How to Play Bossa Nova Bass Lines: Bass Guitar Lesson

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How to Play Bossa Nova Bass Lines:

Upright and Electric Bassist, Jared Plane presents a brief introduction to playing, understanding and improvising a bossa nova style bass line.

In this tutorial, Jared discusses some of the key concepts that are essential for constructing strong, bossa nova style bass lines. Kenny Dorham’s hit composition, Blue Bossa, is one of the best tunes for learning this style of bass playing, and is the central focus for this tutorial.

Not all of the chords in the progression were covered in this tutorial. A brief outline of the chord progression can be seen below:

Blue Bossa is a 16 bar bossa nova composition, consisting of the following chords:

| Cmi7 | Cmi7 | Fmi7 | Bb7 |
|Dmi7(b5) | G7 | Cmi7 | Cmi7 |
| Ebmi7 | Ab7 | Dbmaj7 | Dbmaj7 |
| Dmi7(b5) | G7 | Cmi7 | Dmi7(b5) G7 |

The student is encouraged to hunt down a lead sheet version of this composition, for ease of learning and site reading. This composition can be found in many Hal Leonard Real Books, most commonly acquired through Hal Leonard’s Real Book, Sixth Edition.
Video Rating: / 5


  1. Thx for the vid, as always. Also just realized how crazy your eyes are. (not in a bad way, guy)

  2. Dihelson Mendonca

    This is not the bossanova we play in Brazil. This is we laugh a lot here! Listen to native guys like bass player Thiago do Espirito Santo play Brazilian music ! Sorry, this sounds dull… Listen to this swing –

  3. nice piece! i want to use it in a friend drum lesson video.
    is there any problem? 

  4. Nice work, but really need to nix the five-string.  Watching your left-hand is very confusing!

  5. I'm a Japanese,but I think you teach playing bass guitar.
    And I think you're hangsam.^ ^

    Thank you for uploading!!

  6. Is that night owl from watchmen ?

  7. good

  8. Massimo Materni

    very good lesson , with a clear explanation about foundations of the style

  9. Didn´t know Hugh Grant plays bass.

  10. Awesome.  Just starting to play Bosa Nova.  You are my new teacher!

  11. mark andre augustus

    nicely done!

  12. Great lesson! I`ve learned a lot thanks to you!
    Im a brazilian rock/funk bass player beginning my studies on samba/bossa/tropicalia rythms, and i think this is a good start up as well!
    Dont mind my fellow brazillian players`s rudeness, we just dont really get access to decent education…

  13. Eminem

  14. Thanks for excellent video, is there a chance at some point you could do a bass line for Ceora? Would you use the same rhythms as the bosa? 

  15. great vid! thanks!

  16. César L. Miguel

    Yes, these books from Giffoni are very very useful for many Brazilian types of music such Samba, Bossa, Baião, Frevo, Samba-Funk and others!

  17. César L. Miguel

    2/2 is a 4/4 in half time feel

  18. MomoTheBellyDancer

    You're not even playing a Bossa bass!

  19. bossa is the best grooving rhythm.
    i learn it on keyboard momently.
    your Lesson is really helpfull!

  20. 2/2 is Appalachian perfected then. I'm listening to some bill monroe at the moment and i just came to see what the fuss was all about. Praise the lord is right Lee!! Cheers, I walk in 2/2 time on a good day. On bad days it's a funeral march.

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