Basic Bossa Nova Phrase Syncopated Reversed

Although used frequently, the chord change doesn't have to coincide with chord voice syncopation. In the example from this lesson the chord voice is syncopated on beat 8 of first measure, regardless of whether the chord change happen on that beat or not. The resulting phrase may be considered to be the same as previous, but played in reverse.


The example showed below was taken from Prá Machucar Meu Coração as played by João Gilberto on Getz/Gilberto album in 1963.

While chord syncopation doesn't coincide with chord changes it does complement melody syncopation, such that where melody is syncopated the chords aren't and vice versa. In the example above the melody has been sung only on those beats that are not played.

Video Lesson: Prá Machucar Meu Coração

In the lesson below you can see that the chord is played on the weak beat 8 of this phrase regardless of whether the chord is also changed on that beat or not. As in the previous lesson, the same chord is not repeated on the following strong beat, just the bass. However, on some occasions after a chord changes on the weak beat, the same chord is repeated on the following strong beat, contrary to the previous example. This is not general practice, but is still used occasionally, mostly in openings and transitions.

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