im going to do a bossa/samba project at the school where i work. these kids are more or less beginners, so the tunes have to be very easy. looking in my real books i find that most bossa tunes would be too difficult for them, so now i need suggestions. what bossa/samba tunes do you like to use for beginners?

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blue bossa!
another vote for blue bossa!
blue bossa is not easy for beginners if you use a chart that has the accurate syncopations, the melody is mostly off the beat. however, the old real book arrangement is un-syncopated (it's on the beat which is how i recommend it for beginners.

easy bossa novas:
"equinox" very easy

"softly as in a morning sunrise"
mahna de carnival ("black orpheus")
"the days of wine and roses"
"night and day"
all jazz would be a lot easier to learn correctly, with syncopations, if it were learned more by ear and less by trying to read notation.
hey - we agree !  that's how i teach jazz to beginners.  to me it's more important that they begin by sounding good and hopefully stimulating exporation, rather than to be discouraged by having to learn the written language first.  i find it's much easier to fill in the gaps after they have a working relationship with the auditory part of the language first, or when they have questions that are relevant to what they are playing. (we learn to speak befor we learn to read)

i also find syncopation is much easier to teach by ear or with phonetics

just my two cents...please don bash me, i'm having a hard time, if you disagree, i would appreciate you doing it in a non-insulting way - thanks :)
wow - that sounds pathetic - heh heh - just thought i'd try a more passive approach -  bash away :)
'little sunflower' is one of the easiest - d dorian forever with a two chord bridge.
ps dr. whack, you're a moron! ;-)  

sorry, couldn't resist!
maiden voyage or impressions
groovin high

-just kidding:)
maybe it would good idea for the students to learn some the brazilian percussion patterns. even if you do not have all the instruments, they could at least sing and tap/clap out the rhythms. also the class could do lots of listening and learn about cultural aspects of the music.
thank you, these are all great suggestions. however, i should have been more specific in my question.  

im looking for easy brazilian tunes with few chords and a melody thats easy to sing, something like "so danco samba". any suggestions? thanks.
samba de orfeu (luiz bonfa)
see room "latin corner":  some tips in "learning bossanova", and 2 easy tunes: "tristeza",  "agua de beber". "tico tico samba"
an easy bossa is "o barquinho" (the little boat) (menoscal & boscoli)

some sugestions, no very easy but very nice bossas:
meditation (jobim
one note samba (jobim)
corcovado (jobim)
wave (jobim)
desafinado ( out of tune) (jobim)
the girl from ipanema (jobim)

good brasilian sambas and bossas in:
easy =
"mr. p.c." played as a bossa
would be a good one to sing, not too hard.
ok thanks for the suggestions, ill try these tunes on the kids and see if it works...
try "london bridge is falling down" as a bossa
good point - a lot of simple tunes would work (merry had a little lamb, twinkle twinkle, etc...)
well of course that should be "mary" i must have been thinking of "merrily we roll along" :)
can anyone point to any midi or audio files  of easy solo piano bossas ?
please go go and write:"bossa mp3 free"
please go to and search for "bossa mp3 free"
actually an easy samba is one note samba. but i coulda sworn there was an extra note or two in the brigde......o_o
yeah, that one should probably be called "two scale samba"
blue bossa is a great tune.  you just have to advise the students on which scales are best for each chord type.  also make sure they have ear training/interval training.  one must be able sing what they play
girl from epanema...:d and would please somebody tell me how to do spain???
you mean chick corea's "spain"?

there is sheet music out there for this tune that is pretty accurate.

once you've read through that and got it pretty much under your fingers, get ahold of a few different versions of the tune (eg. al jarreau & return to forever) and have a good hard listen.

then decide how you want to arrange your version.
play 'the girl from ipanema' until you are blue in the face.  then you will have the basic bossa nova beat intrenched in your head.
actually any jobim song will do.
i vote for "girl from ipanema," or "song for my father," or "how insensitive."  

as tempting a choice it may be, "one note samba" doesn't quite seem like it would be as easy as it sounds -- i could picture kids getting confused with the rhythm -- since that's what the tune is -- especially playing tutti or whatever.

aren't "nutville" and "un poco loco" based on samba rhythms?  those are pretty easy tunes at uptempo, right?
i think jobim was listening to chopin when he wrote "how insensitive."
why not write your own tune?  that way you can also learn about harmony, rhythm and composition, which are essential for an improvising jazz musician.  much of what i know about playing jazz came from internalising new ideas by building new tunes around them.  it doesn't work for everyone, but for me writing new stuff is inseparable from continued development of jazz understanding.  the tunes don't have to be instant standards performable in public - they can be artisitically negligible but still useful study aids, for practice behind closed doors.  i've also done this in the past for beginners' workshops and it seems to be effective.

in fact, to show what i mean, i've uploaded a mid file and pdf copy of a bossa i wrote a while ago for a workshop.  go to the misc lessons room and list files.  it's called "strange sins".  let me know if anyone finds it useful.

i have always found all bossa heads relatively easy compared to jazz heads.  but when you try to play them in a true bossa style and make them sound like truly like bossa's that is when they become difficult.
especially if you are a lame ass honkey from america like me.
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