The Boxer Guitar Lesson

The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel (Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson)

This is the full guitar lesson for The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel.

The Boxer appears on Simon & Garfunkel's fifth studio album 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'. 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.

Alright, let's start learning how to play The Boxer!

Song Details:

  • Key - originally in B major but we're doing it in C.
  • Tuning - standard (originally recorded half step down)
  • Tempo - 92 bpm
  • Difficulty - intermediate

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How to Play The Boxer 

The Boxer has its challenges when it comes to playing it but it isn't too hard. There are no difficult chords or big stretches or anything like that to deal with but 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. Once you have those two things down, the rest should come without too much pain. 

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Want to learn more fingerpicking songs?

Let me know what you thought of the lesson in the comments section below. Say what you found hard/easy, what level you're at and what your fingerpicking goals are. 

Recent Song Lessons

  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. 🙂

  8. Charles left a comment on 10th August 2020 at 4:58 am

    Hi. I’ve been enjoying your site. Working through the intermediate lessons. Many are difficult for me, so I may not be as intermediate as I think. Anyway my question is: when I play The Boxer or other Travis picking songs I seem to go too heavy on the thumb and the bass sound dominates and is pounding and rhythmically marching Any ideas how I can better that technique? I don’t hear the bass strings dominating on original recordings or in you performances.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 14th August 2020 at 11:17 am

      Hey Charles, really glad you’re enjoy the lessons. First I would focus on just making sure you’re consistently hitting the correct bass notes every time. From there you just need to lighten up on the thump a little. It’ll probably tidy itself up with time and consistent practice, I would also just practise the bass on its own. More than likely it just needs more running. Good luck!

  9. Charles left a comment on 15th August 2020 at 6:08 am

    Thanks. I will give that a try. I think practice is likely to help. I also figured out to relax more once I’ve got the basic patterns down. That seems to be one of the keys for me.

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