How to Learn Portuguese Guitar Music

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The best known music in Portuguese comes from Brazil. Learn Portuguese guitar music with help from a Los Angeles-based guitar player in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: How to Be a Versatile Guitarist
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Marcus Gerakos. I'm a guitarist based here in the Los Angeles area. I do a lot of work in film and television. And today we're going to talk about how to learn Portuguese music. Now, the best known music in Portuguese comes from Brazil. Some popular forms there are the samba, the bossa nova, there are some other ones, samba reggae. We're going to take a look at the bossa nova and the samba, with respect to what the right hand does because basically the right hand drives the rhythm in both examples. So, the thumb maintains the beat, the thumb plays on the beat. The fingers play off the beat. The thumb sort of provides a heart beat. Opps, if this is our tempo, like that. The fingers are responsible for playing off the beat, kind of like a zoozoo player would do. That's the tambourine, the converted tambourine that's popular in this kind of music. So, basically the combined effect between thumb and fingers, again you want to strive for independence here, I'm going to slow it down, is this. OK. Let's put this to a chord progression. Notice that I'm mixing in the eighth note field, one and two and three and four, one and two and three, with the triplet field, which is kind of part of the signature sound, the rhythm of the bossa nova and the samba. So, again we're kind of going back and forth between let's say this, these are basically back beats or basically eighth notes. Here's the triplet field. I'm Marcus Gerakos and this has been how to learn Portuguese music.

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