If you have struggled to play Bossa Nova in the past, these 5 lessons will answer all of your questions and outline a methodical approach to mastering the basic Bossa Nova groove.
Bossa Nova Basics
The first lesson in this course provides an introduction to the Bossa Nova style. We explore the chord voicings, baselines and rhythms and then we add these 3 components together to create our first Bossa Nova groove.
We then learn how to play both major and minor 251s in Bossa Nova style. We talk about the differences when playing these common progressions and we also apply some interesting chord extensions and alterations.
Blue Bossa Tutorials
In the Blue Bossa Tutorials we explore a 5 step process which you can use to approach any Bossa Nova tune you would like to learn. To absorb the feel and groove of Bossa Nova, you need to follow this methodical process.
It’s difficult to maintain the 3 elements of Bossa Nova which are a steady bass line, syncopated rootless voicings, and finally the melody on top. A very important point is that it’s not absolutely necessary to play all of these elements concurrently throughout the performance.
In fact it often doesn’t sound very good if you do this. Instead you can just imply these different elements and leave more space. Always remember that you don’t have to fill up all of the space but understand that both the bass lines and comping rhythms are available to you, should you wish you use them.
We then step away from the melody and harmonise the tune as if we were accompanying a singer or an instrumentalist and introduce some interesting applications of inner voice movement.
The final time through we will strip out most of the comping chords and focus on our left hand bass patterns with an improvised melody line. This creates more melodic interest and builds a nice climax towards the end of the arrangement.
How Insensitive Tutorials
In part 1 we play the tune with a ballad feel and explore the underlying harmony.
In part 2, we add more melodic decoration and fills. We start with a ‘floaty’ ballad feel using a little pedal, but also adding some rhythmic comping in places.
After bar 16 we introduce a Bossa Nova flavour by outlining beats 1 & 3 in our left hand. Remember that bass lines in Bossa Nova don’t have to be complicated, sometimes the simple bass lines are the most effective!
Part 3 is a challenging arrangement incorporating all of the elements of Bossa Nova which is a steady bass line, syncopated rootless chords, and finally the melody on top.
We also introduce a new bass line variation which can be used in conjunction with the bass line we have covered in previous Bossa lessons.