Bossa Nova in 3/4 – Onda Nueva

The rhythm of Joropo, or Joropo Llanero, is typical of Venezuela and Colombia. In 1882 the dance that inspired this rhythm, also called Joropo, became the national dance of Venezuela, later being declared a cultural heritage of the nation in 2014. The pattern of the Joropo Llanero is similar to the Vals Pasaje (a waltz popular in the lowlands of Latin America, in an area known as Llanos) but played faster at circa 120 bpm in 3/4.

In 1974 Italian drummer Tullio De Piscopo released his first album Suonando La Batteria Moderna, which includes a great collection of tracks for solo drums, from Samba to Afro-Cuban, to Rock and Swing. The LP back cover art includes the transcriptions for the main drum beats of all the tracks.

tullio de piscopo suonando la batteria moderna

One of the tracks of the album is called “Onda Nueva 3/4 (6/8)” a bossa nova-oriented rhythm played in 3/4. The Onda Nueva is a genre developed in 1968 by the Venezuelan musician, composer, and conductor Aldemaro Romero, which is based on the Venezuelan Joropo combined with elements of jazz and bossa nova. The signature Onda Nueva drum beat (also known as Onda Nueva de Caracas) was developed by Venezuelan drummer Frank Hernández.

Tullio De Piscopo explores Onda Nueva’s rhythm by improvising on the drumset, creating a melodic phrasing between the toms, and keeping the bossa nova/samba foot ostinato with a steady rhythm on the ride cymbal.

Here’s the Onda Nueva rhythm transcription, notated in two different ways (it depends on how you count it). Once comfortable start improvising on the drumset. Keep on drumming!

onda nueva 3/4 drums
bossa nova in 3/4
Onda Nueva 3/4

3 thoughts on “Bossa Nova in 3/4 – Onda Nueva

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