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Beginner’s Guide to Brazilian Jazz Guitar

Brazilian Jazz is one of the most popular genres of modern Jazz guitar.

With a seductive swing feel, captivating melodies, and cool chord progressions, Brazilian Jazz is one of the first genres that guitarists explore outside of Bebop.

With a long lineage of world-class players, such as Laurindo Almeida, Baden Powell, Raphael Rabello, and Toninho Horta, guitarists have played a big role in the development of Brazilian Jazz.

It’s from the recordings of these great players that you can learn to build your own repertoire of Brazilian Jazz rhythms, chord voicings, and soloing lines.

Though many guitarists enjoy playing and listening to Brazilian Jazz, it’s often the case that when it comes time to jam a Bossa or Samba tune, you end up faking a comping pattern in your playing.

To help bring an authentic Brazilian sound to your next jam session or gig, this lesson will explore a variety of essential Brazilian Jazz chord patterns.

As well, there are arpeggio patterns, scale patterns, and Brazilian Jazz licks that you can add to your soloing vocabulary.

Whether you want to comp a laid-back Bossa Nova song, or solo in the style of your favorite Brazilian Jazz guitarist, the material below will help you reach your musical goals.

 

 

Free Jazz Guitar eBook: Download a free Jazz guitar PDF that’ll teach you how to play Jazz chord progressions, solo over Jazz chords, and walk basslines.

 

 

 

Brazilian Jazz guitar Contents (Click to Skip Down)

 

 

Introduction

 

 

 

Brazilian Jazz Rhythm Guitar

 

 

 

Brazilian Jazz Guitar Soloing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bossa Nova vs. Samba Rhythms

 

Before you play the examples below, just a quick note about the terminology.

When living in Brazil, my musician friends referred to all of these rhythms as Samba rhythms.

The Bossa Nova rhythms were “slow Samba” and the Samba rhythms were “fast Samba.”

They acknowledged that Bossa Nova was a musical genre, but it was considered more American, and Samba was Brazilian.

When jamming Brazilian Jazz tunes, all of these rhythms were used, but they were all called Samba, whereas in other countries they’re often separated into Bossa Nova and Samba rhythms.

No matter which terminology you decide to use, know that you can use any of these comping patterns over Brazilian Jazz tunes.

Bossa rhythms will be more effective over slower tunes, and the Samba rhythms over faster Brazilian Jazz tunes.

 

 

 

Essential Brazilian Jazz Songs

 

If you’re new to Brazilian Jazz, or aren’t sure where to start with learning tunes, here are 20 Brazilian Jazz songs that you can use as a reference list in your studies.

If you don’t know where to begin in your tune study, start with the songs that you recognize, such as Girl from Ipanema, then move on to newer songs from there.

Make sure to listen to each song before you learn it, as that’ll give you clues as to which comping rhythms will be most appropriate, tempo, and other musical elements for each song.

 

 

  • Agua de Beber
  • Aguas de Marco
  • Berimbau
  • Canto de Ossanha
  • Chega de Saudade
  • Corcovado
  • Cravo e Canela
  • Deixa
  • Desafinado
  • How Insensitive
  • Influencia do Jazz
  • Jazz and Samba
  • O Barquinho
  • O Morro Nao Tem Vez
  • O Pato
  • Once I Loved
  • One Note Samba
  • Summer Samba
  • The Girl From Ipanema
  • Wave

 

 

Each of the Brazilian guitar chords and rhythms that you’ll learn below can be used over any of these songs.

Refer to the note in the Brazilian Jazz guitar chords section about choosing the right rhythm for any Brazilian song you’re jamming over.

 

 

Brazilian Jazz Guitar Chords

 

The majority of your time spent playing Brazilian Jazz will be comping chords behind a melody line, or other soloists.

Because of this, having a strong sense of authentic Brazilian rhythms will help nail Bossa and Samba tunes in your jam sessions.

Each of the rhythms below is presented over a one-chord vamp, the first four bars to O Barquinho, and the entire 16-bar form of the tune.

By learning these different Bossa and Samba rhythms, you’ll ensure that you’re able to confidently comp in any Brazilian Jazz situation.

As you’ll see, there are some rhythms that start on the upbeat, and others that start on the downbeat.

The key to playing Brazilian Jazz chords is to know when to use each rhythm in your playing.

When living in Brazil, the musicians I performed with always told me to let the melody of a tune guide my rhythmic choices.

