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Bossa Nova Bass lines with John Patitucci

jazz bass lessons

The exact origin of the term "bossa nova" is not known, but was sometime during the 1950s that the Brazilian style of music first became popular.  It comes out a fusion of samba and jazz rhythms, and has been a vital part of jazz music ever since it first hit the scene.  Bossa nova literally translates to "new trend", and even in 2013 the style still sounds fresh.

John Patitucci demonstates some different bossa nova bass lines in this video.  He also breaks down a bit of the music theory involved when playing bossa nova bass rhythm.<--break-> This is just a sample of the hundreds of videos in his jazz bass lessons.

As he explains, the bossa nova tempo is typically medium paced, to speed it up too much would turn it into a full on samba (which Patitucci also covers in his jazz bass lessons).  So, it's primarily a half note rhythm with a few dotted quarter eighth notes thrown in for good measure.

 

Watch John's Free Bass Lessons

You want to settle into the rhythm of the drums.  Your job on bass here is to anchor the music, to bring out the rhythm of the other instruments.  Be sure to keep it relaxed though, bossa nova has a very laid back, mellow vibe to it. 

Be sure to be listening to other instruments as you play along here and have some fun with it.  Always remember to be incorporting feeling and emotion into your playing (read more about playing with expression here) - those are the non musical elements which will really bring out the music. 

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