The Girl From Ipanema Chords

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In this lesson you will learn to play the original chords and bossa nova guitar patterns of the classic bossa song The Girl from Ipanema, written by Antonio Carlos Jobim (music) and Vinicius de Moraes (Portuguese lyrics).

The guitar rhythm pattern is fairly simple, the chords are as well. Note that most chord voicings are played with the 5th in the bass.

The first A-section has a slight variation compared to the 2 following A-sections: starting on bar 9, a chromatic Ebm9 to D9 to Db6/9 is played, where as in later A-sections, the progression is replaced by Ab13sus4 to Ab13 to Db6/9.

 

Here’s the video:

 

 

The music notation, tabs and backing track:

 

The Girl From Ipanema Chords 1

 

The Girl From Ipanema Chords 2

 

The Girl From Ipanema Chords 3

 

The Girl From Ipanema Chords 4

 

 

The Girl From Ipanema

 

Some trivia about The Girl from Ipanema:

  • The song was inspired by a Brazilian girl named Helô Pinheiro, who regularly strolled by the Veloso bar where Jobim and Vinicius frequented. When interviewed later, she told the reporter she would walk by the bar to buy cigarettes for her mother. She also claims she was the first worman on the beach to wear a 2-piece bathing suite.
  • Helô became the Brazilian Playboy Playmate in 1987 and 2003.
  • In 2001, Helô was sued by the heirs of the composers for using the title of the song as the name of her boutique in Sao Paulo. Helô Pinheiro won the case.
  • The Girl from Ipanema has been made famous by the recording of Stan Getz and João Gilberto. For the vocals they first had Sarah Vaughan in mind, but they eventually convinced Gilberto’s wife, Astrud Gilberto, to do the singing. Astrud had never sung professionaly, her first recording became one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time.
  • The Rio de Janeiro district called Ipanema was not a well-known area back then. The song made it the famous beach it is today. The street of the Veloso bar has been renamed to Vinicius de Moraes street.



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  1. Joe ZMay 22, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks for that, this sounds great! I always thought the original is in F (starting with Fj7 chord). Here is how I play it:
    https://soundcloud.com/official-joe-z/girl-from-ipanema-joe-z-with-johnny-pugh-on-sax
    Thanks .. Joe

  2. Trevor CroucherMay 22, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    First of all, thanks to both you and Matt Warnock. I came across your splendid tutorials a year or so ago and since then you’ve taught me so much. I’ve wanted to learn to play jazz for many, many years (I’m the ripe old age of 66 now) and it was your lessons that finally gave me the breakthrough I needed: those combined with picking up a rather fine old Hofner 477 – as well as a ‘few’ other vintage Hofners and a couple of other very nice old German archtops (Rod Hoyer, Klira and Tellson). It’s certainly right what they say about ‘having the right tools for job.’

    ‘Ipanema’ is one of those tunes I’ve wanted to learn for donkey’s years, but never quite got round to it. A while back I picked up a lovely Brazilian-made Gianini classical guitar and for some reason(!) it just wanted to play Bossa Nova tunes…! I found a couple of decent tabs on-line and managed to put together a more than satisfactory version of it – as well as finding a couple of other melodies that I have always liked (‘Insensatez’ and ‘Manha de Carnaval’). So it was really nice to receive your latest offering today: couldn’t be more topical for me.

    I still have a long way to go towards really understanding the mechanics of jazz guitar, although many years of playing blues has been a tremendous advantage I think. So thanks again to both of you for giving me so much more to play and to think about. Who said you couldn’t teach an old dog a few new tricks…!

  3. Robert ColeMay 22, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Why are you NOT teaching guitar players how to play this wonderful song in a beautiful and complete solo chord melody style. If you would like to hear my solo chord melody style version
    of “The Girl From Ipanema” then send your request to my email. You will be able to hear this song right away. You will also be able to hear eight other songs written and played in the
    solo chord melody style by me.

    Please let me know, Bob

    • KenMay 23, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      Robert,

      Would really like to see your work.

    • Robert ColeMay 23, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Go to https://soundcloud.com/chordmelodynotation to hear the solo chord melody version of this very beautiful song: “The Girl From Ipanema” created and played all at once by me.

      If anyone likes it, let us know.

