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Why Bass Chords adapt better to Bossa Nova, Samba and Latin styles??

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Music_for_life, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Music_for_life


    Aug 6, 2010
    Do you know what makes them to sound similar to guitar chords??? Than other styles???
    the position??
  2. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    I'm not quite sure what you're talking about Willis. Care to elaborate?
  3. Music_for_life


    Aug 6, 2010
    The chords sound better than in jazz styles in order to interprate a song with only bass and a singer
  4. IMO in Latin music the beat is distinctive, therefore the bass line would/should revolve around the chord tones, and stay within the basic beat, i.e. provide a basic beat and leave the melody notes to the solo instrument.

    Augment the distinctive rhythm, not compete with it.

    Of course that is my opinion.
  5. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    In latin music, the bass is as much a percussion instrument as it is a harmonic instrument so it provides rhythm and harmony. In swing, the rhythmic input is somewhat less interesting.

    I'm not quite sure how "bass chords" fit into that.
  6. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"...

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I think I see what you're getting at and I would guess that it's because, to me, chords on bass don't sound very good strummed - but they do sound good when played with the thumb/pluck pattern so commonly used in, for example, bossa nova. But I think it's a rhythmic thing more than a harmonic thing...
  7. mbeall


    Jun 25, 2003
    Do you mean they are easier to execute or actually sound better? Take a typical G7 as played by most bass players voiced with a G(1) F(7) and B(10). This is the same chord whether its played in a swing context or in a bossa nova. In a band setting there has to be harmonic space to even allow for it since bass chords can trample the entire mix but with only vocal and bass I don't understand the difference that you are proposing. Is it related to the comping styles? i.e. walking with simultaneous comping in the upper register vs. root/fifth type latin bass line with syncopated comping in the upper register? They both sound great to my ears if the player can actually do it with the same proficiency as a typical jazz guitarist or pianist.

  8. My 6 string has an upper range that does sound somewhat similar to a jazz hollowbody or acoustic guitar. The thumb/pluck pattern is very similar to bossa guitar comping, as are some of the voicings/chord forms.

    Here I have attempted to play the chords and bass notes of the bossa style as a jazz guitarist might do, over "Song For My Father".

  9. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    I think to you it sounds better in Bossa Nova because that style tends to be more mellow. Bass chords are more mellow sounding than guitar (not just because of the pick but the timbre of the instrument) so you can relate to it. And there are hundreds of "latin styles" most of which don't sound like bossa nova because bossa nova is more a branch out of jazz than it is of latin music.
  10. pnchad


    Nov 3, 2005
    and, I know what you mean

    it is both,

    a. the rhythm (root - 7/10, root - 6/9, etc.) you're not playing all the notes simultaneously

    b. the harmonies are usually just that; root then a 6th or 7th topped with a 9th or 10th

    so, harmonically you usually have greater space between the root and the next note

    same reason thirds (3rds) can sound muddy on a BG but tenths (10ths) sound great
  11. Bossa Nova bass parts sounds pretty cool with the latin percussion sets.

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