Top Fingerpicking Song Tabs

Learn to Play These Songs on Guitar Right Now

Once you've gotten comfortable using a pick, you may want to tackle the basics of fingerpicking on the guitar. One of the best ways to learn new techniques on guitar is by practicing songs that use them. So, without further explanation, here is a list of popular songs that you can use to practice your fingerpicking technique, along with the instruction required to learn to play them.

green day nimrod

Here's a nice easy one to get you started. The fingerpicking technique is simple, and the chords are your basic "open chord" variety. "Good Riddance" tab
"Good Riddance" MP3 More »

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Dust in the Wind (by Kansas)

kansas dust in the wind

This one might seem tricky at first, but the fingerpicking pattern is repetitive - if you can nail the initial pattern, you just need to focus on the chord changes. Take it slowly at first. You might try staying on the C major chord, and repeating the fingerpicking pattern over and over until you get it.

"Dust in the Wind" tab
"Dust in the Wind" MP3

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Stairway to Heaven (by Led Zeppelin)

led zeppelin IV

Look - as a guitarist, you're going to have to learn this song at some point. So, you might as well do it now. The fingerpicking on this is actually pretty straightforward - it's some of the fretting hand shapes and the memorization which will probably be tougher for you.

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Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You (by Led Zeppelin)

led zeppelin

The fingerpicking pattern for this Led Zeppelin song may be easier for novices, as the pattern is sequential, and probably easier to remember.

"Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" tab

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Needle and the Damage Done (by Neil Young)

neil young harvest

This Neil Young song from Harvest is pretty straightforward - it's an eight bar guitar part which repeats throughout the song. So, once you learn those eight bars, you know the whole tune! There might be a couple shapes here that beginner guitarists won't have played before, but there's nothing too challenging in this song.

"Needle and the Damage Done" tab
"Needle and the Damage Done" MP3

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Blackbird (by The Beatles)

the white album

This is another must-learn song on the guitar, and the good news is that it's easier to play than it sounds. Again, the fingerpicking itself is pretty straightforward - it's the fretting hand work that will take some time.

"Blackbird" tab

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Here Comes the Sun (by The Beatles)

beatles abbey road

This great tune by George Harrison sounds great and is a song that can be learned by beginner guitarists. You'll need a capo to make this one sound right, and it will take some practice, but "Here Comes the Sun" is definitely conquerable.

"Here Comes the Sun" tab

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Vincent (by Don McLean)

don mclean american pie

Now, things are starting to get a little trickier. The chord shapes in this song ("Starry Starry Night..." for those of you for whom the song title doesn't ring a bell) aren't tricky, but the fingerpicking pattern is all over the place, so there will be a lot of memorization required.

"Vincent" tab
"Vincent" MP3

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Tears in Heaven (by Eric Clapton)

eric clapton unplugged

Here's another song that beginner guitarists will probably struggle with for a while. "Tears in Heaven" is probably more challenging for its chord structures than it is for its fingerpicking patterns. Feel free to give it a try, but if you're a newbie, it'll probably be a while before you can make this one sound good.

"Tears in Heaven" tab

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Shape of My Heart (by Sting)

sting ten summoners tales

This Sting tune from Ten Summoner's Tales might not be the first to come to your mind when you think "great guitar songs", but the fingerpicking part from "Shape of My Heart" is really gorgeous. This one is not easy to play - there are many variations in the picking pattern - but your efforts will be rewarded. Note the use of a capo on the second fret.

"Shape of My Heart" tab
"Shape of My Heart" MP3