Beguine Bass

Beguine Bass

Begining Beguine Bass for Solo Piano

The beguine bass is the easiest and most reliable Latin accompaniment pattern that you can use as the left hand part with a variety of songs. Even if you select a songs that aren’t traditionally associated with the beguine rhythm you can adapt the beguine bass to create an effective arrangement.

Finding ways to help our piano students at the Mascari Piano Studios, keep rhythmic accompaniments going in the left hand part while playing the melody of a song with the right hand is often a challenge. The beguine bass continues to be one of the most reliable and consistent tools that I use to help my students keep their piano playing flowing, rhythmic and upbeat.

Not only have many of our piano students successfully used the beguine bass with Bossa novas, they have also used it for their arrangements of songs such as Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Can You Feel the Love Tonight?, Besame Mucho, When You Wish Upon a Star, A Day in the Life of a Fool, as well as a number of songs by Cole Porter.


Example No. 1 – Shows the approach for songs that have ii – V progressions spread out into two measures.
The pattern for each chord is always:
– Root
– 5th
– 5th
– 5th one octave lower


Example No. 2 – Illustrates how the ii – V progressions work when each chord is two beats:
– Root of the ii chord
– Root of the V chord
– Root of the V chord
– Root of the V chord one octave lower


Additional Resources
Beguine Bass Etude
Download the sheet music for the arrangement of I Love Paris that is featured in Ed’s Beguine Bass for Piano YouTube video.
Diana Mascari has also written a number of Beguine blog posts as part of her Conversations at the Piano Music Education blog.

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