The Boxer

The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel (Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson)

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

The Boxer appears on Simon & Garfunkel's fifth studio album 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', which was recorded in 1970. The song was released as a single on the 21st March 1969 and reached number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The Boxer was a follow-up to one of the duo's most successful singles 'Mrs Robinson' and Rolling Stone went on to rank it at number 106 on their '500 Greatest Songs of All Time' list.

The Boxer is no. 30 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.

We're now exactly halfway through the list of 60 fingerstyle songs, and so far it's been a real pleasure teaching you all the tunes. There's still so much more to come and the songs just keep getting better and better!

The Boxer has its challenges when it comes to playing it but it isn't super difficult. There are no difficult chords or big stretches or anything like that. You may find the intro a little difficult to get nice and smooth, and the right-hand picking pattern may also be a little tricky at first, but once you have those two things down the rest should come without too much pain. One thing that's a little hard is remembering the chord progression of the verse; it's pretty long and the chords seem to fly by at great speed but I'm sure you'll get it in no time!

Song Details:

  • Key - originally in B major but we're doing it in C.
  • Tuning - standard
  • Originally recording in Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Bb, Eb tuning
  • Tempo - 93 bpm
  • Difficulty - intermediate

The Lesson:


The important thing here is to get all the notes to ring into one another.

The Boxer Intro

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There's a lot going on in the verse so really take your time.

The Boxer Verse 1

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The chorus should come easier than the verse.

The Boxer Chorus

Verse 4:

Just watch out for the Em and Am chords that come up in bars 6 & 7. It's a subtle variation of all the other verses but gives the song a nice change.

The Boxer Verse 4


  1. Brad Cox left a comment on 12th September 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Hi, do you have a pdf for the Boxer” music sheet and tabs?

    Great lesson. Just joined your email list.



    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 13th September 2018 at 8:52 am

      Hey Brad, thanks for signing up to my list!

      I’m afraid the only tab I have is the one on the site. I don’t do the whole song from start to finish because of my concern for copyright, however the lesson has all the parts of the song tabbed individually.

  2. malc left a comment on 26th November 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Hi is it possible to print the tab from the lesson for the Boxer.If i am trying to follow the tab i can not see the video printing would allow this.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 26th November 2018 at 8:33 pm

      Hey Malc, I’m afraid that the tabs aren’t printable. Possibly in the future they may be but not currently.

  3. Tim brian Shannon left a comment on 26th November 2018 at 8:57 pm

    well done; thanks. I read music;appreciate theory comments; cheers

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 27th November 2018 at 6:38 pm

      Thank you, glad you enjoyed!

  4. Tim brian Shannon left a comment on 27th November 2018 at 8:08 pm

    100 fingerpicking patterns are very good;can tell you are classicaly trained; Guialiani would be proud!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 27th November 2018 at 9:20 pm

      Really glad you think so. Actually classical music is something I know very little about. Growing up I was heavily influenced by blues, then I developed a strong interest in fusion/jazz. But underneath it all I’ve always just loved just great songs.

  5. Tim brian Shannon left a comment on 28th November 2018 at 3:20 am

    go to;Ana Vidovic; plays intro & variations on a theme by Mozart op.9 by Fernando Sor; let me know if you like this tune?

  6. James left a comment on 3rd December 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Hi from Lancaster UK,

    Thank you for the absolutely fantastic lesson! You have made thing so clear, yet concise, and the supplementary material is the icing on the cake 🙂

    I have been playing for a couple of year and pretty much all the songs I have tried to play are covered on this site – if it was around earlier it would have saved me a lot of wasted time trawling the net for crummy tutorials!

    Anyway, thank you once again for your generosity in both time and knowledge


    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 28th December 2018 at 12:00 am

      Hi James, really glad you enjoyed the lesson. I hope I can continue to help you grow as a player!

  7. Chris M. Zangara left a comment on 5th July 2019 at 10:00 pm

    I was going to request The Boxer but here it is on this fantastic list. Just got done learning Going to California by Led Zep and am going to post myself playing it on youtube soon, complete with the mandolin part as well. (would be great if you can bring that to us as well if you play mandolin).

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks so much for all you do to bring the joy of music to the masses. The lessons and tab are in an absolutely perfect format. There should be more people like you, out there, willing to share their knowledge.


    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 6th July 2019 at 11:45 am

      Thanks Chris, really pleased you like the lessons. When you upload your video please send me the link.

      • Chris M Zangara left a comment on 7th July 2019 at 9:48 pm

        I will do so and I’ll be sure to mention you in the comments as well. 🙂

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