Please see attached for the PDF transcription of notation and TAB for my version of the melody and an improvised solo to Antonio Carlos Jobim’s great Bossa tune ‘How Insensitive’.
In this video I was exploring the use of two simple techniques- one a right hand technique that involved using only the thumb to pluck the strings, in order to get a warmer, softer sound, but also using a fair amount of pressure so the notes still really ‘pushed’ through. This is simple to achieve (basically put the pick down and start playing with your thumb – ha!) – but also revealed an unintended and welcome outcome – I had to play slower! So I used less subdivisions (and therefore less ‘faster / bebop’ lines) and instead applied a more lyrical approach.
The second outcome I noticed after practicing this for some time was that I needed to really pull my notes back so that each phrase felt more elastic and loose, and less ‘perfectly’ timed or executed. In this sense, I was trying to emulate the back-phrasing of the great Bossa singers and instrumentalists by placing my notes in the back of the beat, around the strong / downbeats or by playing an entire phrase in a consistent subdivision that was placed entirely behind the beat.
Please enjoy the video and check out / download the free transcription!
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