Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel (Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson)

Scroll down for full video lesson (with tab) of Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel.

'Homeward bound' is by American duo Simon & Garfunkel and was written by Paul Simon. The song was released on 19th January 1966 and peaked at no. 5 on the U.S Billboard Hot 100. It appears on their album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966). 

Homeward Bound is no. 32 on my Top 60 Fingerpicking Songs of ALL TIME list. If you've not seen the list be sure to check it out and sign up to my weekly email lesson so you don't miss learning any of these great fingerstyle songs.

In past lessons we've learnt how to play 'The Sound of Silence' and 'The Boxer' by Simon & Garfunkel. While Homeward Bound will have its challenges, it is easier to play than both of those songs.

What's nice about this tune is that once you've gotten past the intro it's just a short verse, pre-chorus and chorus repeated three times. The song is just 2:29 minutes long and mostly uses the same fingerpicking pattern throughout.

Song Details:

  • Capo 3rd
  • Key - Bb
  • Tuning - standard
  • Tempo - 93 bpm
  • Difficulty - Intermediate

The Lesson:

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The intro is really quite iconic and is instantly recognisable. It's mainly a series of double stops (two notes played simultaneously on adjacent strings) and is not too tricky to play.

Homeward Bound Intro


Into the verse now and the first four bars are very straight-forward indeed. You can simply use just your thumb to pluck your way through the bass notes of each chord. Bear in mind that when this section of the song reappears after the chorus, Simon fills in some of the gaps with a few extra notes (see video lesson).

Homeward bound Verse

Pre Chorus:

Once you have the fingerpicking pattern down from the end of the verse, just carry it over into the pre-chorus and you're good to go.

Homeward bound pre-chorus


This part of Homeward Bound is a little tricky. You have to switch from strumming to picking out the double stops, it's kind of a hybrid version of the intro and pre-chorus. I've seen Paul Simon play it using a thumb pick, so you may want to experiment with that and find what works best for you.

Homeward bound chorus

If you want to make sure that you're really on the right track with fingerpicking, then try one of my fingerstyle guitar courses - find out more here.

If you have any questions or want to share anything at all, then please leave a comment below.

I hope you've found this lesson useful and thank you for reading.

  1. Mike Rider left a comment on 7th February 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Beautiful song, thank you for the great tutorial. Would love to be able to download a GP file–these are so helpful for learning both the song and the music theory. I am trying work through many of these.

  2. SteveM left a comment on 7th February 2019 at 8:31 pm

    I’ve been a Simon & Garfunkel fan for many years but never actually learned to play any of their songs. Can’t believe how much that simple little intro is making my smile! I love it! Thank you!

  3. Tim left a comment on 4th October 2019 at 7:28 pm

    Great stuff! Much appreciated

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 7th October 2019 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks Tim.

  4. jean francois bonet darcy left a comment on 7th March 2020 at 12:30 am

    Great lesson…….you are one of the few musicians who can turn a song into an enjoyable and recognisable instrumental .


    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 7th March 2020 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks a lot. Really glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Tim left a comment on 26th April 2020 at 10:47 pm

    That was excellent. Not only did I enjoy your playing but I learned from you, Thank you

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 1st May 2020 at 10:33 am

      That’s great, thanks Tim.

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