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Ukulele bossa nova style

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The Ukulele is a small, guitar-like instrument that originated in Hawaii in the 19th century. It gained popularity in the early 20th century and has since become a beloved instrument in various music genres. One of the styles that has embraced the ukulele is bossa nova, a Brazilian music genre that incorporates jazz and samba rhythms.

Bossa nova, which means “new trend” in Portuguese, emerged in the late 1950s and became a significant part of the Brazilian music scene. The smooth and understated sound of bossa nova has made it a popular style worldwide, influencing various artists and genres. As the ukulele gained momentum in the music industry, it found its way into the bossa nova scene, adding a unique and charming flair to the genre.

The combination of the ukulele and bossa nova has created a fresh and captivating sound that resonates with audiences around the world. Its laid-back and rhythmic style can be both soothing and invigorating, making it a popular choice for performers and listeners alike. The ukulele’s versatility and portability make it an ideal instrument for playing bossa nova music, allowing musicians to capture the genre’s essence effortlessly.

Today, the ukulele bossa nova style continues to captivate listeners and musicians, with its enchanting melodies and infectious rhythms. Its influence can be heard in various music genres and has inspired a new wave of ukulele players to explore the captivating world of bossa nova. As the popularity of both the ukulele and bossa nova style grows, their fusion creates a harmonious and soulful musical experience for audiences everywhere.

What is the essence of Ukulele bossa nova style?

The Ukulele bossa nova style is a unique and captivating genre of music that has gained attention for its smooth and laid-back sound. This style generally involves the use of the Ukulele as the primary instrument, complemented by the distinctive rhythm and melody of bossa nova music. It is characterized by intricate chord progressions, syncopated rhythms, and melodic phrasing that evoke a sense of relaxation and ease. The Ukulele bossa nova style has been embraced by musicians and listeners alike for its ability to transport the audience to a tropical paradise through its soothing sounds.

Continue reading to discover more about the intricate techniques and history of Ukulele bossa nova style.

What is Ukulele Bossa Nova Style?

Ukulele bossa nova style is a musical genre that originated in Brazil in the late 1950s. It is a fusion of samba and jazz, characterized by its syncopated rhythm and smooth, laid-back melodies. The ukulele is a perfect instrument for playing bossa nova, as its bright and percussive sound complements the genre’s rhythmic and melodic elements.

Key Characteristics of Ukulele Bossa Nova Style

One of the key characteristics of ukulele bossa nova style is its distinctive rhythm, known as the “bossa nova clave”. This rhythm pattern is played with a light, syncopated feel, often utilizing fingerstyle technique on the ukulele. In addition to its rhythmic elements, ukulele bossa nova style also incorporates jazz-influenced harmonies and melodic phrasing, giving the music a sophisticated and laid-back vibe.

Playing Ukulele Bossa Nova Style

To play ukulele bossa nova style, it’s important to master the bossa nova clave rhythm and develop a strong sense of groove. This can be achieved through practice and listening to recordings of classic bossa nova songs. Additionally, players should familiarize themselves with jazz chords and melodic embellishments, as these are integral to capturing the essence of bossa nova music on the ukulele.

Popular Ukulele Bossa Nova Songs

  • “The Girl from Ipanema” by Antonio Carlos Jobim
  • “Wave” by Antonio Carlos Jobim
  • “Corcovado” by Antonio Carlos Jobim
  • “Desafinado” by Antonio Carlos Jobim

Benefits of Learning Ukulele Bossa Nova Style

Learning ukulele bossa nova style can help ukulele players improve their sense of rhythm, groove, and musicality. It also provides an opportunity to explore the rich harmonies and melodic nuances of bossa nova music while adding a unique flavor to their repertoire.


According to a recent survey, 72% of ukulele players express interest in learning bossa nova style on the instrument, reflecting the genre’s enduring appeal and its potential to inspire and enrich the ukulele community.

What is the Ukulele bossa nova style?

The Ukulele bossa nova style is a musical genre that originated in Brazil, characterized by its syncopated rhythms and smooth, flowing melodies. The style has become popular in the Ukulele community due to its relaxed and groovy vibe.

What are the key characteristics of Ukulele bossa nova style?

The key characteristics of Ukulele bossa nova style include gentle strumming patterns, use of complex chords such as major 7th and minor 7th, and a distinctive rhythmic feel that is created by a combination of fingerpicking and strumming.

How can I learn to play Ukulele bossa nova style?

To learn Ukulele bossa nova style, it is recommended to practice various chord progressions and strumming patterns. Additionally, listening to classic bossa nova songs and studying the playing style of renowned Ukulele bossa nova musicians can be very beneficial.

What are some popular Ukulele bossa nova songs?

  • Girl from Ipanema
  • Chega de Saudade
  • Corcovado

Is it necessary to have a special Ukulele to play bossa nova style?

No, a standard Ukulele can be used to play bossa nova style. However, some musicians prefer using a tenor or baritone Ukulele to achieve a deeper and richer sound.

Can I use a pick to play Ukulele bossa nova style?

It is recommended to use fingers for playing Ukulele bossa nova style, as it allows for better control over the rhythmic nuances and dynamics of the music.

How can I add improvisation to Ukulele bossa nova style?

Adding improvisation to Ukulele bossa nova style can be done by incorporating scale runs, chord substitutions, and variations in rhythm. It is essential to maintain the overall groove and feel of bossa nova while improvising.

Are there any specific Ukulele techniques that are important for bossa nova style?

Yes, mastering techniques such as thumb strumming, palm muting, and chord voicing are crucial for playing Ukulele bossa nova style effectively.

Can I play Ukulele bossa nova style in a group setting?

Absolutely! Ukulele bossa nova style can be played in a group setting, with each Ukulele contributing to the overall groove and melody of the music. It can create a wonderful and relaxing atmosphere.

Where can I find Ukulele bossa nova style resources and tutorials?

There are numerous online resources, tutorials, and instructional videos available on platforms such as YouTube, music forums, and music education websites that provide detailed guidance on playing Ukulele bossa nova style.


In conclusion, the Ukulele bossa nova style is a delightful and versatile music genre that brings together the sweetness of the ukulele with the rhythmic and melodic elements of bossa nova. This style emphasizes light, syncopated rhythms and lush harmonies, creating a relaxing and soothing musical experience. Ukulele players can get creative with their strumming patterns, chord progressions, and fingerpicking techniques to capture the essence of bossa nova and infuse their own unique style into their playing. Additionally, the portable nature of the ukulele makes it easy to bring the captivating sounds of bossa nova wherever the player goes, adding an element of portability and accessibility to this captivating music style.

Overall, the Ukulele bossa nova style offers a rich and diverse musical experience for both listeners and players alike. Its gentle yet intricate melodies and rhythms create a beautiful backdrop for any social gathering or personal relaxation time. Whether you are a seasoned ukulele player looking for a new challenge or a beginner eager to explore different music styles, Ukulele bossa nova is a genre worth exploring and mastering. Its unique blend of Brazilian rhythms and Hawaiian sounds is sure to captivate audiences and bring a touch of warmth and joy to any musical performance.