If I Had a Boat

by Lyle Lovett • Lesson #229 • Apr 11, 2019

Video Lesson

Print-Friendly Song Sheet 5 pages

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Editor’s notes

Hey friends! In this lesson I’m excited to teach you how to play “If I Had a Boat” by Lyle Lovett. This one came in by patron request, and it has been my pleasure to learn this song and prepare this lesson. I’ll teach you a capo 9 version of this song (how Lovett plays it), focusing on a Travis fingerpicking style matching what he plays. I’ll show you the chord shapes, progressions needed, explain the Travis picking basics, and break down the verse/chorus/intro sections with tabs. I hope you enjoy! Send along any other Lyle Lovett requests you may have, as I’d love to know which other songs y’all may want to hear by him.

Video timestamps:

  • 0:00 Playthrough
  • 0:38 Greeting & overview
  • 1:17 Chords shapes needed
  • 3:51 Chord progressions used
  • 5:42 Travis picking basics
  • 8:03 Intro tab
  • 13:08 Chorus tab
  • 15:59 Verse tab
  • 17:52 Farewell & play-along cover

Need help learning the chord shapes?

Separate from my full-song sheet music (linked above), I also made this instructional PDF which focuses solely on the chord shapes this song uses during the intro & verse sections. This provides both photos and guitar tabs to help you understand the finger positions necessary – and the good part is, a lot of your fingers are staying in the same place for all of the chords!

If you want to get the PDF I show in the video just above, view my notes for lesson #413 »

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Hey there! My name is David Potsiadlo, and I'm the creator of the 400+ weekly lessons here at Song Notes, going back to 2013. Here’s my guitar story »

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