The girl from ipanema chords (original antonio carlos jobim chords) gas 1981


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…! Reply

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.

First of all, the key signature is missing a flat (Gb), as this is supposed to be in the key of Db major, which has five flats. Technically, the original piano-based version of the song by Jobim is in the key of F and begins on an Fmaj7 chord. Joao Gilberto reworked the song to make it more idiomatic for guitar and he changed the M7 chord to the 6/9 chord. He also changed the key to make it more singable for Astrud’s alto voice. Since it is a stopped-string arrangement, the key it’s played in can be changed by simply moving the fret space that you start the song on — anything from B major (position 1) to Eb major (position 6) works fine. Gilberto’s arrangement is the version that won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1964. Though it may not technically be the original version, it is the Brazilian standard version for guitar, and this tab stays pretty faithful to it.

One disagreement I have is that the last eighth note of the measure (upbeat of four) should not be the treble portion of the chord from that same measure, but the treble portion of the chord leading into the following measure. This early anticipation of the chord change by half a beat is an important feature of bossa nova accompaniment style. Keeping the chord changes neatly confined within squarely-delineated measures is a more Americanized approach to bossa nova rhythm…but is actually more difficult to play because there is no empty micro-beat (eighth-note rest) on the upbeat of four to effect the chord change. The empty micro-beat occurs on the downbeat of four and that is where you have enough space to make your chord change in a fluid, relaxed manner. Initiate your chord changes on the upbeat of four with the incoming i-m-a treble cluster and complete the chord change on the other side of the bar line with the thumb playing the bass note on the downbeat of one. Reply