Bossa Nova Song: Besame Mucho

The History

“Besame Mucho” is a popular song by Mexican composer Consuelo Velazquez. It is based on a melody by pianist Enrique Granados, whose pieces on classical guitar have become well known. Joao Gilberto covered the song on his 1977 album Amoroso. The following arrangement is a simplification of this version and helps in learning the first bossa nova guitar chords and the rhythm typical of the style.

The LEADSHEET Learn The Song

A piece of music usually consists of melody, harmony and rhythm. Along with the melody, the chords of Besame Mucho are summarized in a sheet of music that is as simple as possible, the so-called lead sheet.

Such representations are often simplified, but helpful in providing an overview of the song. There is no information about the accompanying rhythm. Knowledge of the most important accompaniment patterns is assumed, in this case a bossa nova or latin accompaniment pattern.

An analysis of the melody and chords of the piece provides assistance in memorizing a song. This may be a bit confusing at first and you can skip the following paragraph if you are not familiar with the terms. It may be useful to read the introduction to music theory first.


The key of the Besame Mucho is A minor. The basic chords of the key are A minor, D minor, and E(7), and the harmonies of Besame Mucho consist almost entirely of these chords. The two non-diatonic chords A7 and B7 are so-called intermediate dominants. The melody of Besame Mucho is also diatonic (consists of notes from the A minor scale). The G sharp, marked with an accidental, is the leading note of the key and is often raised in traditional minor key pieces.

The ARRANGEMENT Bossa Nova Rhythm & Chords

Joao Gilberto defined the sound of the bossa nova guitar and he plays a basic accompaniment pattern on many of his recordings, including Besame Mucho. If you’re not familiar with the recording, catch up now:

Based on Joao Gilberto’s chords and using the bossa nova rhythm pattern, I created a simple accompaniment to Besame Mucho. Compared to the lead sheet, the chords are now adapted to the melody and the chord progression is slightly simplified in some cases. At the end, the A minor chord in fifth position marks a clear conclusion.

Although the accompaniment is shown without tablature, you can work through the accompaniment based on the fingering diagrams and with an understanding of the basic bossa nova rhythm.

For this arrangement, I took many chords from the basic chords course and simplified them. This means that changing the grips can be done without much effort. The most difficult chords are certainly the D minor and the B7 chord.

Be sure you can play all the chords and master a few shifts before attempting the full arrangement. In order to get an impression before practicing the arrangement, you will find a short introduction video below.

Get The arrangement!

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