Girl From Ipanema

The Girl from Ipanema (Garota de Ipanema) is an essential jazz standard that every jazz musician should know.

Published: 01 Oct 2011 Updated: 20 Jul 2022Visits: 1381Code: UL434

INSTRUMENTS: Bossa Main: Any Others: Ukulele Leadsheet Play-along ANY
Subjects: Repertoire • Latin • Bossa

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Girl From Ipanema

The Girl from Ipanema (Garota de Ipanema) is an essential jazz standard that every jazz musician should know. The A sections chord progression, basically a I II7 II V is functionally the same as Take the A Train, Jersey Bounce, Desafinado and a few others.

The Girl from Ipanema is a well-known bossa nova, a worldwide hit in the mid-1960s that won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. It was written in 1962, with music by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes with English lyrics written later by Norman Gimbel. When sung by female artists it is typically rendered as "The Boy from Ipanema".

The Girl from Ipanema is in the Real Book - Volume 1 Sixth Edition book.

Learning the Song

The Girl from Ipanema is a somewhat easy song to learn. It's an AABA song form. The A sections are a I II7 II bII7b5 I progression with the bII7b5 being a tritone sub for a V . A1 turns back to the I using the bII7b5 tritone.

In the key of F major, the most common key this is: Fmaj7 G7 Gm7 Gb7b5 1st ending) Fmaj7 Gb7b5 2nd ending) Fmaj7. Then modulates again up a half step to Gbmaj7 B7 F#m9 D7 Gm9 Eb7.

The B section finishes with a III VI7 II V7 to the last A section Am7 D7 Gm7 C7.

Girl From Ipanema…

Ukulele TABS

Here is one way to play the melody for The Girl From Ipanema in a "C" tuned ukulele, with low "G", C tuning.

To play in the original key of F you need a low "G" to cover the B below middle C in the melody.

The Girl From Ipanema — Premium Play-along Track

The 1964 Grammy Award for Record of the Year by Antonia Carlos Jobim

Premium Play-along Tracks are only available to Premium members and Active/Private Students.

Here is a Demo of Desafinado to get an idea of the quality of these custom play-along tracks.

Play-along Demo: Desafinado

DesafinadoPremium Play-along Track with Guitar Melody Played

I, (Curt) originally created these tracks to perform over for gigs and this was a demo for booking gigs.

These Premium Play-along Tracks are available to Site Members and are my personal one-of-kind tracks I (Curt) and Chuck Anderson recorded and arranged.

2008 jam at Dale Unger's Nazareth Guitar Institute, Nazareth, PA USA

Exploring on Ukulele

We'll use this most famous Bossa Nova to explore the Bossa Nova style on ukulele.

The Girl From Ipanema

by Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim , also known as Tom Jobim

Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz - The Girl From Ipanema (Garota de Ipanema) (1964) LIVE

This is the original hit from 1964 that created the Bossa Nova craze worldwide. Garota de Ipanema won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and started Astrud Gilberto's career.

Bossa Nova is one of my favorite styles to play. First checkout the videos the get the feel of the song.

The Girl From Ipanema - Frank Sinatra & Antônio Carlos Jobim | Concert Collection

Bossa Nova on Ukulele

The role of ukulele performing in the Bossa Nova style is the same as the guitar's role. The guitarist would typically play a nylon string classical guitar.

Bossa is a syncopated style with a bass note / chord approach. Very doable on a guitar and we'll have to simulate it on ukulele.

The bass is typically the root or fifth of the chords and the thumb plays that as the lowest note of the chord voicing. The index, middle, and ring fingers play the remaining part of the chord.

The rhythmic part of the style is a mixture of Levels I, II and IIR of the Modular Phonetic Rhythm System by Chuck Anderson. This is the sytstem I use with GREAT results.

Key of Db

As a jazz standard The Girl From Ipanema is typically performed in the Key of F as in the Sinatra and Jobim video. The original Getz/Gilberto recording is in the Key of Db .

Here I transposed to the Key of Db for the ukulele to take advantage of all four strings and get the same feeling of the original performance.

Leadsheet Key of Db.

Each major and minor keys conveys it's own characteristics and emotions. If doing a song instrumentally, i.e. no vocals, you can pick any key that gives you the characteristics and emotions you are trying to convey. I picked Db to keep the feeling of the original Astrud Gilberto's vocal recording.

German music theorist and composer John Mattheson laid these characteristics and emotions out in his writings in 1713. They were rediscovered and translated by Rita Steblin in her book A History of Key Characteristics in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries in 1983.

Background Chords on Ukulele

These are the chords I'm playing in the video.

The A chords are: Db6/9, Eb13, Ebm7, Ebb7(D7), Ebb7b5(D7b5). In the A section the Harmonic Analysis (HA) is: I II7 Im7 bII7 I bII7 , Hence the technically correct Ebb7 for the II chord. The Ebb7 (Ebb G Bbb Dbb) is same shape as D7 (D F# A C) and are Enharmonic Equivalents which you might already know.