So, if the melody uses a lot of up-beats at the start of the bar, use a comping rhythm that also has up beats at the start of the bar.

If the melody has more down beats in the first half of the bar, use a rhythm that has more down beats at the start of the bar.

That might be easier said than done.

But, with time and after studying both melodies and rhythms, you’ll begin to be able to make the right rhythmic choices over Brazilian Jazz tunes.

As well, in Brazil, lead sheets or mostly written in 2/4 time, while in other countries they’re written in 4/4 time.

Because the Real Book and other related fake books use 4/4 time, the examples in this lesson are written in 4/4.

If you want to translate that into 2/4 time, you can just play each rhythm at half the written speed.

Here’s an example of that approach over a Cmaj7 comping pattern.

The quarter and 8th-notes in the first two bars are then translated to 8th and 16th-notes in the 2/4 bars to allow the same chords to fit over both time signatures.

 

brazilian jazz guitar 1

 

When translating rhythms from 4/4 to 2/4, you can use this chart as a guide to help you play the correct rhythms.

 

  • Whole Notes become Half Notes
  • Half Notes become Quarter Notes
  • Quarter Notes become 8th Notes
  • 8th Notes become 16th notes

 

You’re now ready to begin your studies of Brazilian Jazz guitar chords.

Start with the first rhythm, no matter where you skip to from there.

This first rhythm is going to be the foundation for all rhythms that follow.

So, if you can play the first rhythm then you’ll be able to use that pattern to build the rest of the examples in the lesson below.

But, if you skip the first rhythm in your studies, you might be confused as to why and how other rhythms are built in this lesson.

Lastly, you’ll notice a lot of 6, 9, 6/9, and other chords being used in place of the written chord changes.

This is because in Brazilian Jazz, players often prefer to use the “softer’ 6 and 9 based chords, as opposed to maj7 or 7th chords that you find in Jazz.

Playing authentic Brazilian Jazz means learning the rhythms, but also the chord voicings, so make sure to check out the shapes being used as well as the rhythmic patterns in each example.

 

 

 

Bossa Nova Rhythm 1

 

A favorite of Joao Gilberto, and used over slower Brazilian Jazz songs, this Bossa Nova rhythm is the perfect introduction to the genre for those that are new to Samba comping.

As was mentioned, this first Bossa rhythm will act as the foundation for everything you do moving forward.

For that reason, you’ll break it down to its smallest concepts, and then build it back up again.

In the process you’ll learn fundamental guitar skills that’ll make each subsequent rhythm easier to learn in your practice routine.

The first item to practice is getting your thumb to play the root note for the underlying chord on beats 1 and 3 of the bar.

When doing so, you want to get this bass note to be automatic, as it’ll act as the foundation for each chord that you apply over the bass notes in your comping.

You’ll notice that the root note is used for each bass note in this, and all examples, in this lesson.

When playing Brazilian Jazz guitar, you can play the root for each bass note, rather than alternating the root and 5th as you would in other Latin musical genres.

Some players prefer to use the root and 5th in the bass, but it’s not necessary and more often than not can interfere with the bass player when jamming in a combo setting.

Here’s an example of the tonic bass-note rhythm over a Cmaj7 chord.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 2

 

brazilian jazz guitar 2

 

Once you have the bass notes under your fingers, you’re ready to add your first chord on beat one of each bar.

When doing so, make sure to keep both the bass notes and downbeat chord quiet in your comping.

Accents are extremely important in Brazilian Jazz comping, and so keeping these notes and chords quiet will make it easier to add louder chords later when appropriate.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 3

 

brazilian jazz guitar 3

 

Moving on, you’ll now play the top-three notes of the chord on beat 2 of each measure.

Again, keep all of these chords and bass notes quiet in your playing, no accents are added yet to the comping pattern.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 4

 

brazilian jazz guitar 4

 

You’ll finish this first Bossa chord rhythm by adding a chord on the & of 3 in each bar.

This’ll be your first accented chord, where you’ll play the & of 3 chord slightly louder than the other chords and bass notes in the rhythm.

Go slow with this rhythm, use a metronome, and only take it to the song example below when ready.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 5

 

brazilian jazz guitar 5

 

To help you hear and play this Bossa rhythm in a musical situation, here’s the Bossa Nova rhythm 1 applied to the chord progression to the Brazilian standard O Barquinho.

Feel free to learn each four-bar section one at a time, and then connect them together when you’re comfortable to form the tune as a whole.

