Watch the Chords & Embellishments online guitar lesson by Fareed Haque from 1-2-3 Bossa Nova
In this section we will run through the essential chord voicings that are used in the bossa nova. It is important to remember that most bossa nova guitarists are not jazz players, and use chords less as platforms for improvisation and embellishment but more as chord grips - in a way a more folksy approach. So often jazzy chords will be freely intermingled with triads, inverted triads and what we might otherwise think of as cowboy chords so keep your ears open for the unexpected and the simple, mixed in with all these big fat chord voicings. A quick review: there are essentially 5 families of chords: major chords(1, 3, 5, 7 of a major scale), minor chords (major chord with b3 and b7), dominant chords (major chord w/b7), 1/2 diminished chords (major with b3, b5, b7) and fully diminished chords (major with b3, b5 and bb7). To each family you can always add 9, 11, 13 and alterations, okay? Okay! Here we go.