      • Steve MartinJun 1, 2015 at 6:59 am

        Yes … I like your chord melody notation for a few reasons:

        1 – it is in F, which according to the Chediak transcriptions, is the original key that Jobim wrote this song (and the key I learned),

        2 – you keep Dirk’s (and the famous Getz – Gilberto album) breezy-cool, laid-back vibe, and

        3 – this sounds much easier and accessible to beginners than Baden Powell’s frenetic samba style.

        Do you have tab transcriptions available?

      • JohnJun 2, 2015 at 1:30 am

        Very nice chord melody Robert, I really enjoyed it. Do you have a transcription available?

      • Ken KociolekJun 4, 2015 at 3:18 am

        Robert,

        Would like to see your arrangement. Any chance you could post?

      • JohnMar 8, 2016 at 5:18 am

        Sorry, not keen on this – the melody should be left to the vocalist

        • Steve DAug 24, 2016 at 2:52 pm

          And if you’re in a purely instrumental group, with no singer? There’s more to music than just vocal renditions.

          Plus, if you’re going to improvise over this tune, knowing the melody is only going to help.

      • AlexJan 3, 2017 at 10:54 pm

        I just found your chord melody and it is beautiful – can you send me the notation?

    • Mark MessineseMay 23, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      I would love to learn the cord melodies you mentioned. Please show me how!
      Mark Messinese

    • Ron LevenbergJun 25, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Bob,
      I’m interested! I’d like to hear your chord melody version of “The Girl From Ipanema”.

      Thanks.

      Ron

  4. camperMay 22, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Thanks. That’s one beautiful song to play on the guitar.

  5. Steve MartinMay 23, 2015 at 3:08 am

    Having found my way to jazz through those easy campfire fingerings and natural rhythms of bossa nova, I am really happy to find you covering the granddaddy of them all. I learned it in the key of F through the Almir Chediak transcriptions, but Dirk’s transcription is that of the most popular version made popular on the album with Joao and Getz. Much thanks! In addition to newcomers to bossa nova, ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ is one of the few whose English translation lays well in the groove. Most of the translations of early songs sound perfectly awful in English and sound better even in faux-Portuguese. Many of you may know that ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ is the second most covered popular song of all time, topped only by by Paul McCartney’s ‘Yesterday’. But what a lot of people don’t know is the huge number of ethereally haunting melodies that came from Jobim’s pen and never made it into English translations for the market outside of Brazil. Three albums I would recommend are ‘Tom and Elis’, ‘Passarim’, and the more recent, HIGHLY recommended “Morelenbaum 2/Sakamoto: Casa” … they can pretty much be found on Youtube, along with the early classic instrumental recordings of Tom’s music … Wave, Tide, and Stone Flower.
    Thanks much Dirk … for pointing to a sultry musical introduction to the coming summer months!

  6. ThatsEarlBrotherMay 23, 2015 at 3:54 am

    Fun Fun and more Fun.Its all in the rythm.Thanks Thats Earl Brother.

  7. fathandMay 23, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Old time bossa nova jazz standard that all jazz guitarists gotta know, simply because everyone knows it and it always gets called out as a request or called out by other players just b/c it’s fun to groove with. Glad you did it as I never get tired of learning new keys to play it in. WTG!

  8. BobMay 23, 2015 at 5:42 am

    Thank you I was just trying to learn this song you made it easier!

  9. Michael HendryMay 23, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Sounds great – but why have you name the chord in the first bar (and frequently elsewhere) Db 6/9 /Ab when it could also be written Ab 6/9 and make more sense – the song is in Ab, after all?

    • Dirk LaukensMay 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Michael, the song is in Db major…

      • Michael HendryMay 27, 2015 at 6:12 pm

        Seems like a reasonable explanation… but you put in a key signature of Ab, which confused me.

        I’ve been comparing your chords with the usual fakebook chords in F Major and getting myself thoroughly confused! The modulation after the first sixteen bars up to Gb Major in the fakebook version looks as if it corresponds to a modulation from Ab Major to A Major in your version (rather than from Db to A Major), but the more I listen the more I realise that the original really is in Db.

        Sorry to have doubted you!

  10. Anthony CostaMay 24, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Thanks, how about Mas Que Nada..love that one 2

  11. IlyaMay 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks,I guess you use Db lydian scale because of Secondary dominant?

