Desafinado Tutorial

Hi Hayden!
Would you ever consider creating a Tutorial for the Samba module on “Desafinado” or “La Garota(Girl) de Ipanema” by Jobim? – jerry379620?


Hayden! – I forgot to mention that there are two listings for “Desafinado” on iReal Pro, one of which is called the “original” version – jerry379620.

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for the suggestion, we can certainly cover both of those tunes.

Whilst I play Bossa to a basic level, I’m looking for a teacher who has talent and passion for Latin music. This is high up on my agenda,

“La Garota de Ipanema” has been requested a number of times and it would be nice to find someone with skills to teach other Latin subgenres such as Samba.

Thanks Jerry, I’ll check that out.

I will update you with progress on the Latin front. Along with the blues section, PianoGroove’s Latin offering is a key area I want to develop.


ps. check out this YouTube playlist

I particularly like the “Piano de Bossa” recordings, the pianist has a beautifully light and delicate touch. The first song is “Desafinado” and there’s also many of my favourites on the list including:

  • Girl From Ipanema
  • How Insensitive
  • Shadow Of Your Smile
  • Corcovado

Hyden, i m brasilian.I i already play theese tunes sinse i was young.Bossa nova and samba is in my dna.I prefer learn jazz standard.Particularly , improvisation…Licks to start in improvisation.thanks Ana

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That’s awesome Ana

When you are a child, your brain is ‘like a sponge’ which helps to absorb the music from a young age!

I wish Bossa is in my DNA also :grin:

The 12 Bar Blues Course is a good place to start with improvisation:

The concepts and exercises might appear to be simple, but they are training you to include the most important tones in your lines.

I would also recommend checking out the course on transcription:

Transcription is in my opinion, the most effective way to learn improvisation.

It’s difficult to start but it will do wonders for your playing.

This is how to get jazz improvisation into your DNA, just like Bossa… from listening to lots of jazz solos, and transcribing from them.

It will do wonders for your playing :slight_smile:

Thanks Hayden!
First thing tomorrow morning, I am going to check out the link which you embedded in your reply. Earlier today, I also read Ana’s message about her interests. Paradoxically, she and I are both doing the same thing, trying to extend our cross-cultural musical roots! I grew up listening to, dancing to and, more recently, playing standards on Bb-clarinet and Eb-alto saxophone. When I lived and worked in the New York City area – over 25 years – I studied International ballroom dancing quite intensively/extensively with many World-Class competition teachers and/or champions, and THAT kindled my desire to learn how to dance to and appreciate the Samba rhythms! That’s also the reason why my own personal e-mail address is!. Now that I have lived in Costa Rica as a retiree for almost 7 years, I have finally learned enough Spanish to appreciate Latin music even MORE! In my opinion, your website is a “win-win” situation for everybody! – jerry379620

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That’s awesome Jerry.

Yes I think it’s fascinating how we all come from different background and have been influenced by our musical education, and the music present in our culture when growing up… I’m always thinking of ways to harness this and use it to it’s fullest potential.

Sharing records is an obvious one, but I think there is also a lot more to be gained!

Yes I can imagine that working with such talent would inspire you to want to learn more.

I love NYC too, I moved there in January this year to experience the scene and to find new teachers for PIanoGroove. It was a huge success and met 2 very talented teachers whose courses will be published shortly.

I look forward to visiting again, the music (and jazz!) scene is like nowhere else I have experienced.

That’s wonderful to hear Jerry… as mentioned, finding a Latin tutor is high up on my agenda.

That’s what this year is all about - finding talented and passionate new tutors across multiple genres and styes.

Based on current progress I envisage a handful of new teachers on PianoGroove by the end of the year which I’m excited about!

I will update you personally with any development on the Latin front.

When i was young i played bossa nova because i heard Tom Jobim, João gilberto, everyday.And i have a good hear.But i never got to improvise.thanks for the tips.

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Did you ever hear Gilberto or Jobim live Ana?

I love this recording of Gilberto:

I believe he sings in Italian for this song, because the lyrics are Italian.

The ‘feel’ is very different between Latin & Jazz.

Latin music is always played with a straight feel, whereas jazz music is most often played with a swing feel . The exception is jazz ballads, which are most often played with a straight feel, but any medium or up-tempo jazz tune will be played with a swing rhythm.

This is very important to understand Ana!

When improvising Latin, both bossa nova and samba, you would always play straight, so the feel would be 1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and-1-etc… that’s generally where your improvised notes are falling.

When improvising jazz, you will generally be hearing swing, which is a triplet feel


When you miss out the “and” then you have the basis of a swing rhythm.

Send me some improv you like:

Send me an email with one of your favourite players, or favourite jazz solos. This will help me understand how you want to sound. Identifying how you want to sound is the first step!

Email to - send me YouTube link, Spotify, anything.

Based on the recording I will give you some more recommendations :slight_smile:

I’m so pleased to hear other members who are so enthusiastic about Latin in general and bossa. It’s a definite plus about the site that there’s a range of styles on offer. It’s great too that there are those on here like Ana with bossa in their blood! Over the years I’ve developed a taste for Brazilian music in general (must have been my mother playing Astrud Gilberto and Jobim when I was a kid). I love the more fusion flavours like Airto Moreira and (his wife) Flora Purim, Tania Maria and the absolutely wonderful Azymuth - who are maybe more jazz-funk but their broken beat/electronica stuff is also excellent. I recently discovered Lucas Arruda, a Brazilian artist whose stuff is right up my street!

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Interesting vibe James… I like his style!

And I agree, it’s wonderful that we have students from all over the world with different tastes, influences, and musical experiences!

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One bit of advice for Ana. It’s my understanding that “The Shadow of Your Smile” can be played both as a Bossa Nona AND as a Swing piece so, if you study that song and listen to various recordings, you
can "“kill two birds with one stone”, musically speaking – Jerry

That’s right Jerry - as with most jazz standards, they can be played with different feels.

I teach the tune as a ballad here: The Shadow Of Your Smile Tutorial |

One of my favourite recordings of the tune is the Bill Evans Trio version. It starts off solo piano as a ballad and then turns into medium swing.

This is part of the “secret sessions”. A number of Bill Evan’s recordings were recorded in secret by a devoted fan (Mike Harris) at the Village Vanguard. They were then later released with permission of the governing record labels.

The audio is a lesser quality than a studio performance, but it captures the live spirit of jazz which I like.

Here’s the recording of “Shadow Of Your Smile” … Evans and Gomez sound fantastic together. Bill’s introduction is fantastic, interesting passing chords:

Thanks Jerry for your advice. great idea.I think every song we play like bossa nova.Do you already listen John Pizarelli ?

Yes. Years ago, I saw him in person in New Jersey at Shanghai Jazz. – Jerry

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