If I Ain’t Got You
Chords & Lyrics
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Learn how to play If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys on the piano! Follow along with your teacher Ted in the best tutorial online.
All you need to do is play the first measure of this Alicia Keys classic, and everybody in the room will be ready to sing along.
You have to hand it to Alicia Keys for writing one of the most recognizable piano parts in the biz. This unmistakable jam is right up there with Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” and is played all over the world at weddings and piano bars alike. It might sound difficult, with the cascading triplets in the right hand, but at its core, it’s just a very simple riff that draws from diatonic seventh chords in the key of G major. What does that mean? Basically, if you take the first chord and move each note down the G major scale four times you’ll have it – Cmaj7, Bmin7, Amin7 and Gmaj7.
Anyway, if that’s the type of thing you’re interested in, then check out our key signature essentials package to learn more about the harmonic functions used in this song. Otherwise, enjoy the lesson and you better learn the whole thing because once you start this one, you won’t be able to stop as everyone will be singing along.
Did you know this song was inspired by the death of famous singer Aaliyah? Alicia was heartbroken after her tragic death in a plane crash and came up with “If I Ain’t Got You” as an ode to ignoring the distractions of all the material things and truly appreciating the people in your life that you love.