Manha De Carnaval Bossa Nova Guitar Tutorial

Title: Black Orpheus (Manhã De Carnaval)

Key : A minor
Time : 4/4
Style: Bossa Nova

Composer: Luis Bonfa (1922-2001) was a celebrated Brasilian guitarist famous for this particular song Manha De Carnaval which was featured in the production of Orfeu da Conceição also known as Black Orpheus. Bonfa worked alongside the likes of Jobim, Stan Getz and Moraes in Brasil and later with Quincy Jones, Frank Sinatra, and George Benson in the US. He study guitar initially with Isaias Savio.

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  • Dominic Swords

    Hi Sergio, really enjoying these recents additions. I have been listening to some original versions in learning this one. Hard to believe the ideas that Bonfa had on this one in his ’59 album Solo in Rio and Powell’s Tristeza on Guitar in ’66. Spotify is a great resource!! I’m really taken by a run that Bonfa does at about 1min 15secs on the track where he plays a short run to connect the final chords in the section. Is there any chance of you making some comment on what he’s doing? I mean I can easily copy the notes by ear, but what’s he doing? It would be great to understand as another tool in the kit bag. And then ofc Baden starts in Em (I think) and modulates to Am via a tasty run that ends in an E7th as a way of shifting key. Any guidance on how to go about dropping that kind of move into a song? Hope all this makes sense. I’m never happy to just play an arrangement straight and am always looking at ways to bring in variety and variations through a piece. Cheers for now.

  • Dominic Swords

    Hi A quick follow up – I guess I’m answering my own question in asking it. My answer to that question of ‘how much latitude in playing a piece’ above is that you can do whatever you want as long as it honours the original as composed by the person that wrote it. You can arrange as you like. I see you doing that when you decided on this piece: while you arranged it as a bossa nova it’s a lot less rigid in how you play it than Bonfa’s. So, there’s a lot to play with. Te other part of my question above still holds though. Can you give some guidance and dig into the runs that Bonfa and Powell play in this song? The vids you have done in the past on improv and scales and so on have been amazing in providing a simple structure with which to extemporise and extend or enhance a song. Hope you dont mind me thinking aloud like this but in the absence of a nearby friend or musician to chat with, it helps. CV19 has sadly closed down a lot of clubs and open mike sessions that were place to talk and exchange ideas.

    • Sergio

      Hi Dom, you have some great insights and questions. I have been working on the replies and I’m now thinking I should start a Q&A and try and answer these in more details via video. I had a quick listen to the Bonfa, from what I can hear he’s playing an F chord kind if arpeggiated. You can call they the flat VI chord. Going up to F from E when you are playing in Am is quite common, you can imagine it in a Spanish context quite easily. I’ll add to this in a video soon I think.

  • Dominic Swords

    Cool. Would be great. Since ur tutorial on the song and having listened to bonfa and Powell I’ve been working on my own arrangement exploring the song. Thanks. D