The Girl from Ipanema Chords

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

The first recording of The Girl from Ipanema was by Pery Ribeiro in 1962 (in the key of G).

In 1964, the famous Getz/Gilberto album was released, featuring a version of The Girl from Ipanema with Portuguese lyrics sung by João Gilberto (in the key of Eb).

A later Stan Getz recording featured English lyrics, written by Norman Gimbel and sung by João Gilberto’s wife Astrud Gilberto (in the key of Db). This is the version that became an international hit.

Another famous version of the song is by Frank Sinatra and Jobim on the album Francis Albert Sinatra & Antônio Carlos Jobim from 1967 (in the key of F).

 

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The Girl from Ipanema Video

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The Girl From Ipanema Chords & Guitar Tabs

Here are the guitar tabs and chord diagrams for the original version of The Girl from Ipanema.

The guitar rhythm patterns and chord shapes are fairly simple. Note that most chord voicings are played with the 5th in the bass, something that’s often done in Latin jazz.

The first A-section has a slight variation compared to the two following A-sections:

  • Starting at bar 5, a chromatic Ebm9 to D9 to Db6/9 is played.
  • In later A-sections, the progression is replaced by Ab13sus4 to Ab13 to Db6/9.

 

Backing Track

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Listen & Play-Along

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The Girl from Ipanema Intro

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 Chords 5

The Girl from Ipanema Chords Ending

 

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 woman on the beach to wear a 2-piece bathing suit.
  • 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 professionally, 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 Vinicius de Moraes street.

 

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61 thoughts on “The Girl from Ipanema Chords”

  1. Anonymous

    This is one of my all-time favorites. I can’t thank you enough Dirk.

    Thanks
    Ray

  2. Anonymous

    I have met Heloisa in Sau Paulo, Brasil. Her jewelry shop makes beautiful pieces, but my favorite is a gold necklace with Helo’s silhouette with waves below her feet. Help also wrote a book about her life experiences, touring with Jobim for a while. She gratefully autographed her book for me, and wrote a nice note.

  3. Anthony Corig

    I would like to get involved with this course.
    What do I do next. I am an intermediate jazz guitar player
    Thanks for the helpful advise.

  4. richard bourne

    great voicings on the acoustic

  5. John

    Nice chords and analysis. I gig with a Latin Jazz group and look forward to trying out these chord forms. I’ve also been to the bar you refer to here. Fun place.

  6. Randonius Von Thayer

    I have been slaving over this song for years, there’s an entire school of study of this song. It is mesmerizing… I know now that I will never get there, and that some will get farther than me, but I will keep climbing the wall to try and get to the top so I can see over to the promised land of Brazilian Jazz. So grateful for you!

  7. Frank

    Wonderful chord diagrams. I am seventy years old and just starting to learn Bossa Nova chords. I learned this song years ago by ear and trial and error because it was one of my favorites and am now trying to find the true chords that were played. Thank you so much for your wonderful transcription. Without your help I would never have figured it out.

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Frank, glad I can help!

  8. Rob

    I like these chords. Sounds authentic. Bossa sound. Thanks.

  9. Raoui

    Didn’t know about the sweet story of this fascinating and almost best known bossa all over the world. Thanks buddy 🙂

  10. Max Willow

    Dear Dirk
    I just saw this lesson recently, having been in hospital after fracturing my hip!!
    Congratulations on your take on this wonderful bossa standard
    Best wishes
    Max Willow

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Thanks Max, and I wish you a swift recovery!

  11. Antonio

    Thanks for the fascinating history behind this beautiful bossa song.

  12. Dude Ranch

    Most other sources indicate that this song is in the key of F…

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi, The Girl From Ipanema has been played in many different keys, usually to accommodate the singer’s vocal range. This is the key of the original recording. Cheers!

      1. Rodrigo

        Indeed, this is the key of the original João Gilberto recording, but not the original Key of the song. Jobim and Vinicius composed the song in the key of F.

        1. Dirk Laukens

          Hi Rodrigo, did they ever record a version in F? The first recording was done by Pery Ribeiro, in the key of G. According to Wikipedia, most Brazilian recordings are in the key of Db, while most American recordings are in the key of F.

  13. Denise DRC

    Dear Dirk
    This is a great chord tab for me as a beginner jazz guitar player. As my son plays the alto sax I would like to play this tune with him.
    Denise

  14. Eric

    This entire site makes me happy 🙂

  15. Russell Salo

    Yes – this is exactly what i’ve been looking for – a million thanks!!

  16. Ihar

    Thanks a lot for tabs and for the history! Its very interesting! Joy!

  17. Simon

    Dirk,

    thank you for providing standard chord (grid) diagrams above the TAB lines. This makes all the difference for me; (and I’m sure for quite a few others out there as well).

  18. jon

    When I plug in the first chord in a chord finder app, it says B Flat 7sus and the root of the chord is A flat, why does the notation say D flat 6/9?

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Jon, that chord is the second inversion of Db 6/9, so Db 6/9 with the 5th in the bass. Chords with the 5th in the bass are used often in bossa nova.

  19. jon

    What does the red dot mean on the chord diagrams?

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Jon, the red dot is the root (the 1) of the chord.

        1. Pajki

          Dank für die schönen akkorde

  20. NoobJasser

    Excellent lesson! I hope you could cover lead/melody part. Thank you!

  21. Tom

    This is the BEST song page I’ve ever found on the internet!! GREAT transcription, great info from the readers, wow I learned so much!! Thanks Dirk!

  22. Chris

    Thanks so much – brilliant – sounds just right.

  23. larry

    There is some old TV footage of Frank Sinatra singing this tune. He is accompanied by Jobim on guitar. Not playing in F. Looks more like Db

  24. Nicky

    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! 🙂

  25. Crooked

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

  26. mario

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

  27. proggy

    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!

  28. JULIO E. HENKLE

    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.

  29. Wilmer Saldivia

    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 out. 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.
    Wonderful work!

  30. Ricky Lane

    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

  31. rob

    Great lesson and so nice to get these chords out!

  32. Sebastian

    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!

  33. John

    Thanks for this. Very useful. Any chance of exploring the rhythmn patterns for accompanying bossa nova? 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.

  34. Kostya Berger

    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 the 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.

  35. Anthony Costa

    Thanks, how about Mas Que Nada? I love that one too!

  36. Bob

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

  37. fathand

    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!

  38. ThatsEarlBrother

    Fun, fun, and more fun. It’s all in the rhythm. Thanks!

  39. Steve Martin

    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!

  40. camper

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

  41. Trevor Croucher

    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 at 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 the 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 Giannini classical guitar and for some reason(!) it just wanted to play Bossa Nova tunes…! I found a couple of decent tabs online 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…!

    1. Buddy Martin

      Thanks for posting Joe, this was really wonderful! It’s a great sound!
      (What’s a Fj7 chord)

      1. Nick Barnett

        My guess is Fmaj7, ie, a chord with F, A, C, and E in it — if you write Fj7, then you can also write Fm7 for a chord with F, Ab, C and Eb . . . (which people do anyway!). It’s not very logical, and I may be wrong, but it does save you two letters in chords’ names, which can get quite long.

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