20 Listen to

something new.
14 This month:
Joe Satriani
80 UK Luthier Kevin Aram
If Julian Bream plays your guitars you know you’re doing
something right.
Like skinning a cat, there’s more than one
way to play an acoustic as Kaki explains.
43 Fran Healy
The Travis frontman talks to Acoustic
about his new solo album.
32 Ramon
The UK bluesman tells us why
he’s exploring world music
30 3 Daft Monkeys
The trio from Cornwall are destined for big things. We nd out why.
25 Michael
The Yorkshire folk legend
talks to us about his
prolic career.
47 Chrissie Hynde and JP Jones
We talk to The Pretenders singer and JP about their new project
Contents 49_BC.indd 6 25/11/2010 14:26
Acoustic Techniques
A famous sea song by a sadly forgotten
composer. Splice the main brace!
Tom Bowling
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Skill Level
This is suitable
for beginners
Skill Level: Intermediate
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Ray Gamble_BC.indd 118
21/10/2010 13:05
Acoustic Techniques
With Lin Flanagan
Bossa Nova: The Old Beat
Lin Flanagan is one of
the foremost pedagogues
in the UK. Aside from his
work in education, he
has performed in various
settings including solo
classical guitar, small-
group jazz, folk, blues
and rock.
www.lin anagan.eu
RGT Guitar Tutor
Skill level: Suitable for all
trying to gure out or copy solos,
melodies and chord progressions etc.
João Gilberto was one of those
youngsters who used to hang around
the Copacabana record stores.
In uenced by the music that he was
hearing, in his apartment he began
to develop his own distinctive style
of performance to accompany the
equally distinctive pieces that he was
composing. His songs were quiet,
intimate, introvert and used extended
chords that had been gleaned from his
limited access to North American jazz
recordings. However, he also used the
old rhythms of the samba dance. He
called his new style ‘bossa nova’, and
he envisaged it as being the next new
craze. This, dear reader, is what bossa
nova was intended to translate as: new
craze/trend/fad/wave – not ‘new beat’.
While Gilberto was responsible for
the performance style of the bossa
nova music, it was Antonio Carlos
Jobim who came to compose the
better and most popular songs within
the genre (eg ‘How Insensitive’ and
‘The Girl From Ipanema’). Jobim was
already a recognisable gure in the
Brazilian music scene when he and
Gilberto began their short association
together. Jobim composed both alone
and in collaboration with others, but
largely in the bossa nova style that
Gilberto had presented to him.
So, how did this musical style come
to take the West by storm? Well, in
the late 1950s and early 1960s the US
State Department organised tours by
cultural representatives, such as jazz
musicians, to Latin American countries
in order to promote the wonders of the
USA. The guitarist Charlie Byrd was one
of the musicians who took part in these
tours. Having been exposed to the
bossa nova music that was prevalent
in Rio at the time, Byrd returned
home with a suitcase packed full of
recordings. He played these to his
friend, the tenor saxophonist Stan Getz,
with the intention of subsequently
recording their own interpretations of
the repertoire. After the high academia
of bebop and cool jazz there was an
audience waiting for something that
they could listen to without needing
a PhD in jazz theory. Getz and Byrd’s
album, Jazz Samba, sent the USA
absolutely Latin crazy. They quite
simply couldn’t get enough of it, and
hence a lot of musicians who were less
skilled in the Latin style jumped onto
the bandwagon with embarrassing
musical consequences. Incidentally,
Getz and Byrd’s in uential album took
only three hours to record. Now there’s
an abject lesson in true musicianship
for those who think that it takes 12
months in a recording studio to come
up with something worthy!
Notice that Getz and Byrd called
their album Jazz Samba, not ‘Jazz Bossa
Nova’. This is important. They knew
that they were not playing bossa nova.
They took the bossa nova repertoire,
removed some of the bossa nova
performance style and added North
American jazz to it, thereby creating
a new style of Latin jazz. However,
much of the USA, including many
jazz musicians, did not realise this. As
a result, almost all Latin jazz or jazz
samba at this time was erroneously
labelled ‘bossa nova’. This included
a subsequent Getz album, Big Band
Bossa Nova, which by the nature of the
large amount of instruments involved
was far removed from Gilberto’s ethos
for the genre.We have to blame record
company executives for that ‘oversight’.