As well, for this and all chord examples in this lesson, there’s a backing track (bass and drums) that you can use to practice with in your studies.

 

O Barquinho Backing Track brazilian jazz guitar backing track

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 6

 

brazilian jazz guitar 6

 

 

Bossa Nova Rhythm 2

 

You’re now ready to move on to the more complex Bossa rhythms, as you’ll see in the next example.

Even if the first example was easy for you to get down, this rhythm might take some time to learn.

So, don’t feel like you have to rush it.

Take your time, and really focus on the anticipated chord before increasing the tempo in your studies.

The only difference between the first and second Bossa rhythms, is the addition of the chord on the & of 4 in each bar.

This chord is then tied over to the downbeat of the second bar.

That means that, after you play the initial downbeat, you’ll never play a chord on the downbeat of another chord with this rhythm.

Here’s an example of that rhythm over a static Cmaj7 chord to get you started.

Notice that the & of 3 and the & of 4 are both accented in this example, with all other chords and bass notes played quietly.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 7

 

brazilian jazz guitar 7

 

Once you’re comfortable with this rhythm over a static chord, you’re ready to move on to applying it to a chord progression in your guitar practice routine.

Here’s where things become difficult for most players.

When you play the chord on the & of 4, you’ll anticipate the next chord in the progression with that chord.

This means playing the top-3 notes of the next chord before that chord and bass note arrives in the music.

This anticipation is an essential element when playing Brazilian Jazz guitar, but it can handcuff you if you’re not ready to tackle it in your playing.

So, give it a try, and if you find it very difficult, go back and work the static Cmaj7 chord example until you’re ready to try this progression again.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 8

 

brazilian jazz guitar 8.1

 

 

To finish your study of this rhythm, here’s that new Bossa rhythm applied to the chord progression to O Barquinho.

Again, watch the anticipated chords, as they’re now used over every bar in the tune, resulting in a lot of concentration needed to make it through the whole 16-bar form in your comping.

 

O Barquinho Backing Track brazilian jazz guitar backing track

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 9

 

brazilian jazz guitar 9.1

 

 

 

 

Bossa Nova Rhythm 3

 

In this final Bossa Nova rhythm, you’ll reverse the previous rhythm in your comping.

Before, you were playing two downbeats in the first half of the bar, followed by two upbeats in the second half of the bar.

Now, you’ll reverse that process by playing two upbeats followed by two downbeats.

In some ways, this rhythm is easier than the previous example, as you’re not anticipating the subsequent chords with this rhythm.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 10

 

brazilian jazz guitar 10

 

You’ll now apply this last Bossa rhythm to the first four bars of O Barquinho.

Though it’s a bit easier than the previous rhythm, moving the accents to the first half of the bar gives it a unique feel when applied to Brazilian Jazz songs.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 11

 

brazilian jazz guitar 11

 

In this final example, you’ll apply the third Bossa Nova rhythm to the full O Barquinho chord progression.

As you’re working through this, or any rhythm, in this lesson, feel free to apply it to any Brazilian Jazz song that you’re practicing.

 

O Barquinho Backing Track brazilian jazz guitar backing track

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 12

 

brazilian jazz guitar 12

 

 

Samba Rhythm 1

 

Moving on to the faster Brazilian Jazz rhythms, this first Samba rhythm combines two patterns that you’ve learned previously.

In the examples below, you’ll play the second Bossa rhythm in the first bar, followed by the third Bossa rhythm in the second bar, repeating that two-bar pattern from there.

As has been the case in each example so far, you’ll accent the upbeats, so the second half of the first bar and the first half of the second bar.

Though it’s a combination of previously learned material, which is helpful, it can also take time to get this new rhythm under your fingers.

Go so, then increase the tempo over time as you become more comfortable with this pattern in your comping.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 13

 

brazilian jazz guitar 13

 

Here’s an example of the first Samba rhythm as applied to the opening four bars of O Barquinho.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 14

 

brazilian jazz guitar 14

 

Lastly, here’s the same rhythm used to comp over the whole O Barquinho chord progression.

Again, if it helps, break down this chord study into four-bar sections, working it up from that starting point.

 

O Barquinho Backing Track brazilian jazz guitar backing track

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 15

 

brazilian jazz guitar 15

 

 

 

Samba Rhythm 2

 

The second Samba rhythm is a reverse of the comping pattern that you just learned.

In this case, you’ll play the Bossa 3 rhythm followed by the Bossa 2 rhythm in the second measure, repeating that two-bar pattern from there.

