It's been awhile since I have played guitar but I'm trying to get back into it. I really like bossa nova music and want to learn how to play it. I have some beginner sheet music that I am learning from (see image below) but I have a couple questions about it:

  1. In the image below, I've added numbers (1&2&a, etc.) that represent my interpretation of the count. Is my counting correct?

  2. I placed a circle around what I think is a shortcut way of writing a chord. Am I correct?

Thanks a lot for your help :)


1 Answer 1


Your almost there in counting some of your '&'s are off.

When counting 16th notes we count the following way:

1 - e - & - a - 2 - e - & - a  

You start off good, but after the first 16th note there should be an 'e' instead of an '&'. So it should be counted like:

1 - & - 2 - e - a | 1 - & - 2 - e - a | 1 - & - 2 - e - a | 1 - & - 2 - e | 1 || 

The reason you count an 'e' instead of a '&' is because of where the 8th note lies in the measure. It is right after the 16th note which is on beat '2' so the next note no mater what the duration is it will land on the 'e' not the '&'. (Also I'm pretty sure the dotted quarter note in measure 4 should be a dotted 8th note.)

For you second question yes it is shorthand for a chord so you don't have to write out all the individual notes of a chord.

Hope this helps.


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