So, bossa nova was certainly not a
new beat, and was never intended to
be translated as such. It is an intimate,
re ective, performance mood of music
that used old samba rhythms and
jazzy chords. When somebody asks
you to play a bossa nova rhythm they
are either ill-informed or they mean a
samba rhythm in an understated and
intimate manner. In my experience it’s
usually the former. Thanks for listening.
Lin Flanagan
the wealth of this middle class was
largely still impoverished by European
and North American standards. They
were wealthy only by Latin American
Those who nancially bene ted
from the economic reforms were
mostly based in the Copacabana
district of Rio de Janeiro. Here, some
of the younger generation spent
a large part of their time in record
shops, often just to listen to free
music over the stores’ tannoy systems.
The most popular recordings were
rare imports of North American jazz
musicians and singers, such as Dick
Farney and Frank Sinatra. As most of
the young Brazilians, even those who
were comparatively wealthy, could
not a ord to buy many recordings,
their access to imported music was
rather limited. Don’t forget, until fairly
recently, when music tutor book
publishing and the World Wide Web
went into overdrive, as musicians our
main educational sources for decades
were recordings. Guitarists traditionally
used to play along to records while
Welcome to this new column, the
successor to ‘Thinker’s Corner’. Over
the next 12 articles we’re going to look
at some of the many myths that exist
within the music world, and, as the
column title suggests, bust them right
open and help you to see things from
an accurate perspective.
Some of our topics for discussion
will be historical, some will be practical
and some will be philosophical. I want
to begin this column by busting the
myth that the acoustic music that
we know as ‘bossa nova’ is so named
because it translates as ‘new beat’. In
the process of doing so, we’re also
going to look at what bossa nova
is, and also what it isn’t. So, if you’re
sitting comfortably, it’s story time.
Bossa nova evolved in Rio de
Janeiro in the late 1950s. Until this time
Brazil had been an utterly destitute
nation, even more so than it is now.
When Kubitschek became president in
1956, he introduced new policies and
ideas (including the creation of a new
capital city, Brasilia) that permitted the
rise of a new middle class. Of course,
Lin Flanagan_BC.indd 96
21/10/2010 10:29
Acoustic keeps you up
to date with whats hot
and whats not in our
gear reviews section.
Guitar Techniques Gear Reviews
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Special Features
52 Peerless PD-85E
With a name like Peerless you are setting yourself
on a high pedestal. How well seated is this guitar
on that lofty throne?
56 Faith FMTB Trembesi
Mercury Parlour
Is this Faith instrument something you could or
should hope for?
60 Aria AF Tenor N
Aria always appear to be able to ll a niche where
there is a demand for an instrument. Will they full
the demand here?
64 Martinez Classical Guitars
MCG-70C and MCG-150S
Can these two classical guitars marry
American design and aesthetics with Chinese
68 Laka VUC80EA and
The ukulele market is ooded, but can Laka paddle
their way to the front? Sam Wise nds out.
72 Kustom Sienna 65 and
Sienna 16
In terms of price per square foot, the chunky
Sienna 65 is a bargain, but how does it stack up to
its smaller brethren?
76 LR Baggs M1 Active
Huw Price tests an active oering from LR Baggs
80 UK Luthier Kevin Aram
If Julian Bream plays your guitars you know you’re doing
something right.
84 Patrick Godin
We nd out the facts behind the success of the Canadian
90 History Of Guitar
Paul Brett concludes his series with an overview and an eye to
the future.
94 Sons of Seasick Steve
Hobo blues is all the rage at the moment. We look at some
choice acts following in the bearded one’s wake.
With 13 pages of different level specific tech-
niques, whether you’re a novice or an expert our
columns have something for everyone.
104 Gordon Giltrap
Another classic from Gordon’s back-catalogue.
106 Pierre Bensusan
Learn part of a piece from Pierre’s new album.
110 Chris Gibbons
Exploring exotic timings to improve your playing.
114 Simon Mayor
A relatively simple Irish tune to get your mandolin singing.
118 Ray Burley
The importance of sight reading.
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