If I Only Had a Brain - Harry Connick Jr., Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg


I just got done taking a master class from a young Harry Connick Jr.. I’ve been working on transcribing his version of “If I Only Had a Brain” from the album 20. In my own humble opinion, it’s a masterpiece, and I cried the first time I accidentally listened to it. I was so moved by its grace, that I knew I needed to learn it and sing it.

It’s a beautiful piece of music to begin with, but Connick’s use of chord substitution is pretty cool and sophisticated—he also creates some beautiful tension in his chord voicings, using many terse intervals such as m2 and M2 in his chord inversions, which are my favorite. Lots of suspensions. I learned a lot. I learned too much. Still trying to absorb the information. Bottom line, it just sounds boss (in a very touching and emotional manner), despite all the bullshit jargon I just prattled off: that’s what I’m after. That’s what I got.

I did my own thing with it and deviated from his arrangement as I saw fit.

I recorded the vocals using an AT4033 and SM57 on the guitar amp. If you dig it, please like the video and subscribe to my Youtube Channel. The support is invaluable and deeply appreciated.

Most importantly, thank you to everyone on Patreon for helping me to make these videos