Menina Moca is a simple song by Luiz Antonio that is suitable as an introduction to the world of bossa nova guitar. It gained greater fame through the recording of the American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz together with the Brazilian bossa nova guitarist Laurindo Almeida. This recording by the Brazilian singer Nelson Goncalves serves as a reference for this arrangement of the chords for Menina Moca.

EASY Bossa Nova Chords

This arrangement by Menina Moca is in the key of A minor . The form of the song follows the typical AABA scheme, i.e. a main theme part with repetition followed by a second theme. The form ends with the recurring A part.  

The chord progression consists of the following beginner Bossa Nova chords:

The Bossa Nova Rhythm

The rhythm of Nelson Goncalves’ recording is characterized by the accents of the drums. Here the drummer uses a basic rhythm pattern: the bossa nova clave. 

If you are unsure about what exactly a clave is, read the section on the different clave rhythms!

The first of the two rhythm patterns shown above can now be transferred to the guitar. The fingers of the right hand pluck the rhythm on the middle or top strings, while the thumb adds the appropriate bass note in half notes. It looks like this:

The notes marked in blue are plucked with the index, middle and ring fingers, while the thumb plucks the open A string. 


Menina Moca - Easy Bossa Nova!

This rhythm pattern is now played throughout the entire chord progression. It is important to pay attention to which of the chord tones are plucked by the four fingers. There are often several options. Here is an example of the first eight bars of Menina Moca:

In the first 6 bars, the middle strings are plucked and the bass note alternates between the A and E string. Due to the position of the D minor chord, the picking pattern is performed on the top four strings from bar 7 onwards. It would also be possible to switch to the high strings in measure 5, since the high E string is also part of the A7 chord.   

The full arrangement of these easy chords for Menina Moca is available in the shop. In the Top 10 of the easiest Bossa Nova songs you will find further suggestions for finding good songs to get you started in the world of Bossa Nova.

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