How Insensitive | Insensatez - Chord Melody, Single-Note Solo & Chord Shapes

How Insensitive | Insensatez - Chord Melody, Single-Note Solo & Chord Shapes

Composed by A.C. Jobim

Tune's History

How Insensitive - Insensatez in Portuguese - is one of the most played and recorded Brazilian tunes in jazz history. The Portuguese lyrics were written by Vinicius de Moraes and the English lyrics by Norman Gimbel. The form for this tune is particularly long and is said to resemble Chopin's prelude in E minor.

How Insensitive: The Legendary Joao Gilberto


The Nuts and Bolts

The long form makes it really fun to improvise over. While it is a standard 32 bars, this is a bossa nova and therefore is at a slower than usual tempo making the form seem long.

Download your "How Insensitive - Chord Melody, Solo, and More" PDF here.

How Insensitive: Thumbnail

To summarize the harmony, the progressions are pretty neat. It begins in the key of D minor with a little change to C minor before returning to D minor at the end.

The two last sections both start on a Cm7, so be careful not to confuse them! A rule of thumb with regard to keeping the form on any tune is to always hear the melody in your head. This way, you'll be thinking beyond the harmony.

How Insensitive: Comping Ideas

Here are some basic chord voicings you can use over this tune. Be sure to check out our bossa nova comping lesson for tips on how to approach this rhythmically.

How Insensitive: Comping Ideas

How Insensitive: Chord Melody

Rhythmically, we are keeping this chord melody very simple, but there's a lot to take in harmonically. If you are feeling adventurous, go ahead and try some rhythmic filler material here and there!


How Insensitive: Single-Note Solo

There is lots to chew on in this one. Typically, it is not expected that you would play bebop-style lines over this kind of music, but I took the opportunity to go ahead and give you some licks anyway!


How Insensitive: Backing Track

Here's a nice little backing track for you to practice some of the material being covered here!

How Insensitive: Chord Reference Sheet

As always, we've also provided a chord reference sheet with a good amount of voicings to add to your arsenal! You can apply these to this tune right away.

Download your "How Insensitive - Chord Melody, Solo, and More" PDF here.

How Insensitive: Thumbnail

Suggested Listening

-Diana Krall's From This Moment On album released in 2006. This is a beautiful version and Diana Krall plays with some really great players here.

From This Moment On

-Astrud Gilberto's Astrud Gilberto's Finest Hour collection released in 2001. The legendary Astrud Gilberto sings this beautifully with a wonderfully lush orchestra backing her.

How Insensitive: Astrud Gilberto's Finest Hour

-Joao Gilberto's Joao Gilberto Songs collection. This is another wonderfully lush version with Joao's classic voice.

Joao Gilberto Songs

-Sinatra/Jobim's The Complete Reprise Recordings collection released in 2010. Frank Sinatra and A.C. Jobim. Is there really anything else that needs to be said?

Sinatra/Jobim: The Complete Reprise Recordings

Click to go back to our library of free jazz standards!


**Notes from the Editor** This post was updated 15/01/2021.