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:
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 to Vinicius de Moraes street.