I need help with Bossa Nova

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ScireCucuKarma, May 7, 2004.

  1. ScireCucuKarma


    May 7, 2004
    Hi! Im auditioning today for a jazz competition and Im ready except for the fact that I don't remember how the bossa nova bass goes. Please anyone that could help me out with the rythms and common progressions, I need you!

  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Dotted quarter (on the root), eighth (on the fifth), dotted quarter on the root), eighth (on the 5th).

    Think "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" or "Blue Bayou"
  3. A lot of people like to hear space between the dotted quarter and eighth. A lot of times I play more of a quarter tied to a 16th and then the eighth.

    It would be beneficial to listen to traditional Brazilian bossa too. Every Brazilian I've talked to about bossa has said that 99% of Americans and jazz bassists play it the wrong way.
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I agree completely with Ole Jason that listening to bossa nova recordings will be greatly beneficial, because the bass lines aren't just a matter of what notes, but are very much about feel. You won't get that feel without frequent exposure to the top artists in the Brazilian genre.

    I will reccommend just two of several CDs that are the standards among bossa nova recordings. One is "Orfeu Negro" (Black Orfeus) which is the soundtrack of the movie of the same name. It was one of the original bodies of work in the bossa nova style and is still widely popular today among bossa nova fans such as myself.

    The other recording would be Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd's recording "Jazz Samba", one of the definitive works of bossa nova. Both these albums contain many of the songs which have become bossa nova standards today and should be a part of any jazz man's repetoire.

    I can't seem to get enough of bossa nova myself, but I know there are folks here who can't stand it. Part of their distaste for the style might stem from the fact that after the original surge of popularity, the genre began to be diluted by smaltzy, lounge lizard renditions of the music that sound heinous to those who love the original and early forefront of the music.

    Here are some important names in bossa nova. Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Luis Bonfa, Laurindo Almeida, Stan Getz and Charlie byrd, Vinicius de Moraes and Vinicius Cantuaria, Baden Powell and Sergio Mendes.

    By listening frequently to these exceptional artists, you will begin to develop a feel for the music and play better bass lines as a result.
  5. Cool post. I think when a lot of people see a bossa chart they immediately think of medium tempos and a very laid back feel. This can be cool in the middle of a set if you're playing a lot of uptempo stuff but I think a lot of people are missing out on how exciting bossa can be.

    Along with everyone Boplicity mentioned I like pretty much every bossa I've heard McCoy Tyner play as well.

    You should check out some guitar transcriptions of the Jobim tunes. I find that they have some pretty imaginative bass lines a lot of times.