Authentic Brazilian Samba/Bossa Guitar comping

The ‘Tune of the Month’ in Matt Warnock’s Jazz study group is So Danco Samba. Matt has given us authentic Bossa and Samba patterns to learn, but I wanted to try and take my comping to the next level and make it sound even more authentic. I listened to the Jobim version, also the Getz/Gilberto version along with a whole playlist of others. Then I decided to try and find a Brazilian who could teach me. After a few minutes on google I found Diego Figueiredo and his ‘Brazilian Jazz Guitarra‘ course on Truefire.com. I watched a free video where he taked about the Bossa Nova Jazz connection. In the free vid’ he demonstrated what he was talking about by playing So Danco Samba – result! He gave some great tips and ideas. I was so impressed I wanted to find out what else he had to say.

Diego Figueiredo is one of the greatest guitarists I’ve seen in my whole life. The world needs to listen to his music.” – George Benson

From Truefire…..
Diego is also a passionate educator, and we’re very excited to welcome him to the family with his first TrueFire course, Brazilian Jazz Guitarra!

”I love the ‘magica’ — the magic of bossa nova and the freedom of jazz. Combining these two influences produces a colorful, vibrant style that I call Brazilian Jazz Guitarra. In this course, I’ll share 12 key concepts and techniques that power this exciting style. We’ll apply all 12 of those approaches across seven performance studies in different feels and tempos.”

Diego organized the course in two sections. In the first section, Diego shares 12 key concepts and techniques that are signature to his style: Bossa Nova Swing & Variations, Traditional Brazilian Music Styles, Right Hand Fingers & Approach, Right Hand Patterns & Variations, Right Hand Arpeggio Exercises, Up & Down Thumb Technique, Chord Substitution Ideas, How to Play With a Singer, The Bossa Nova & Jazz Connection, Explore the Scales Inside Chords, Inside vs. Outside Melodies, and The Importance of Repertoire.

Needless to say, I bought a copy of the course and am enjoying it very much. I have a few days left until I submit my final project for the month. I hope to share that with you.

Here’s a link to Diego’s course Brazilian Jazz Guitarra.

Footprints – Wayne Shorter

The weather has been grim. It’s been raining for days. More guitar time then! On the Strat-Talk forum where we discuss all things stratocaster there is a weekly challenge that I sometimes join in with. This week’s challenge was to record oneself playing over a backing track for Wayne Shorter’s Footprints. I liked the sound of of it, and decided to gve it a go.
I spent a happy morning teaching myself the melody by ear then recording this…..

Here’s what we have….
Drums intro, 4 bars keyboard turnaround, 2* Melody, 4 choruses improvisation, 2* Melody, 2*tag, outro.
I recorded using a 1967 ‘Chet Atkins’ Gretsch Country Gentleman – also know as the George Harrison guitar, through a DV Mark Little Jazz amplifier into Ableton Live. The backing track was posted by Monte over on strat-talk. Here’s the challenge thread in case you fancy having a go, or checking out what other players made of it.

A great morning on the guitar learning about a tune that I was not familiar with. What you been up too?

Footprints” is a jazz standard composed by saxophonist Wayne Shorter and first recorded for his album Adam’s Apple in 1966. The first commercial release of the song was a different recording on the Miles Davis album Miles Smiles recorded later in 1966, but released earlier. It has become a jazz standard.

Getting 2022 Started…

Happy New Year 2022
I’ve been collecting inspirational quotes to keep in mind this year. I’m gonna share some of my favourites…..
“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” – That quote by the author Robin Sharma suggests that change is not only inevitable but that it’s necessary for a good life. A useful thought this time of year.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.”  – Nido Qubein.

Victoria Pendleton on mental preparation says: “It’s a lifelong process, just as physical training is. It becomes a lot easier, the more you practise it.

As I go into a ‘dry’ January, I’ll leave you with three thoughts from Mike Lake that I hope will inspire some of your decisions as you ease into 2022:

  • Find the courage to venture outside of your current comfort zone. Pick those opportunities well.
  • Declare the end of doing the same things over and over expecting different results. And that includes how you practice and play your instrument!
  • Consider the valuable energy wasted over resisting change. What are you missing while you spend time and energy fighting change rather than being open to embracing the opportunities it may bring to you?

I wish you all a fabulous 2022. May it be your best year ever.

Thank you…

If I should die, think only this of me;
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
Rupert Brooke. 1887 – 1915


Autumn Leaves – with a Dutch Opera singer!

There is a Dutch village not far from me here in France. It’s a residential/holiday village. A Dutch opera singer, Lyda Van Tol, retired there recently, and my friend Gijs has been very keen to introduce us. I met Lyda briefly last week and invited her to come and take a guest slot at our booking in the restaurant there (I have no problems jumping in at the deep end!). She accepted, came along, and met Rod (keyboard) during the break. Lyda told us she would like to sing the introduction a cappella then we would join in. I would take a short solo over the A section then Lyda would come back in. This was great fun, and it was a real pleasure to back her. Our audience don’t normally listen this hard. You could hear a pin drop. Lyda went on to do two more songs. I loved it.

Brood X – Summer of Love

Dédiée aux cigales Cicadas Brood X.
Tous les 17 ans, les nymphes de la cigale de Brood X creusent un tunnel vers le haut en masse pour émerger de la surface du sol. Les insectes perdent ensuite leurs exosquelettes sur les arbres et autres surfaces, devenant ainsi des adultes. Les cigales matures volent, s’accouplent, pondent des œufs dans des brindilles, puis meurent en quelques semaines. La combinaison de la longue vie souterraine des insectes, de leur émergence quasi simultanée du sol en grand nombre et de leur courte période d’âge adulte permet à la couvée de survivre même à une prédation massive.

The Usual Suspects – Confinement Collaboration – Long Distance Love

Our first musical collaboration 2021 and possibly our toughest/best yet. We are covering Little Feat’s ‘Long Distance Love’.
We have Madame Blance on lead vocal, Jim Condie on Acoustic and Slide guitars, Rod Millgate on Keyboards, and new boy Peter Jezukiewicz on bass. I’m playing some additional guitars and drums.
We hope you like it! Remember, all parts were recorded at home by each musician, then it was all put together later.