  12. Kostya BergerMay 24, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Dear Dirk,

    thank you so much for the chords to this greatest of all songs (in its own way). I’ve had similar ones from Internet, but yours are better. Was looking for them, too, because I can also sing this piece, so was looking for some easy way to accompany on guitar. Easy, but elegant, mind you 🙂 And here comes yours, which is just that.
    It’ll be easier now for me to compose some small solo for this one, too. I imagine, a good jazz song MUST include some small, but effective solo of a sort.

    And BTW, thanks for pointing me to the book “Juzz theory” by Levin. I never knew something like that existed, but now I’m waiting to buy this one.

    Anyway, great thanks, Dirk!!

  13. JohnMay 25, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Thanks for this. Very useful. Any chance of exploring the rythmn patterns for accompanying boss’s nova a bit. I’m looking at A FElicidia by Viniscius and Toqinho at the moment and finding it difficult to figure out what patterns Toquinho uses. I love his understated guitar style.

  14. SebastianMay 25, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    My first post, but long time subscriber. Thanks for the time and effort you put into these lessons, books and web site. Like many others, I play this one in F, but I will transpose and apply some of these shapes for variety! I also wanted to say thanks for the history of the song and Helo Pinheiro. All these years of wondering who she was. That’s some great conversational info for a gig!

    Best wishes!

  15. robMay 25, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    great lesson and so nice to get these chords out !!!

  16. Ricky LaneMay 31, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks for this lesson. I’ve been using these chords except for the variations in the B part. Always enjoy alternate voicings! Also on the seventh chords I’ve been using a barre so may try to use the fingering you show. Don’t know why that fingering is preferred as it seems like more work to me. Thanks for your clear lessons.

    Rick

  17. Wilmer SaldiviaJun 4, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Hi everybody. “Garota de Ipanema” made its debut in August, 1962 at a club in Copacabana called “Au Bon Gourmet”. In this concert, the original starting chord is F7M, as Joe Z pointed. The chords used in this lesson are similar to the version of Astrud Gilberto, João Gilberto and Stan Getz, recorded in 1963, as Steve Martin wrote.
    By the time that this song was created, Helô Pinheiro was know by her former name, Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto. I can not remember when she changed her name.
    You made a really wonderful work, and excuse my poor english.

  18. KrenwinJun 7, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Love

  19. JULIO E. HENKLEJun 9, 2015 at 2:31 am

    EXCELLENT. Where? can we find more or be able to purchase a sheet music book with the original chords and bossa nova guitar patterns of Antonio Carlos Jobim songs, especially: Wave, Waters of March, Slightly Out of Tune (Desafinado), Meditation, Quiet Nights and Quiet Stars(Corcovado), One Note Samba, Dindi, Summer Samba.

    We have several different versions of bossa nova music, but this is the best. With it we can play The Girl of Ipanema against the original recordings and they sound just great. Bossa Nova music is just great. Great melody, great harmony, great feelings.

  20. MitchellJul 1, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    WHAT I like about your video is you show how to play a bossa nova feel on guitar which is a priority
    When i play it I add a Dbmajor9 chord to it. PLAYED Db6/9 to Dbmajor9 Ab bass in both chords
    ON your Eb9 CHORD I would PLAY Eb7 comes when she is singing Eb7 sax solo Eb13
    Also Ab13sus4 to Ab13? IT SOUNDS NICE
    WHen she says oh I WATCH her so sadly I would play Dmajor7th cause you are going to G
    When you play Ebm7 go to B13
    IN the turnaround Bb7 add +5/9 AND Ab7 add +5/9
    ALL my chords were played with original recording

  21. proggyJul 3, 2015 at 11:07 am

    She was certainly a lovely piece of spice in her day….. I can see why the boys were moved to write such a great encapsulating song… lovely. Thanks for posting.

  22. marioMay 17, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I got your email this morning, and it really made my day. I wanted to learn to play this song for so long.

  23. CrookedMay 23, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Great! it”s a fine idea to include chords on the sheet! Many thanks.

  24. crisSep 8, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Beautiful track. Where can I buy bossa nova guitar backing tracks? Regards.

  25. NickyDec 9, 2016 at 12:18 am

    Thank you, I’m really enjoying getting these beautiful chord changes under my fingers. This is a very pleasant introduction to bossa nova for me, as it has been to the wonderful world of jazz also through your posts! I appreciate your sharing!, fantastic! 🙂

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