Advanced Bossa Nova Phrase 3333

In this rhythmic phrase the beat sequence contains 3 beats. The sequence starts with the last beat (last 16th note) of the previous 4-beat rhythmic pattern and continues through beats 1 and 2 of the next pattern. As discussed in the explanation of single beat rhythmic phrases, this may be counted as .4,1,2.4,1,2.4,1,2. etc.


Using Bossa Nova Guitar numbering scheme the resulting phrase is described as 3333 and this description suggests that it contains repeating syncopes, as it can be also seen on the score above. This phrase is sometimes used as the main rhythmic phrase, as it was used in the example below taken from Aguas de Março that was played by Oscar Castro Neves on Elis and Tom album by Tom Jobim and Elis Regina.


This phrase has also been used often by Jobim in his guitar accompaniments, while João Gilberto mostly used this phrase for openings and bridges or instrumental parts, examples include Samba da Minha Terra, Doralice, Linda Flor and rarely as the main phrase, as for example he did in Maria Niguem. This phrase was also very common in samba canção and was for example used by Luiz Bonfá in Manha de Carnaval as well as by Baden Powell and by many other Brazilian guitarists.

Video Lesson: Aguas de Março

Transcription for this recording was based mainly on the first recording by Jobim and Elis Regina from legendary Elis and Tom album with guitar accompaniment played by Oscar Castro Neves. Some adjustments were also made in accordance with several Castro Neves' solo recordings as well as with João Gilberto's version. Original recording on Elis and Tom was played in Bb key, however on subsequent recordings Oscar Castro Neves played Águas de Março a semitone above (B). This slight change makes it possible to play open E string chords (Emaj7, E6) which is much easier to play on a guitar than Eb and for this reason we have chosen Castro Neves' voicing.

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