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If: Introduction

 

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If

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Today we'll be learning the song "If" as made famous by Bread. Even with minimal production, this song is a romantic, lush harmonically rich composition.

The acoustic guitar part we will be learning today is the backbone of this arrangement. It features an 1/8th note finger picking pattern from the arpeggio family, and an interesting chromatic chord progression that has the first and second strings droning unfretted for much of the song.

The hallmark descending chord structure makes use of several inverted chords, and later in our tune we see a couple of barre chords, but this is a very playable song.

While our guitar is supported by the backing tracks, it is the only part that runs from the beginning to the end of the song. The backing tracks come and go, featuring an ethereal electric guitar which uses a very distinct tremolo effect, we'll also hear some electric bass and some strings at the very end.

Put it all together and the result is a rich and ever changing sonic/harmonic backdrop for the most important part of the song: the vocal. Remember, it all rests on the one thing that runs throughout: our guitar part!

The song asks us to play very accurately and very consistently. We cannot accomplish this without both of our hands working together with efficiency. "If" is in the key of A major and is played at 98 BPM.