Composed by Ralph Rainger
If I Should Lose You is a very popular standard that was written in 1936 for the movie Rose of the Rancho. It was composed by Ralph Rainger and the lyrics were written by Leo Robin.
Unfortunately, it seems the film is so old that we were unable to find any purchase links on Amazon. Critics were also rather unkind to the film, but at least we were left with this wonderful tune!
The Nuts and Bolts
Although the tune starts in G minor, that G minor is not tonicized much at all throughout the song. It hits different pivot points in the key and finally ends on Bb major. Therefore, while the melody is rather moody, I’m more inclined to say that this is in Bb major and not G minor.
This wonderful melody can and does lend itself to many different wonderful interpretations. Over the years, jazzers have played it as a ballad, medium-swing, and even more modern/esoteric renditions. These various treatments of the tune are a good indication that it’s a great song!
If I Should Lose You: Comping Ideas
Here you have some chord voicings that you can use to comp over this tune. Be sure to take them and move them to different sets of strings.
If I Should Lose You: Chord Melody
This chord melody is a lot of fun to play and it mostly sticks to conventional chord voicings. Be sure to take your time with this and see how the melody lays out over each voicing.
You might notice that I used an F#m7b5 instead of a F#dim7. That was just a stylistic consideration for me. You can always take liberties with the harmony for these tunes when playing solo as long as you can make some sense of what you’re doing.
If I Should Lose You: Single-Note Solo
There’s some fun thematic stuff and a few “burning” lines here for you to take in. As always, make sure to take this stuff and apply it to other tunes!
If I Should Lose You: Chord Reference Sheet
At the end of the PDF, there’s a chord reference sheet with a ton of cool voicings to use over this tune. Be sure to move these around to different sets of strings and apply them to other tunes as well.
-Hank Mobley’s Soul Station album released in 1960. Here is a nice swingin’ take by a killing band.
-Kurt Rosenwinkel’s Deep Song album released in 2005. Kurt’s version here is wonderfully moody and really gives the tune an unexpected color.
-Keith Jarrett’s Setting Standards – The New York Sessions album released in 2008. This take is one of the more uptempo ones I’ve heard.
-Carmen McRae’s Two for the Road album released in 1980. This is a lovely vocal rendition of this tune and it’s always important to know how singers phrase the melody.
Marc-Andre Seguin is the webmaster, “brains behind” and teacher on JazzGuitarLessons.net, the #1 online resource for learning how to play jazz guitar. He draws from his experience both as a professional jazz guitarist and professional jazz teacher to help thousands of people from all around the world learn the craft of jazz guitar.