Watch that you don’t “flip” this pattern your comping over Brazilian Jazz songs.

It’s easy to flip back to the previous rhythm, especially when practicing with a metronome.

So, use backing track when possible so that your ears will help you keep this rhythm locked into the correct part of the form.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 16

 

brazilian jazz guitar 16

 

Moving on, here’s the second Samba rhythm as applied to the first four bars of O Barquinho.

Notice that you’re now anticipating the Bm7 chord in bar three of the progression.

You should be comfortable with anticipating chords at this stage in your development.

But, if it’s still giving you trouble, make sure to become comfortable with this next example before moving on to the full song study below.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 17

 

brazilian jazz guitar 17

 

To finish your study of the Samba 2 rhythm, here’s the full O Barquinho form with that rhythm applied to each chord in the progression.

Watch the anticipation between each two-bar rhythmic phrase, and slow things down with a metronome if needed to perfect this rhythm in your playing.

 

O Barquinho Backing Track brazilian jazz guitar backing track

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 18

 

brazilian jazz guitar 18

 

 

 

Partido Alto

 

The final Brazilian Jazz chord rhythm in this lesson is called the Partido Alto.

This rhythm uses accented upbeats, and there’ll be an anticipation between each two-bar pattern as you take it to moving chord progressions below.

Notice that the first half of the first bar now features only one chord, on the & of 1, as opposed to the two chords you’ve seen up to this point in the lesson.

Holding that chord, not cutting it short, will give you that smooth, Brazilian swing that is characteristic of Brazilian Jazz guitar.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 19

 

brazilian jazz guitar 19

 

Here’s the Partido Alto rhythm applied to the first four bars of O Barquinho.

As was mentioned earlier, you’ll need to anticipate the next chord at the end of each two-bar rhythmic pattern.

You can see that anticipation being used at the end of the second bar in this example.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 20

 

brazilian jazz guitar 20

 

Lastly, here’s the Partido Alto rhythm applied to the full O Barquinho chord progression.

As always, go slow, break it down to smaller chunks if needed, then build up the full chord study from there.

 

O Barquinho Backing Track brazilian jazz guitar backing track

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 21

 

brazilian jazz guitar 21

 

 

 

 

Brazilian Jazz Guitar Soloing

 

While many lessons and books focus on Brazilian Jazz rhythm playing, there’s a lot to learn and gain from studying the soloing side to this great musical genre.

To help you expand your guitar soloing chops, as well as dig into the lead playing side of Brazilian Jazz, you’ll now learn arpeggio and scale patterns, as well as Brazilian licks over popular chord progressions.

The examples are written in one key, so feel free to practice them around the fretboard in multiple keys in your studies.

As well, any arpeggio and scale pattern can be used to build your guitar technique, but they can also be used in your soloing lines and phrases.

So, after learning any technical pattern in this section, put on a backing track and jam over those chords while adding the arpeggio or scale pattern to your solos.

These patterns and licks come from Samba, and Choro songs and solos, both genres of which have contributed greatly to the Brazilian Jazz vocabulary.

 

 

 

 

Brazilian Jazz Guitar Arpeggio Patterns

 

To begin, you’ll learn a descending arpeggio pattern over Cmaj7.

Each of the examples in this section is written over one type of arpeggio to get you started.

So, after you’ve learned how to play these examples over one arpeggio, take it further by applying to other essential Jazz arpeggios in your studies.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 22

 

brazilian jazz guitar 22

 

In the ascending arpeggio pattern, you’ll approach the first chord tone by a diatonic note above that tone.

You can see this with the D-C notes at the start of the pattern.

From there, you climb up two arpeggio tones before repeating the pattern from there.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 23

 

brazilian jazz guitar 23

 

Here’s a reversal of the previous pattern, where you’ll approach the first chord tone by a diatonic note above, followed by two chord tones before repeating that pattern down the shape.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 24

 

brazilian jazz guitar 24

 

You’ll now add in the diatonic approach note before the last arpeggio note in each four-note grouping.

You’ll see this with the A-G notes in the first four-note group, repeating it up the arpeggio from that starting point.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 25

 

brazilian jazz guitar 25

 

Here, you’ll play the arpeggio note, then a lower neighbor tone, followed by the original arpeggio note.

This pattern is also commonly used in Jazz and Gypsy Jazz guitar, and so it’s an important pattern for guitarists studying all styles of Jazz in your playing.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 26

 

brazilian jazz guitar 26

 

Here’s an arpeggio pattern that features an approach note below each note in the arpeggio.

