Toulumne Guitar Lesson

Tuolumne by Eddie Vedder (Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson) with TABS

Toulumne was written by Eddie Vedder as part of the sound track to the film 'Into The Wild'. The song is just 1 minute long and consists of just one acoustic guitar gently fingerpicking through a very simple but very effective chord progression. 

The song uses a common right hand fingerpicking pattern throughout and has some very subtle and clever nuances in it. It's easy to miss these and to just play the pattern over and over, but you'll learn all these little changes in the video lesson. 

Toulumne is no. 38 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. That way you won't miss learning any of these great fingerstyle songs.

One of the tricky things about playing Toulumne is the speed of it; it's played at roughly 110bpm and it can be hard to cram in all the sixteenth notes into each beat. My advice (as always) is to take it slowly, to work on getting all the notes played as well as you possibly can and then to gradually start picking up the tempo. Try it along with a metronome to help you develop good timing and to track your progress. 

Toulumne Song Details:

  • Key - C major
  • Tempo - 110bpm
  • Tuning - standard
  • Difficulty - Intermediate 

The Lesson

Want to really take your fingerpicking to the next level?

Join the Academy

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. Greg left a comment on 9th November 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Hi Chris, I’m really enjoying working through your Top 60! Somebody may have already mentioned this, but you got the “o” and the “u” transposed in the title. It should be spelled Tuolumne, and then the correct pronunciation is “too-all-uh-mee”. It most commonly refers to a region in Yosemite National Park here in the US. Keep up the good work!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 15th November 2019 at 1:14 pm

      Forgive me, I’m dyslexic and I make mistakes like that allll the time.

  2. Jan left a comment on 22nd April 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Chris, great videos and tabs! Thanks so much.

    There is something Im struggling with though. I was taught that I always had to play the three bass strings (EAD) with my thumb and the three higher strings (G,H,highE) with index, middle and ringfinger respectively…

    So where you move your thumb in the video I instead move my three other fingers. I realise that that is also a deviation from what I was taught because Im playing the D string with my index…

    Is that a matter of personal taste or a dangerous error to make which will be hard to get rid off later on? I have this pattern down from playing Guaranteed, so it feels much more natural to me to use the index right after the pinch instead of the thumb.

    Thank you!

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 26th April 2020 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Jan, what you were taught is correct but it’s a general rule and you don’t have to follow it religiously. however 99% of the time my thumb plays the E, A and D strings. I think if you’re using your index on the D string a lot it could potentially lead to problems later on.

  3. Jan left a comment on 22nd April 2020 at 5:44 pm

    (I learned Guaranteed elsewhere, so Im not using your pinch followed by thumb pattern but rather pinch followed by index)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *