Welcome to the Guitar Domination Fingerpicking Classics Series. Song number 6 in this series of 10 songs is the fabulous song ‘Scarborough Fair/Canticle’ by Simon And Garfunkel. We have the Scarborough Fair tab and the video lesson for the song ready for you below.

The song itself is a traditional English ballad about the seaside town of Scarborough in Yorkshire. There are many, many versions of the songs such as the version by Andy Williams, Justin Hayward and even prog rock band Queensryche!

If you want the Scarborough Fair tab that compliments the video Click here.

The chords used throughout in Scarborough Fair are simple yet sophisticated. Paul Simon in my humble opinion is a very underrated guitarist.

Paul Simon learned the song in London in 1965 and later along with Art Garfunkel they reworked the song and placed it in counterpoint with their own song ‘Canticle’ creating a very elegant version of the track that sounds fantastic.

The track is played with a capo on the 7th fret which is a little higher than most people dare to use a capo. The frets can start getting a little too close together for many guitarists so this may take a little getting used to.

Let’s learn the brilliant Scarborough Fair on guitar!

The song is played with a capo on the 2nd fret and uses a ‘stock’ fingerpicking pattern that you can learn and apply to songs of your own. Once you have the stock picking pattern mastered you will have the core of the song done. Then it’s time to nail all the little variations and embellishments that really make this version of Scarborough Fair come to life. I go through all of this in the video but you can refer to Scarborough Fair tab alongside it to help.

You may need to learn a few new chords for this song using my beginner guitar chord chart as some of the shapes such as Asus2 may not be familiar to you yet.

Check out Simon and Garfunkel’s back catalogue  to hear some more of Paul Simon’s slick and stylish guitar parts. Tracks such as ‘The Boxer’ display more great Paul Simon fingerpicking parts and ‘A Hazy Shade of Winter’ shows off his ability to create a great riff.


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August 14, 2015 Reply

[…] might be out of the question, but Simon and Garfunkel might be […]

Michael Damian
April 30, 2021 Reply

re: “Paul Simon in my humble opinion is a very underrated guitarist.”

Underrating cannot apply to those who are still bright after so many decades
due to a talent we all were aware of still and are enthusiastic about despite our frustrating incompentence in, Dan.

Works better the other way round:
In 50 years, subject someone may care who e.g. Taylor Swift was, people
will say “overrated” when just singing about what 15 year old females care
about. Rightfully so.

Take care.
Michael Damian

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