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The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel (Chords/fingerpicking)

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 shug
(@shug)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 168
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Here's what is probably my favorite S&G song. Like the tab I submitted for Sound of Silence, I am linking a YouTube video by Mark Easely on how to play it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIjqq1geqD0&mode=related&search=

This time, however, the tab is slightly different. . . rather than using his general picking pattern I use one a friend taught me in college many years ago that sounds really good (and is unlike anything I've found on other tabs). You'll note the 3 bass strings are the same, but the respective "treble" strings I use are one string higher:

Strings per video: 5th - 3rd - 4th - 2nd - 6th -3rd - 4th - 2nd etc.
Strings per tab: 5th - 2nd - 4th - 1st - 6th -2nd - 4th - 1st etc.

Other differences:

* The beautiful two bar intro with suggested fingerings for the fret hand is included

* Included are "double stops" on every chord change which creates a nice sound

* The chorus is strummed

* Rather than innumerable "lie la lie's" at the finish, I include an abbreviated ending

Even given the differences, the video is an invaluable aid in getting the rhythm of the song, the bass patterns and includes some "walkdowns" which are in the tab. Kudos again to Mark Easely (goldhat3) for his very informative lesson!

Once again, I am posting two versions: (1) The 1st version showing the order of the song; the picking pattern for the intro and the 1st verse; the tie-in for the Chorus; and the ending; and (2) The 2nd version showing the words and chords (with an abbreviated intro and ending picking pattern, if desired).

I hope you enjoy it!

The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel

C/G
e|--3-0---0-----0---|----0-------------|--------0-------0-|--------0-------0-|
B|------3---3-----3-|------3---1-----1-|--1---------1-----|----1-------1-----|
G|------------3-----|--0-----0---3-0---|------------------|------------------|
D|------------------|------------------|------2-------2---|------2-------2---|
A|------------------|------------------|--3---------------|--3---------------|
E|------------------|------------------|----------3-------|----------3-------|
r o r o r m o r o o r o i r o i (fret hand)

C/G ^ ^ Am
e|--------0-------0-|--------0-------0-|--------0---------|--------0-------0-|
B|----1-------1-----|----1-------1-----|----1-------------|--1---------1-----|
G|------------------|------------------|------------------|------------------|
D|------2-------2---|------2-------2---|------2-----------|------2-------2---|
A|--3---------------|--3---------------|--3--------3--2---|--0---------------|
E|----------3-------|----------3-------|------------------|----------0-------|
I am just a poor boy though my story's seldom told. I have

^
G G7 G6 (lift index)
e|--------3-------3-|--------3-------3-|--1-----1-------1-|--0-----0---------|
B|--0---------0-----|----0-------0-----|------------0-----|------------0---3-|
G|------------------|------------------|------------------|------------------|
D|------0-------0---|------0-------0---|------0-------0---|------0-------0---|
A|----------2-------|----------2-------|----------2-------|----------2-------|
E|--3---------------|--3---------------|--3---------------|--3---------------|
squandered my resistance for a pocket- ful of mum- bles such are

C/G ^ ^ Am
e|--------0-------0-|--------0-------0-|--------0-------0-|--------0-------0-|
B|--1---------1-----|----1-------1-----|----1-------------|--1---------1-----|
G|------------------|------------------|------------------|------------------|
D|------2-------2---|------2-------2---|------2-----------|------2-------2---|
A|--3---------------|--3---------------|--3--------3--2---|--0---------------|
E|----------3-------|----------3-------|------------------|----------0-------|
promises.- All lies in jest still a

G F/C C/G
e|--------3-------3-|--------1-------1-|--------1-------1-|--------0-------0-|
B|--0---------0-----|--1---------1-----|----1-------1-----|--1---------1-----|
G|------------------|------2-------2---|------2-------2---|------------------|
D|------0-------0---|----------3-------|----------3-------|------2-------2---|
A|----------2-------|--3---------------|--3---------------|--3---------------|
E|--3---------------|------------------|------------------|----------3-------|
man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

G G7 G6 ^ C/G
e|--------3-------3-|--------3-------3-|--1----1--0-------|--------0-------0-|
B|--0---------0-----|----0-------0-----|----------------3-|--1---------1-----|
G|------------------|------------------|------------------|------------------|
D|------0-------0---|------0-------0---|-----0------------|------2-------2---|
A|----------2-------|----------2-------|--------------2---|--3---------------|
E|--3---------------|--3---------------|--3-------3-------|----------3-------|
Hmm,-hmm, ____________________ hmm,____________ hmm,
C/G
e|--------0-------0-|--------0-------0-|--------0-------0-|
B|----1-------1-----|----1-------1-----|----1-------1-----|
G|------------------|------------------|------------------|
D|------2-------2---|------2-------2---|------2-------2---|
A|--3---------------|--3---------------|--3---------------|
E|----------3-------|----------3-------|----------3-------|
hmm._________________ 2. When I left . . .

