Top 5 Best Bossa Nova Guitars: The top five best bossa nova guitars would be the Takamine 132 SC, the Kazuo Yairi CY-116, the Cordoba C9 Crossover, the Raimundo Bossa Nova 2, and the Altamira Sete Cordas. Nonetheless, multiple factors must be considered to determine whether a guitar is great for bossa nova or not.
Ah, yes, bossa nova, one of the sweetest, most relaxing, and most romantic forms of music to ever be produced by the human race. It originated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the 1950s and focused more on melodies instead of percussions.
Simply hearing a bossa nova song makes you want to learn how to play the guitar using this style. However, you must guarantee that the instrument you’re using enhances the Brazilian musical style that you wish to produce.
The best way to do that is to get the best bossa nova guitar you could possibly have. Don’t worry. We’ve done the research for you. Here are the top five best bossa nova guitars out there.
Top 5 Best Bossa Nova Guitars
If you wish to play bossa nova music, you might want to invest in a guitar that best suits this style. Here are some options you can start with.
1. Takamine 132 SC
The Takamine 132SC, otherwise known as TC132SC, is a handcrafted classical guitar that’s often used to play jazz and Latin music. Nonetheless, the pure tone from the nylon strings combined with the amplified volume also makes it a great instrument for playing bossa nova music.
The cedar top helps maintain a full and warm tone while enhancing the guitar’s dynamic range. Additionally, you can also notice the sonic brilliance of the guitar, which is caused by the solid rosewood back.
2. Kazuo Yairi CY-140
This one is not in production anymore. It’s now considered a vintage guitar, but if you do find one, be sure to grab the opportunity to own it because it’s one of the best guitars to play bossa nova music with.
Any Kazuo Yairi guitar is a generally magnificent instrument, leading a lot of musicians not to pass on it. The CY series, which are the CY116, CY117, CY118, CY120, CY125, CY130, CY135, and CY140, are some of the best ones.
Some would even consider the CY140 as a factory-made counterpart of a Manuel Ramirez guitar. It’s very easy to play because of the low-action strings. The ebony fingerboard and well-dressed frets also make the guitar a relatively pleasurably instrument to hold and play.
3. Cordoba C9 Crossover
If we’re talking about popularity and accessibility, the Cordoba C9 crossover is probably your best bet. Cordoba has been around since 1997, and they’ve produced some of the best classical guitars you may find in the market.
The best part about the C9 Crossover is that the neck makes you feel as if you’re playing a steel-string guitar. Additionally, the truss rod allows you to adjust the action of the guitar to your preference. This means that you can use the guitar for playing classical music and adjust the action to a lower register for playing bossa nova music.
4. Raimundo Bossa Nova 2
If you have the resources to go for handmade Spanish guitars, you shouldn’t miss out on the Raimundo Bossa Nova 2. It also has a lower string action when compared to other classical guitars, making it a great option for playing bossa nova music.
The top is made out of solid cedar or solid spruce, while the body is made out of solid walnut. The fingerboard is made out of ebony, and the neck is made out of American cedar. The neck is only 50.5mm, making it relatively easier to play.
Another thing worth mentioning is that you can purchase a left-handed version of it if you’re used to playing with your left hand.
5. Altamira Sete Cordas
If you really want to play bossa nova music, maybe it’s best to ask Brazilian guitarists what they prefer. You’d be surprised that the majority of them prefer using a seven-stringed guitar. Bossa nova music often requires the guitarist to play the bassline, and a seven-stringed guitar makes this easier.
That’s because the low B string, which is on top of the low E, allows them to play a fuller range of notes on the instrument. Your best option for a seven-stringed guitar is the Altamira Sete Cordas. It has a solid spruce top, a mahogany neck, rosewood back, and ebony fingerboard, with a scale length of 650mm.
If you noticed from the list above, all of the guitars we’ve included use nylon strings. That’s because the authentic bossa nova sound is best produced by playing the classical guitar. However, as genres and music developed, other instruments also provided their own flavor to bossa nova music.
The newer branch of bossa nova introduces us to this type of Brazilian music played on electric guitars. It actually makes sense! When playing bossa nova, you want a guitar that has a low-string action but great volume. That’s what electric guitars are!
They are played with an amplifier, so you don’t have to worry about the volume. They are also often built with low string action so that the strings vibrate against the frets close to where you’re pressing them.
You can even further enhance your music by mixing bossa nova and jazz, which is also a rather popular music style nowadays.
You can also try and play bossa nova music on your acoustic guitar. However, the string action might not be as low as you want it to be. Nonetheless, steel-string guitars have bright sounds. Ergo, you might have a brighter, more colorful sound from your music by using this type of guitar.
Bossa nova is that one type of music that you probably can’t stop your feet from dancing upon hearing it. That’s just how groovy, influential, and captivating bossa nova is. That’s perhaps why a lot of people appreciate it and wish to learn its playing style.
If you are on this path, be sure to pick one of the five guitars we’ve listed here. On the other hand, you can also experiment with your electric or acoustic guitar and come up with a different flavor to your bossa nova music.