Notice that the pattern starts on the & of 1, as the first downbeat is a rest.

This is a common rhythmic approach to playing single-lines in Brazilian Jazz, and it helps place the chromatic notes in appropriate places in the bar to bring out the Brazilian sound in your lines.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 27

 

brazilian jazz guitar 27

 

In this next pattern, you’ll play a diatonic note above the first arpeggio note, then the arpeggio note, followed by an approach note into the next arpeggio note.

This combination pattern sounds great, but can be tough to apply from a technical standpoint.

So, work this pattern without any time at first, then bring it to a metronome when you’re ready to bring tempo into the equation.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 28

 

brazilian jazz guitar 28

 

Here’s a more complicated pattern, from both a rhythmic and note standpoint, that you can add to your guitar practice routine.

This pattern more resembles a lick than a practice pattern, making it a great line to study as you can easily transport it into your Brazilian Jazz guitar solos.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 29

 

brazilian jazz guitar 29

 

Here’s a busier pattern that features chromatic notes on the second 8th note and diatonic approach notes on the third 8th note of each four-note grouping.

Go slow with this pattern, as it’ll also be an important addition to your soloing vocabulary as well as help you build your arpeggio chops in the woodshed.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 30

 

brazilian jazz guitar 30

 

This final arpeggio pattern begins on the & of 1, working chromatic and diatonic approach notes into the pattern from that starting point.

Again, because this pattern is more involved, take your time and go slow, bringing the tempo up when you’re comfortable in your routine.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 31

 

brazilian jazz guitar 31

 

 

 

Brazilian Jazz Guitar Scale Patterns

 

You’ll now move on to studying popular Brazilian scale patterns in your practice routine.

These patterns are all written over a C major scale, so feel free to take them to other essential Jazz scales in your studies.

You can also move them to other keys as you expand upon each pattern in your playing.

The first Brazilian Jazz scale pattern is an ascending pattern that begins with three pickup notes in the first bar.

From there, there’s a four-note grouping that is played up from each note in the scale.

When doing so, you’re ending each four-note group on the strong beats of the bar, 1 and 3.

Then, you’re beginning the pattern on the & of 1 and 3, weaker beats, which is commonly used in Brazilian single-note melodies.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 32

 

brazilian jazz guitar 32

 

Here, you’ll be starting on the & of 1, then climbing up the entire scale from there, resolving to the downbeat of the next measure.

You’ll repeat this pattern from each note in the scale as you work your way up the fingering from that starting point.

This is a longer variation of the first scale pattern, and again, is a technique that’s commonly used in Brazilian Jazz guitar.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 33

 

brazilian jazz guitar 33

 

After the characteristic three-note lead in, this pattern then jumps up a third, before returning to the starting note in each four-note grouping.

That pattern is then repeated from each scale tone as you descend through the scale shape from there.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 34

 

brazilian jazz guitar 34.1

 

Here’s a reversal of the longer pattern you learned earlier, as you’re now descending the entire scale from each note, beginning on the & of 1 in each bar as you go.

If you want to extend this pattern, you can combine it with the ascending version in your studies as you play both ascending and descending versions together.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 35

 

brazilian jazz guitar 35

 

Moving on, you’ll now play three ascending notes (first inversion triads) before descending the scale from there.

Each pattern is a full bar long, and you’ll repeat it from each note in the scale before hitting the lower root note on the 6th string.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 36

 

brazilian jazz guitar 36

 

In this variation of the full-octave descending pattern, you’ll now bring a bit of rhythmic syncopation into the mix.

Make sure to rest on beat 2, not just hold the first note over, as this will bring the Brazilian swing into this pattern and your single-note solos from here.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 37

 

brazilian jazz guitar 37

 

After playing a three-note introduction, this pattern is a four-note grouping that descends the entire scale.

Using three notes like this to set up the full pattern is an effective way to begin the pattern on an upbeat in your guitar practicing.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 38

 

brazilian jazz guitar 38

 

Here’s another syncopated pattern that you can practice and add to your soloing lines and phrases.

Again, make sure to play the first note short in each bar, which accents that note and highlights the rests before and after in your playing.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 39

 

brazilian jazz guitar 39

 

The next Brazilian scale pattern uses ties to keep the pattern on the up beats as you progress up the scale.

