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Bass Lines with Jaime Vazquez: 3/4 Bossa Nova

Hello bass players and fans of bass playing!

For this month, we will work with the “odd time” Bossa Nova. We all know that one of the most popular song forms from Brazil is called the Bossa Nova. For decades it has been part of the rhythmic language of popular music around the world, especially in jazz. Like Latin music, Brazilian music has the concept of using a clave to play they’re rhythmic patterns.

So, the “3 / 4 Bossa Nova” has its own clave as shown in Figure 1.


Watch the movement of the upbeats in the first two beats of every bar. The bass line is difficult to feel at first. Let’s look at the bass line pattern at Fig. 2.

As you can see, the bass pattern looks like a typical samba bass line. The difference is that it will be played at a medium tempo as we do with a Bossa Nova. My advice is to take your time and practice this pattern until it become comfortable to play. Then, you can play Fig. 3, my version of Mongo Santamaria’s Afro-Blue in a 3/4 Bossa Nova.

Have fun with this jazz standard classic by playing it in a very cool “odd time” style! Keep Grooving!



  1. Mariah

    October 2, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Yes! I love Bossa! Thank you again!

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  4. Pedro

    October 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Greetings from Chile! Jaime, thank you so much all for sharing all your knowledge…We appreciate it!

  5. Aby X

    October 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm


  6. Stefanie Susanne Techmer

    October 4, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Hi Jaime,

    thanks for sharing! The Bossa Nova is one of my favs. I love Jobim and Astrud Gilberto. Keep on rockin’, you are great!!!

    All the best


  7. Jacky

    October 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Thank you Master! I love odd time grooves! Challenging!

  8. Jossy

    October 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I love Brazilian music! Good lesson! Keep the good work!

  9. Carlos Santiago

    February 3, 2012 at 4:14 am

    Wow! Bossa en3/4… Impresionante! No sabia… Gracias Maestro del Bajo!

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