Rock and Pop Fingerstyle

Time of your Life (Fingerstyle).pdf

Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)

This song by Green Day has probably been played at more weddings and slow dances than any alternative rock song that has come out in the past 25 years.  With an iconic guitar part and melody, this song is one of the most popular guitar songs ever.

Chords Used: G, Cadd9, Dsus4, Em7

The original song uses a combination of chords and picking individual notes.  This arrangement uses a set fingerstyle pattern that stays consistent throughout the song.

Sounds of Silence New PDF - Score.pdf

The Sound of Silence

This timeless classic by Simon and Garfunkel was originally released in 1964 but is still widely popular today.  

For this arrangement, use your right hand thumb, index, and middle finger.  

 The chord shapes  are mostly taken from standard barre chords.  But instead of playing the full chord, just play the notes on the first 3 strings.

Street Spirit PDF - Score.pdf

Street Spirit

This hauntingly eerie tune by Radiohead reached number 5 on the UK's Singles Charts after it was released in 1996.  Radiohead considered it a breakthrough in their songwriting.

Chords used:  Am, Em, C, and C/G.  However, you'll have notice that as you watch the tabs, you'll alter those chords often.

The right hand pattern stays about the same the entire time, so once you've got the first two measures down, you actually have a pretty good start on the song.

We're Going to Be Friends - Score.pdf

We're Gonna Be Friends

This light-hearted  song, by The White Stripes, was released in 2002.  The song was made far more popular when it was featured during the opening credits to "Napoleon Dynamite" in 2004.

Chords used:  G, C, D, A

Watch the right hand pattern carefully.  It sets up a pattern, but then it breaks that pattern on occasion.  

#60. Blackbird - Score.pdf


The Beatles released this song in 1968.   For over 50 years now, this song has not only remained popular, but has been inspiring guitar players to push their limits.  John Lennon got some of the inspiration behind this fingerstyle part from Bach's "Bouree in E Minor."

Watch the right hand rhythm carefully.  The second measure of the song introduces a pattern that will be used many times throughout the song.

Dust in the Wind Full Tab - Score.pdf

Dust in the Wind

This song was released by Kansas in 1977 and was the band's only song to reach the Billboard's Top 10 charts in the United States.  

The songs is built around this beautiful guitar intro, which was first written by Kerry Livgren as a fingerstyle exercise.  The song uses the popular fingerstyle pattern known as "travis picking".

Chords used: C, Cmaj7, Cadd9, Am, Amadd9, Asus4, G/B, G, Dm7, and D/F#.  

 This arrangement follows very closely to the original except skips the bridge and shortens the outro.

Hero Full Tab - Score.pdf


This acoustic masterpiece by "Family of the Year" was released in 2012.  

 This song, like "Dust in the Wind", also uses "travis picking".   Hero was featured in the   trailer for the Oscar winning feature film "Boyhood", which shot the song into the public eye .  This song uses a capo on the 5th fret.

Chords used: C, Am, Em, F, G.

Yesterday Fingerstyle Solo - Score.pdf


This song, by The Beatles, was released in 1965 and hit No.1 on the US charts.  The song is one of the most covered songs out there, with over 2,000 known arrangements so far.

 This arrangement is actually a fingerstyle solo,  but I thought I'd put it on this page as well.  

Landslide - Score.pdf


This beautiful fingerstyle song was released by Fleetwood Mac in 1975.  The song has since sold more than 2,000,000 copies in the United States alone.  It's considered one of Fleetwood Mac's greatest works.  The song has been covered many times, most notably by Smashing Pumpkins.

In the recording, there are two guitar parts.  This arrangement has been modified to sound satisfying with only one guitar but also simple enough for students who are just beginning to learn the "travis picking" technique.

Everybody Hurts Full Tab - Score.pdf

Everybody Hurts

This song was released by R.E.M. in 1992.   This song is a perfect example of using a simple fingerstyle pattern over commonly used chords to create something beautiful.   

The main verse and chorus use easy chords, so they are perfect for beginners.  If students want to play the entire song, the chords to the bridge are written in the additional lyrics at the end.

Hallelujah Full Tab - Score.pdf


This song has been covered thousands of times by different artists.  The song, originally written by Leonard Cohen, has many other famous renditions.  This arrangement most closely resembles that of Jeff Buckley.