Scarborough Fair

Learn How To Play Scarborough Fair

Chords and finger style arrangement

Watch These Videos

Scarborough Fair chords and finger style arrangement


Originally an old folklore, Scarborough Fair was made worldwide famous by Simon & Garfunkel.

The chords of Scarborough Fair take full advantage of the II chord. By using the extensions sus2, 13 and sus4 we get a clear sense of the Dorian scale ringing through.

It would be very hard to play Scarborough Fair using different shapes than what you see in the video lesson. It is the shape and the incorporated open strings that make the arrangement.

Using a capo , we can easily adjust to the key to suit different singers by simply moving it up or down the neck.

What you can’t change is the finger style patterns and chord shapes, as they are what gives Scarborough Fair its distinctive sound.

Chords from the key of G

Scarborough Fair uses chords from the key of G. However, G (chord I) is not our home chord, instead, Am is (chord II).

In the verse, we use all kinds of intervals from the Dorian scale, maintaining the open A.

To name the chords can cause all kinds of debate, as I researched different sheet music for this recording nobody seemed to agree on what to name these chords.

Too many intense chord names to bring up here, I’ll reveal them all in the advanced guitar course instead, including full TAB.

As well as studying how to play it in the video, we also improvise over a looped version of these chords using the Dorian scale.

Scarborough Fair finger style

Since Scarborough Fair is an old English fair, we want that European classical music vibe which has very little to do with groove and dancing.

Using a free-time approach when playing Scarborough Fair will only enhance the performance. The tempo should slow down and speed up with the singers’ choir-like parts.

Take the advanced course and learn more about finger style techniques as well as playing in different time signatures and modes.

Related Pages


Scarborough FairAre you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

Go to Scarborough Fair lyrics.

Simon & Garfunkel

simon-garfunkel-thumbThe duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel was a hugely successful American folk duo.

Their hits include Homeward Bound, Scarborough Fair, The Boxer, Mrs. Robinson, Bridge Over Troubled Water and American Tune.

Go to Simon & Garfunkel biography.


Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The advanced songs require you to learn 7th note chords and modal scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fret board.

Go to Advanced guitar course.


You can learn how to play these advanced songs on the acoustic guitar.

Angels, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home, Blackbird, Cannonball, Don’t Wait Too Long, I Shot The Sheriff, Over The Rainbow, Roxanne, Scarborough Fair, Sunshine Of Your Love, Take Me To The River, Tears In Heaven, and Wish You Were Here.

Go to Advanced acoustic songs.

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Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

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