making Mistakes – The Path To Success

Making Mistakes – The Path To Success

Making Mistakes – The Path To Success

It happens to all of us at some point:

Getting too wrapped up with not sounding that great sometimes when we practice.

The reason:

It’s the curse of…

Being an adult.

The Curse of Being An Adult

Compare this to the following:

Notice what a child does when they first learn to do things.

Kids make so many mistakes. When speaking, at first they can barely put a word together.

And even after they can eventually say a few basic words, they often make mistakes on the order of the words.

But here’s the reason they improve so quickly:

They don’t care.

Mistakes are an excellent learning opportunity. Don’t be afraid of them as they are a great opportunity for growth.

 

Kids just keep experimenting, making mistakes, falling over, and trying again.

Ironically though, this is the reason kids learn so fast.

The faster you make many mistakes, the more quickly you can learn from them.

Here’s the thing:

Adults are too often afraid of making mistakes when it comes to playing music.

Why is that?

The reason:

Adults are painfully aware of what good music sounds like, having listened to perfectly produced recordings their whole life (with all the mistakes conveniently edited out!)

But:

Young kids don’t have a high awareness of what ‘correct’ sounds like.

This allows children the freedom and lack of inhibition to make a lot of mistakes, to be corrected by their parents and teachers, and thus learn at a rapid pace.

So:

Adopt the child’s mindset in your guitar practice.

 

The Child’s Mindset

Don’t worry too much if something isn’t sounding good (yet). Often daily practice will iron things out if you don’t tie yourself up in knots about it.

If you work on something over the course of a week or two and despite daily practice you’re seeing no improvement, adopt a curious mind – and treat it as
‘a puzzle to be solved’.

When you notice something isn’t improving, make a hypothesis as to what could be the causing the problem.

Then:

Devise an experiment, consisting of exercises or practice approaches that you think could solve the issue. Run the experiment for a couple of weeks and record your observations.

Remember:

Mistakes are an excellent learning opportunity. Don’t be afraid of them as they are a great opportunity for growth.

In fact:

Learning from your mistakes is the key to success on the guitar – or anything else you apply yourself to.

Over to you – What did YOU think of this practice tip? Leave a comment below with your thoughts or tips of your own…

 

Greg O’Rourke

Founder, FretDojo
World Leader in Online Guitar Education

jazz guitar instruction
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Holy Whole Tones Batman! Try This Scale on Minor Chords

Holy Whole Tones Batman! Try This Scale on Minor Chords

Holy Whole Tones Batman! Try This Scale on Minor Chords

Don’t have time to read this post now? Get your Handy PDF Download: Click this link to get a print friendly version of all the exercises in this post for your practice.

► Start Your FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy Membership here: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer  

► Become a FretDojo Patreon here: https: https://www.patreon.com/fretdojo 

In this video I’ll show you how to use the whole tone scale to create some exotic outside effects on minor chords. This is a continuation on a previous lesson video where we applied the whole tone scale to dominant chords. You can find that video here: https://youtu.be/tOKXuN83B0c  

Thanks for watching and let me know what you think of this jazz guitar lesson via leaving a comment below. 

Greg O’Rourke 

Founder, FretDojo
World Leader in Online Guitar Education

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Warm Guitar Tone – A How-To Guide For Jazz Guitar

Warm Guitar Tone – A How-To Guide For Jazz Guitar

Warm Guitar Tone – A How-To Guide For Jazz Guitar

It’s crazy really –

You can have…

  • the best ear in the world
  • the most sophisticated ideas in your solo
  • great rhythm and;
  • have a wonderful expressive phrasing

The list goes on.

But:

If you don’t have a good tone (i.e. the quality of the sound your guitar makes), then none of these elements will truly make an impact.

Here’s the good news though:

It’s not that difficult really to get a good sound on your instrument and create a warm jazz guitar tone. Especially these days with so many good quality instruments and amps.

I should let you know though:

You’ll find a whole spectrum of views on the subject of tone.

Some guitarists are ‘gear extremists’, and will proclaim that the quality of your guitar leads has a serious impact on your sound.

Others (and jazz guitarists especially have often been criticized for this) hardly pay attention to tone at all.

Let’s take the ‘middle way’ though – here’s a few tips from a self-proclaimed guitar gear luddite:

 

Tip #1 – Check with what and how (and where) you are striking the string

I play fingerstyle and use fingernails – so I make sure my nails are polished as smooth as

glass and they have a nice even curve – this has the biggest impact on your sound especially on acoustic instruments. This is one sure way to get a warm jazz guitar tone.

If you are using a plectrum, it should be smooth and of good quality. If your playing sounds too ‘slappy’, try a slightly thicker pick. Resin picks can have a great tone.

Also check where you are plucking the strings – I avoid plucking them too close to the bride which can sound a bit tinny. Side note: I use 0.12 gauge D’Addario XL Flatwounds for a nice thick sound.

 

Tip #2 – Quality of your guitar

More expensive does not necessarily equal better tone.

Your guitar needs to be decent – however the make and model isn’t as important as you might think.

Make sure the action is set appropriately so the strings don’t buzz on the frets. Also check the strings aren’t old.

(Reason: old strings will sound out of tune as you go up the neck).

Whichever instrument you play, choose a guitar of which you enjoy the sound and feel.

More expensive does not necessarily equal better tone – when I picked up my first archtop I tried every one in the store, and the Ibanez you see me playing on my videos was a MUCH better tone than guitars at four times the price.

 

Tip #3 – Tone Knob (especially for jazz!)

Regardless of instrument, if you are playing jazz and want the typical jazz tone, roll your tone knob down quite a bit (I do this even on my archtop) and as I mentioned before, play more towards the neck pickup rather than the bridge – you’ll get that warm, ‘sweet as chocolate sound’. Ooooh yeah.

 

Tip #4 – Your amp (if using an electric guitar)

Here’s the thing:

A good quality amp is actually more important than the guitar when it comes to tone. For jazz, a valve amp can definitely give a great sound, however these days I’m using a Boss Katana solid state amp and get a fantastic result.


Tip #5 – Experiment!

There is no universal ‘good tone’. Experiment with the above and come up with a sound YOU are happy with.

There is no universal ‘good tone’. Experiment with the above and come up with a sound YOU are happy with.

Tone is a very subjective thing, and there is no one right way.

My approach:

Experiment with all the above factors until you settle on a sound which best serves to deliver your musical message, and go with your gut.

Then, record yourself and listen back and evaluate your tone. Rinse and repeat a few times until you pin down a suitable tone.

Be careful though:

Embarking on a quest for the ‘perfect tone’ can be quite a rabbit hole to go down. Near enough is usually good enough – spend a bit of time finding your sound but then turn your attention to the most important bit – actually playing music!

Over to you – what did YOU think of this article on getting a good jazz guitar tone? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

 

Greg O’Rourke

Founder, FretDojo
World Leader in Online Guitar Education

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