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Bossa Nova/Jazz Progression Pt. 1/3

by shredguitar17

10 Mar 2010
Views: 66874

Jazzy made an excellent lesson on Bossa Nova and should be consulted first before this lesson! I will not get too much into the specific artists or background on the period, however this is a common 2-5-1 Bossa Nova progression with the fifth bass notes of altered dominant, tritone, and ninth chords.

Bossa Nova/Jazz and Jazz Differences

The differences between Bossa Nova and Jazz are actually subtle, yet make a huge impact on the different styles. A simple and known way of comparing: Jazz is like a person "swinging" usually the 8th notes will be "swung" to the next bass note played. In Bossa Nova, imagine a pendulum, "swaying" side to side. The difference isn't so much in the chords, or tritones, rather the "feeling" of the rhythm. Bossa Nova/Jazz (most of the time) will use jazz chords, but Bossa Nova rhythm and phrasing.

The Progression

As stated before, the rhythm or "feel" is a swaying 2-5-1-4. The first part of the progression consist of major and minor chords (but its major) and gently eases you into the "tones" of the song. What you are trying to achieve, is the bass note ringing out more than the rest of the chord so accentuate it! Now, this is meant to be played WITHOUT a pick; you can use one however you will lose a lot of the feeling and tone of the Bossa Nova/Jazz style. To play the fifth of each chord, you will usually have to switch your fingers to account for the notes on the E string. You can use your middle finger, or your thumb (like John Frusciante). The most important part of this, is how you let the fifth ring out! For example: in the Em9 chord were about to look at, the E note played on the 7th fret of the A string you want to let ring out over the rest of the triad (chord if you will). If not, it will sound too much like a Jazz progression, which in this instance, isn't our goal.
This is a basic progression with the fifth notes of the chords accentuated on either the A or E string to give the impression of a bass guitar playing. On some chords the fifth is already played on the E string, so you just use that fifth twice like in the A13 chord

Em9 A13(Gmaj9#11) D6add9 Gmaj9


Yes it may seem hard at first, but like all things, it takes time (Einstein and Newton must be some hated men). The next lesson will be on the second part of this song, introducing the minor half of the song...the third part will be combining them, and looking at alternative "plucking" patterns that are incorporated in the Bossa Nova/Jazz genre!

Hope this helps, and if there are any questions, comments, mistakes, don't be shy! Thats what these forums are for!




thanks! im going to learn to play this chord progression. add the next parts up soon!


thank you so much...




when do you post part 2?

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