Scarborough Fair

SCARBOROUGH FAIR ON ONE ACOUSTIC GUITAR

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Watch this video lesson

Focusing on left hand and all chords used in this song

Learn How to play Scarborough Fair

On One Acoustic Guitar

I think the material is excellent. I’ve benefited so much. I’ve now begun to improvise with some confidence and have written songs that feel authentic. I can now develop musically in a broad and rich way. Your work has illuminated an exciting path forward.– Roger

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 fingerstyle 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 fingerstyle

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 fingerstyle techniques as well playing in different time signatures and modes.


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