Aquarela do Brasil (Brazil) - Bossa Nova Guitar Lesson #16: Partido Alto Phrase Variation





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Published on May 21, 2017

Bossa Nova Guitar Lesson #16: Fourth Basic Bossa Nova Phrase Variation Reversed (3113)
Aquarela do Brasil (Ary Barroso - arranged by João Gilberto)
as played by João Gilberto with participation of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil and released on album Brasil in 1981.

This video is accompanied by subtitles that explain the various playing details throughout the song. It is recommended to set the CC/subtitles size to 100% in YouTube player settings.

Guitar accompaniment is almost entirely based on two variations of Partido Alto phrase: 2113 and 3113. Pay special attention to string muting in 3113 phrase, where all beats except beats 4 and 10 are played with staccato. At the other hand the phrase 2113 is played entirely with legato.

Though rhythmic phrases are relatively simple, playing this song is somewhat tricky due to following reasons:

1. Rhythmic phrase starts with two beats, followed by a missing strong beat. If there is any tempo modification in playing those first beats it will be multiplied by 4 before the next strong beat of the phrase. This may eventually lead to an unintentional tempo fluctuation. For the same reason the songs that use those phrases usually start with an intro sequence of several strong beats that serve to establish a stable tempo.

2. Playing legato in combination with relatively fast tempo makes chords changes quite challenging. In this situation it makes sense to revise usual chord fingering to prepare for chord transitions. There are multiple such fingerings in this video, those are indicated in subtitles.

There are two chord replacements, Dmaj7 at 1:29 replacing D6 as it was originally played by João and Em7 at 2:03 instead of Em9. For the song closing I chose several variations of the same I-ii-V-I chord progression, some of them were played by João on different occasions.

Please note there is a mistake in a chord diagram at 2:47 - it should indicate the 5th fret instead of the 6th fret.

Enjoy playing Aquarela do Brasil!

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Video by bossanovaguitar.com, 2017
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