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(What A) Wonderful World

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Today, I'll be teaching you a classic pop song, "Wonderful World" as made famous by the great Sam Cooke. This simple composition exemplifies the light pop sound of the early 60's. Easy to play with a catchy melody, this is a wonderful beginner song.

Using 6 common chords and what I call the "basic strum", you will be up to speed and having a good time with this song quickly.

The original recording is in the key of B Major. To make life easier for us beginners we're going to use our capo on the 4th fret and play in the key of G. We'll talk about how this works, and we'll even take a quick look at why using a capo makes this song much more playable.

Symmetry and repetition can be found in almost every aspect of this song, one of the hallmarks of great writing.

This song is all about the vocal. As we look at the verse and chorus we'll find a rhythmic and harmonic symmetry in the vocal part, which adds up to a memorable melody. The lyrics are simple and repetitious. Notice how every line of the verse starts with the word "don't" and every chorus starts with the word "do". This is a brilliant way to distinguish the verses from the choruses.

After a no nonsense 2 bar intro, the form repeats 3 different sections: 4 verses (A), 4 choruses (B),
1 bridge (C). We have a nice symmetrical form here!

Intro - 2 bars
Verse - 8 bars
Chorus - 6 bars
Bridge - 8 bars

A shorthand way to express this would be:

You'll hear other instruments in our backing tracks include bass guitar, drums and background vocals. Our guitar part fits nicely in the middle of all that. We're looking for a clean, steady rhythm guitar for this song. We really want to keep in mind that we are part of the band here. We want to listen and lock in with the other instruments so that we can lay down a great groove to support the distinctive melody of the vocals.

All of this mastery in just over 2 minutes! Pop genius.