One Great Bossa Nova Technique – Helio Alves

Brazilian jazz pianist Helio Alves shows you a useful tip on how to get a great texture for your bossa nova piano playing.


Hi everybody, Helio Alves here with Two Minute Jazz. One great texture for playing bossa nova piano is to play the whole groove in your left hand, and play the melody (or solo) in your right hand. An important thing to remember is the quarter notes that always have to be there, they always have to be present. Very important part of the groove. That can be with or without the roots of the chord. Basically the technique works like this: with shell voicings, like the root 6 and 3rd or root 7 and 3rd.

So the quarter notes are very important. They’re always there. I’m anticipating the chords, too. Without a bass note. The quarter notes are there. So that’s a very cool technique to play bossa nova, very nice texture and very useful. Thank you again for listening. Happy practicing!


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