BOSSA NOVA BEAT WITH JAZZ BRUSHES

For several years now, my most popular YouTube video teaches the Bossa Nova beat with Jazz brushes. You can watch the video below to see how I play both Bossa Nova and Samba on the drums with brushes.

What is the Bossa Nova beat?

The Bossa Nova beat was created back in the 1960’s when Jazz musicians like saxophonist Stand Getz from America teamed up with Brazilian musicians like guitarist João Gilberto. They created a new genre of music. Bossa Nova actually translates to “new trend.”

Bossa Nova uses Samba rhythms but in a more relaxed style. Maybe think of Samba as the party music of Brazil. Bossa Nova would then be the sophisticated relaxed version of Samba. Both are arguably the most important musical exports from Brazil.

The Bossa Nova beat with brushes

Over the years, I have developed a style of brush playing that uses a few motions to play many styles of music. I think that may be why my Bossa Nova brushes video is popular. Even complete beginners on drum brushes, can get up and grooving easily.

In my style of Bossa Nova brush playing, there are two parts to my pattern. The right hand plays the tambourim rhythm (Small Brazilian hand drum played with a beater) and my left hand fills in between the right hand notes with swishes.

After the hands are grooving, you add in the feet with the traditional Bossa Nova/Samba bass drum and hi-hat pattern. This video shows you how to add the feet.

When to play Bossa Nova brushes on the drums

Of course, Bossa Nova brushing works perfectly with Bossa Nova music. It can also, be used in other styles. Bossa Nova drumming is quite versatile. You can use the same brushes and feet pattern in Pop, Rock, R&B, Hip-Hop and Country styles of drumming.

I’ve played in many musical situations both live and in the recording studio where someone needed a slightly funky syncopated brushes beat. When I started to play a Bossa Nova beat, I usually got the reaction, “That’s it!.”

The Bossa Nova beat is very versatile.

Samba brushes

The handy thing about my Bossa Nova brushes pattern is that it works great for Samba drumming too. You simply speed up the tempo.

Bossa Nova music is usually played in a tempo range from 70-120BPM. Samba is generally played from about 130-320BPM. If you take the same patterns you’re using in Bossa Nova drumming and speed them up, you’ll have Samba!

Here’s the Amazon affiliate link to buy the brushes I play. Every little bit helps support this blog. Thank you 🤙

Other drum brushes patterns for Bossa Nova

I have other brushes patterns I use for playing Bossa Nova and Samba. If you’d like to go deeper into Brazilian drumming with brushes and Jazz brushes in general, please visit my Brushes Mastery Course. It’s the most complete online brushes course ever created.

The course videos on how to play Bossa Nova and Samba brushes include the following:

  • ESSENTIAL BOSSA NOVA-SAMBA HAND MOTION 12:00
  • 6 BOSSA NOVA-SAMBA RHYTHMIC PATTERNS FOR BRUSHES 10:13
  • THE 6 BOSSA NOVA-SAMBA RHYTHMIC PATTERNS WITH FEET 08:41
  • SKIPPING WIPERS SAMBA PATTERN 12:13
  • MIXING THE 2 BOSSA NOVA-SAMBA PATTERNS 08:11
  • CHOOSING THE BEST BOSSA NOVA – SAMBA RHYTHM FOR A SONG 05:26
  • BACKWARD SLAP ACCENT WITH BOSSA NOVA AND SAMBA 04:38
  • BOSSA NOVA DEMONSTRATION – SO NICE 01:06
  • BOSSA NOVA DEMONSTRATION – MANHÃ DE CARNAVAL 01:16
  • USING A BRUSH AND A STICK FOR BOSSA NOVA & SAMBA 11:39

Make your brushes smooth

Brushes are a smoother alternative to sticks. Playing brushes in a smooth and relaxed feel will make them blend perfectly with Bossa Nova music. It’s the smooth factor that always gives Bossa Nova brushes playing its light and airy feel.

Pay particular attention to your left hand and try to get that sound as smooth as silk. In fact, here is another video to help you improve the smoothness of your brushes.

Listen to the guitar and piano

To dial in your right hand tambourim patterns, you can also listen to the guitar and piano rhythms. Typically, the guitar and piano comping (accompanying) are going to include the tambourim rhythmic phrases.

Listening to and locking in with these comping phrases will make a huge difference in the grooviness of your Bossa Nova groove. You don’t have to try and copy the phrases note-for-note. Just get the gist of the overall phrase and complement it with punctuated notes in your right hand.

Your left hand will then simply fill in the blanks. Together, your hands will be more connected to the music and the other musicians if you use this approach.

Check out this video to help you learn some common Bossa Nova rhythmic phrases.

How to practice your Bossa Nova

The most important goal I have in all of my drum teaching, is to prepare you for the bandstand. It’s not enough for us just to learn patterns on the drums. We need to be able to play them in the real world of music with real musicians.

For brushes playing, my Brushes Mastery Course will definitely help you do this with powerful practice videos and drumless tracks (practice tracks with no drums). My drumless tracks are specifically designed to prepare you for gigs.

At the Von Baron Store, I’ve got loads of great Bossa Nova and Samba drumless tracks to help you gain confidence with your Brazilian brushes playing. I hope you’ll take a minute take a listen to them.

Concluding thoughts

I’ve shared a lot of resources with you today in this blog post. Bossa Nova brushes are definitely within your reach. You can be up and grooving very quickly when you use my pattern. After all, we want to have fun as quickly as possible, so give it try!

Always wishing you the best in all of your drumming. Have fun and keep swinging my friend!


Learn to play Jazz brushes in the THE BRUSHES MASTERY COURSE. It’s the most complete online drum brushes course ever created.

Get ready for your Jazz drumming gigs. Download high-quality, effective DRUMLESS TRACKS. Improve your time, feel, comping and soloing. Learn to play better with real musicians.

Book some private ZOOM DRUM LESSONS to take your Jazz drumming to new heights.

Leave a Comment

This is copyrighted material.