Second Basic Bossa Nova Phrase Variation

Preceding phrase may be modified by switching positions of second and third beat groups (2 + 3 instead of 3 + 2). Resulting rhythm becomes 2 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 3 with a consequence of dropping syncopated beat 6 of the first measure. The phrase feels similar to previous but a bit less syncopated.


This phrase can also be described by using interleaved onbeat and offbeat sequences as explained earlier. The starting sequence contains 3 onbeats, while the following sequence contains 4 offbeats. This is the same phrase as it is showed in Samba Phrases lesson

This phrase is represented by number 1432. If we for instance moved first ternary beat group in other direction, that is to the beginning of the phrase, we would get the phrase 4332 that would be even more syncopated since all the beats from binary groups would fall to weak positions.

The phrase described here is showed in example taken from Samba da Minha Terra by Dorival Caymmi as played by João Gilberto on album João Gilberto.


This phrase was also used occasionally in O Grande Amor, Só Danço Samba and Vivo Sonhando on Getz/Gilberto. It may also be played with syncopated beat 8 of 2nd measure (1433), in that variation it appears in Desafinado on Getz/Gilberto and in O Pato on Carnegie Hall live recording.

Video Lesson: Samba da Minha Terra

Like the last one, this song is also played mainly in staccato. Second basic bossa nova phrases are most often played in staccato, as well as other highly syncopated phrases, since this playing style emphasises rhythmic component of guitar sound.

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