Scarborough Fair chords

You can learn how to play Scarborough Fair by Simon & Garfunkel!

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 impossible to play Scarborough Fair using different shapes to what you see above in the video lesson. It is the shape and the incorporated open strings that make the arrangement what it is.

Using a capo on fret 7, we think in the key of Am, but what you hear is the key of Em.

You can’t change the finger-style patterns or chord shapes, as they are what gives Scarborough Fair its distinctive sound.

But what you can do, is add a 2nd guitar part, doing this will enhance the first part as well as teach you more about how this song is put together.

We spend a considerable amount of time doing this in the advanced acoustic guitar course, as well as learning the original part, of course.

Scarborough Fair chords and lyrics – Capo 7

Chords for Scarborough Fair – Guitar 1

What Scarborough Fair’s chords do is use all kinds of intervals from the Dorian scale, maintaining the open 5th string.

To name these chords can cause all kinds of debate, after all, they are unique due to the open strings, so reading them as you would with any song doesn’t make all that much sense.

Still, this is what they actually are, thinking in A (remember there’s a capo on fret 7!)


| A13sus4 | Dsus24 Dsus4/F# | Cmaj7 G/B ||: A13sus4 | Asus2 :||

Verse 1

| A13sus4 | Asus2 | G C/E G | A13sus4 | A7sus2 |
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
| C | Am7 | C D | A13sus4 | Asus2 | A13sus4 | Asus2 |
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
| Asus2 | C | C G/B Am7 | G C/E G | C/E G
Remember me to one who lives there,
| A7omit3 | G C/E | G C/E G | A13sus4 | Asus2 | A13sus4 | Asus2 |
she once was a true love of mine.


| A13sus4 | Dsus24 Dsus4/F# | Cmaj7 G/B | Asus2 |

As complicated as these chords may appear, what they do is explain the intervals in them. When we create a 2nd guitar part, that’s what we focus on, to still include the same extensions, just in a new key by removing the capo.

Course preview (Guitar Lesson – Step 1)

In the first video above, starting at 3:05, you find a preview of Scarborough Fair’s guitar lesson, it’s the beginning of step 1 of the course.

This step has broken up the different sections into 6 examples and played them at different tempos.

This is the key to being able to play Scarborough Fair, you must play small sections on a loop at different tempos.

The first example is the intro, provided as TAB below.

Scarborough Fair – Guitar Lessons

The most difficult aspect of this Dorian-sounding composition is actually to play at the full tempo. To get there, we practice at different tempos.

Following this, we develop a 2nd guitar part, practice Dorian, and play and develop the vocal melody.

Go to Scarborough Fair guitar lessons.

Scarborough Fair – Lyrics

Are 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 – Biography

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel was a hugely successful American folk duo starting out as Tom & Jerry before they adopted their more obvious choice of stage name.

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

Go to Simon & Garfunkel biography.

Advanced Acoustic – 10 Songs

You can learn how to play these 10 advanced acoustic songs!

Angels, Blackbird, Cannonball, I Shot The Sheriff, Over The Rainbow, Roxanne, Scarborough Fair, Sunshine Of Your Love, Take Me To The River, and Wish You Were Here.

Go to Advanced Acoustic Songs.