Improvisation For Bossa & Samba Styles
In this lesson, we will explore improvisation and soloing styles in Brazilian music.
Using a simple 25 progression, we will demonstrate the key differences between the straight feel, and the swing feel.
Swing Feel vs. Straight Feel
You may be familiar with swing feel which is common in jazz. To improvise over Brazilian music, you must understand how to play with a straight feel where the notes are played evenly.
If your experience has been mostly playing jazz music, then you may have to spend some time practicing your straight feel. The division of notes must be even, and when you have that evenness, you can then play the syncopation effectively.
We focus on a number of rhythmic exercises to help you develop your straight feel. We start by improvising with a limited selection of notes. We then demonstrate the different placements:
- on the beat
- off the beat
- before the beat
- after the beat
By displacing your lines and phrases from one 16th note to the next, you can achieve a rainbow of rhythmic possibilities.
At first, stick to a simple progression such as the C-7 / F7 example.
Try to improvise with a limited selection of notes. This will help you focus less on the notes you are playing, and more on the feel.
Experiment with the space between the notes.
Experiment with playing on the beat, off the beat, behind the beat, after the beat.
Listen to recordings of this music to study and emulate the feel of the improvised solos. Check out the following musicians:
Amilton Godoy (Zimbo Trio)
César Camargo Mariano