The foot-mounted wireless synthesizer/drum machine

BossaNova two ways

This post show you two ways to make a BossaNova beat with HappyFeet.

First, what is the Bossa Nova?  Here is a drum pattern for the Bossa Nova from “Latin Rhythms: MYSTERY UNRAVELED” by Victor López, Clinician, see link

  • 200 BPM
  • Hi-hat eighth notes throughout
  • Bass drum on 1 (+ 2) + 3 (+ 4) + (where the brackets show notes not played).  In another notation, this would be 1, 2+, 3, 4+.
  • next, add in a woodblock in a two measure pattern:  (1 +) 2 (+ 3) + (4 +) 1 (+ 2) + (3 + ) 4 (+) (where the brackets show notes not played).  In another notation, it would be 2, 3+, 1, 2+, 4.

Method 1 – Groove Mode

Here is a HappyFeet groove for that drum tab with 8 beats per measure, 2 measures, 2 voices, and back-beat mode turned on (which means 8 sounds are be played with 4 foot taps on the quarter notes and the app fills in the +s).  Note that the first voice is on the first row and is used for the bass drum and woodblock, while the 2nd voice, on the 2nd row is used for the hi-hat.  The back beats are in purple; these are sounded in between the foot taps.

The Groove play mode is (currently) limited to 2 voices.  Since we've put the steady 1/8th note hi-hats on voice two, that leaves voice 1 for the bass drum and woodblock.  There are two notes in the second measure (1, 2+) where we want both bass and woodblock to sound.  Since we're limited to two voices, the groove above goes with the woodblock on the 1 in the second measure, and the bass drum on the 2+ in the second measure.


Also, depending on the tempo of your song, that's a lot of foot tapping, which leads us on to Method 2.

Method 2 – 1-tap mode

In 1-tap mode, you only tap your foot on the 1s, and HappyFeet fills in the groove you choose.  1-tap mode has a 4-count lead-in or count-in to establish a steady rhythm.  Here is a screen shot of 1-tap mode with the Bossa Nova selected.

Notice that, like the groove mode groove, this groove uses the woodblock on the 1 in the second measure and the bass on the 2+ in the second measure.


Learn more about the Groove and 1-tap play modes on the App Tour page.