The A Section Chords for Ukulele

Triple Flat

Triple Flats? – That can't be right. Well, yes Virginia theoretically it is. In the key of Db the second, the II chord is Eb. So the bII would be flatted for E double flat Ebb with the Bbb the fifth of the chord. And flatting the fifth results in a triple (bbb) flat. You have to keep the scale degree name / chord degree name in a full diatonic key. Now, granted not a lot of musicians, very few in fact would know this and might call it D7. You would get the right pitches – but the names of the pitches would be wrong for the the key of Db Major .

The triple flats show up in the chord tones for the Ebb7b5. E7 is E G# B D, Eb7 is Eb G Bb Db, Ebb7 is Ebb Gb Bbb Dbb, and Ebb7b5 is Ebb Gb Bbbb Dbb. These are the correct chord spellings for these chords.

Now, knowing all this is would most likely use an Enharmonic Equivalent spelling that would that a majority of musicians would have a changes of playing vs. the theoretical correct spelling. The goal is to get the music played.

This music theory stuff is wild. - Curt

The B Section Chords for Ukulele

The B section of the song is rich in harmonic movement, is actually not that hard to navigate.

The B chords are: D6/9, G9, Dm9, Bb9, Ebm9, Cb9, Fm7, Bb7#11b9, Ebm7, Ab7#11b9,. In the A section the Harmonic Analysis (HA) is: I II7 Im7 bII7 I bII7, Hence the technically correct Ebbb7 ( E triple flat 7 ) for the II chord. The same shape as a D7 which you might already know.

No Vanilla Seventh Chords

Notice that I didn't play many plain vanilla chords. There is an un-written rule in "jazz" that you don't play a simple straight-ahead seventh chord, plain vanilla seventh chords. Add upper partials / chord extensions and/or alter the chord. The extensions and alterations depend on what the resolution of the seventh chord is and the melody.

Main Song Download(s)

The main downloads for this Song.


Girl From Ipanema - Lead Sheet, Key of F

Updated: 01 Sep 2023

Leadsheet for the Premium Play-Along Track: Girl From Ipanema, key of F.


Girl From Ipanema - Premium Play-along Track, Key of F

Updated: 31 Dec 2016

Related Lessons

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Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation

Updated: 07 Sep 2021

The Big Six Core Chords is a series of lessons for building your core, essential 4-part chords. These chords commonly called jazz chords, are really just 4-part chords used in a wide range of musical styles. These chords include: Seventh , Major Seventh, Minor Seventh, Half Diminished Seventh or Minor Seven Flat Five, Diminished Seventh, and Augmented Seventh. These six chords form a core set of chords.


Bossa Nova

Updated: 13 Apr 2020

Bossa Nova is a genre of Brazilian music, which developed and was popularized in the 1950s and 1960s and is today one of the best-known Brazilian music genres abroad. The phrase bossa nova means literally “new trend”. A lyrical fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s initially among young musicians and college students. Since its inception, it has remained a vital part of the standard jazz repertoire.


Example Bossa Nova Patterns

Updated: 13 Jan 2021

Here are few example rhythmic patterns to get the essence the Bossa Nova style.

Related Lesson Series

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Core “Jazz” Ukulele Chords - The Big Six

Updated: 01 Jan 2003

Core Chords for Ukulele, The Big Six - From four F7 chord voicings or shapes, your can build your massive 4-part, a.k.a., “jazz” chord vocabulary. Beyond basic open position chords, basic movable form chords and a core set of 4-part chords. There are just too many chords shapes too memorize.

Bossa Nova

Updated: 01 Jan 2003

Bossa nova is a style of Brazilian music, which was developed and popularized in the 1950s and 1960s and is today one of the best-known Brazilian music styles abroad. The phrase bossa nova means literally "new trend" or "new wave". A lyrical fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s, initially among young musicians and college students.

Related Books & Charts

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Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele

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Exploring jazz chords using a variety of common chord progressions based on songs from the standard jazz repertoire. Core Chords are the basic set of chords needed to play a wide range of music, in a variety of styles. This set of chords includes basic open position chords, basic movable form chords and the core 4-part "jazz" chords.

A Selection of Books & Reference Charts that are recommended for creating a solid foundation with your chosen instrument and music in general.


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Reference Charts

Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for C Tuning, Low or High G - G C E A

Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for C Tuning, Low or High G – G C E A

Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for G Tuning, Low or High A – D G B E

Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for G Tuning, Low or High A – D G B E

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Checkout the Books for additional Handy, Dandy Reference Charts.

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A handy dandy single sheet chart showing the each voicing of the four, seventh chords Big Six seventh chord voicings.


Girl From Ipanema - Lead Sheet, Key of F

Updated: 01 Sep 2023

Leadsheet for the Premium Play-Along Track: Girl From Ipanema, key of F.


Girl From Ipanema - Premium Play-along Track, Key of F

Updated: 31 Dec 2016

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