Senorita Intro by Shawn Mendes
Play Along Track and PDF
We occasionally see the Latin guitar find it’s way into mainstream pop songs and the pop hit Senorita by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello features a Bossa Nova like groove and intro riff. As a part my new series of Latin guitar in popular music I have made a solo arrangement of the introduction (a little adapted) as a fun exercise to practice Bossa Nova.
The melody in this intro is featured in the bass part and can be muted as done on the recording. However I think it sounds better if you let all the notes ring longer. The piece is in A minor with the featured chords are Am7 – Cmaj7 – F maj7 – Em – G.
Interestingly, there is no dominant chord which would be E7 so the progression does’t feel very resolved rather it moves up from Em to G then to Am . This gives the feeling of what we call an ‘interrupted cadence’ which occurs when a progression in a major key goes to chord V then chord VI. For example if we playing in C major we might go C then to F then to G (or G7) then A minor. Going to A minor can feel surprising because we would expect a return to the C chord (the tonic) but instead we move up one more chord to Am.
In Senorita, we are not in the key of C but there are enough major 7th chords to give it a relaxed jazzy feel and the harmony works without one feeling too much tension and excitement.
I have kept as many open strings as possible to make it easier overall, and I would say a beginner to intermediate player shou be able to manage this with practice. Keep in mind the division between bass melody and chords.