This pattern is also referred to as a diatonic enclosure, as you’re playing one note above, then one note below, before landing on your target scale note.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 40

 

brazilian jazz guitar 40

 

The final scale pattern runs diatonic triads through the fingering as you descend the scale pattern on the fretboard.

As well, you’re playing the root-3-5-root notes in a typical Brazilian style.

This triad pattern is also popular in Jazz improvisation, and so it’ll make a strong addition to your vocabulary in any soloing genre.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 41

 

brazilian jazz guitar 41

 

 

 

Brazilian Jazz Guitar Licks

 

To finish your study of Brazilian Jazz guitar soloing, here are 10 licks that come from the Brazilian Jazz tradition.

Each lick is played over a popular chord progression, and uses common techniques found in the solos of Brazilian Jazz guitarists.

After learning any of these Brazilian Jazz guitar licks, take it to other keys, as well as use it in your solos to take it further in your studies.

The first lick uses arpeggios to outline the first two chords in a ii V I progression in F.

From there, you’ll notice the b9 intervals over C7, which are brought out by using a Dbdim7 arpeggio in that bar.

The last bar features a typical Choro approach note pattern to highlight the root and 6th of the Fmaj7 chord.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 42

 

brazilian jazz guitar 42

 

In this short minor ii V I line, you’ll see a typical rhythm used over the A7alt chord in the second half of the first bar.

Mixing 8th and 16th notes is typical in Brazilian Jazz, and is something you can study further in your technical and improvisational practice routine.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 43

 

brazilian jazz guitar 43

 

This ii V I lick begins with a typical Brazilian scale pattern, followed by octave displacement being used in the second bar of the line.

Here, you’ll see the note E jump up to a D on the third beat of the second bar.

This is called “octave displacement,” as you’re continuing the scale down, E to D, but the D is an octave higher to avoid running out of room on the guitar.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 44

 

brazilian jazz guitar 44

 

This next Brazilian Jazz lick is in the style of Hermeto Pascoal, and a similar line can be found in his song Chorinho Pra Ele.

This line uses a dominant cycle sub to create tension over the first three bars of the phrase.

This tension is then resolved to the tonic note F in the last bar.

Dominant cycles are common subs in all genres of Jazz, and so they’re important to study in your soloing practice routine.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 45

 

brazilian jazz guitar 45

 

Another Hermeto Pascoal influenced lick, this phrase uses the maj7 interval over Gm7, F#, as well as a full descending C Mixolydian scale in the second bar.

While in Jazz you’re often told to avoid running full scales in your lines, in Brazilian Jazz this approach is commonly used, as you can see in this example.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 46

 

brazilian jazz guitar 46

 

Here’s a highly syncopated minor ii V I lick that you can add to your soloing vocabulary.

Though the notes are straightforward, getting the syncopation under your fingers will take practice.

Feel free to count this line out in your practicing at first, then play it by hearing the rhythms when that approach is comfortable.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 47

 

brazilian jazz guitar 47

 

In this arpeggio-based lick, you’ll see a D9 chord used as a secondary dominant sub in bar one of the phrase.

Whenever you have iim7-V7 chords, you can always play II7-V7 as the II7 is the V7 of V7 in this case.

Using secondary dominant subs is common in Brazilian Jazz, and all styles of Jazz guitar.

Because of it’s popularity, working this sub in your studies is essential practicing for any Jazz guitarist.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 48

 

brazilian jazz guitar 48

 

Here’s a descending Brazilian Jazz guitar lick that uses the C whole tone scale to outline the iim7-V7 chords.

Creating tension over iim7-V7 chords is popular in Brazilian Jazz, as it is in all styles of Jazz, and the whole tone scale is a great way to accomplish this in your playing.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 49

 

brazilian jazz guitar 49

 

This arpeggio-based minor ii V I uses the Edim7 arpeggio to bring out the A7b9 sound in the second half of the first bar.

Playing iim7b5-iidim7 over minor ii V progression is an important way to outline minor key chord progressions.

This concept is commonly used in Brazilian Jazz, and other Jazz styles, and should be practiced further in your studies.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 50

 

brazilian jazz guitar 50

 

In this final Brazilian guitar lick, inspired by the great guitarist Bola Sete, you’re using minor arpeggios to create a sense of tension and resolution over the progression.

Moving arpeggios around in this manner, such as the Bbm7-Am7 shapes, is a great way to create tension and resolution in your solos.

 

Click to hear brazilian jazz guitar 51

 

brazilian jazz guitar 51



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