Verse 2 . . . ending of Verse 2 leading to Chorus:
d du d
G G7 G6 ^ C/G C/G C/G Am
e|--------3-------3-|--1----1--0-------|-------0--------0-|--0---0-0---0-|
B|--0---------0-----|----------------3-|--1---------1-----|--1---1-1---1-|
G|------------------|------------------|------------------|--0---0-0---2-|
D|------0-------0---|-----0------------|-----2--------2---|--2---2-2---2-|
A|----------2-------|--------------2---|--3---------------|--3---3-3---0-|
E|--3---------------|--3-------3-------|----------3-------|--3---3-3---x-|
the places on-ly they would know. Lie la lie

Am Em
lie la lie__ lie lie_ la lie__ Lie la lie

Am G F
lie la lie____ lie lie la lie____ la la la la

C/G
e|--------0-------0-|--------0-------0-|--------0-------0-|--------0-------0-|
B|--1---------1-----|----1-------1-----|----1-------1-----|----1-------1-----|
G|------------------|------------------|------------------|------------------|
D|------2-------2---|------2-------2---|------2-------2---|------2-------2---|
A|--3---------------|--3---------------|--3---------------|--3---------------|
E|----------3-------|----------3-------|----------3-------|----------3-------|
lie. Asking on-

Verse 3
Repeat Chorus
Verses 4 & 5 . . .

F/C C/G G
e|--------1-------1-|--------1-------1-|--------0-------0-|--------3-------3-|
B|--1---------1-----|----1-------1-----|--1---------1-----|--0---------0-----|
G|------2-------2---|------2-------2---|------------------|------------------|
D|----------3-------|----------3-------|------2-------2---|------0-------0---|
A|--3---------------|--3---------------|--3---------------|----------2-------|
E|------------------|------------------|----------3-------|--3---------------|
leaving but the fight- er still remains. Hmm___ hmm.

G7 G6 ^ C/G C/G C/G Am
e|--1----1--0-------|-------0--------0-|--0---0-0---0-|
B|----------------3-|--1---------1-----|--1---1-1---1-|
G|------------------|------------------|--0---0-0---2-| Repeat Chorus
D|-----0------------|-----2--------2---|--2---2-2---2-|
A|--------------2---|--3---------------|--3---3-3---0-|
E|--3-------3-------|----------3-------|--3---3-3---x-|

Ending (after picking C 4x)

G G7 G6 ^ C/G C/G
e|--------3-------3-|--1----1--0-------|-------0--------0-|------0----|
B|--0---------0-----|----------------3-|--1---------1-----|------1----|
G|------------------|------------------|------------------|------0----|
D|------0-------0---|-----0------------|-----2--------2---|------2----|
A|----------2-------|--------------2---|--3---------------|--3---3----|
E|--3---------------|--3-------3-------|----------3-------|------3----|

Here's the 2nd version with the words and chords:
The Boxer - Simon And Garfunkel

C/G
e|--3-0---0-----0---|----0-------------|--------0-------0-|--------0-------0-|
B|------3---3-----3-|------3---1-----1-|--1---------1-----|----1-------1-----|
G|------------3-----|--0-----0---3-0---|------------------|------------------|
D|------------------|------------------|------2-------2---|------2-------2---|
A|------------------|------------------|--3---------------|--3---------------|
E|------------------|------------------|----------3-------|----------3-------|
r o r o r m o r o o r o i r o i (fret hand)

Verse 1:

C/G (walkdown) Am
I am just a poor boy though my story's seldom told
G
I have squandered my resistance
G7 G6 (lift index) C/G C/G
For a pocket full of mumbles, such are promises
C/G(walkdown) Am G F/C
All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear
F/C C/G G G G7/G6 C/G (4x)
And disregards the rest m m m m ..

Verse 2:

C/G (walkdown) Am
When I left my home and my family, I was no more than a boy
G
In the company of strangers
G7 G6 C/G
In the quiet of a railway station, running scared
(walkdown) Am G F/C
Lay-ing low, seeking out the poorer quarters
C/G
Where the ragged people go
G G7 G6 C/G C/G(d)
Looking for the places only they would know

Chorus (Strum):

C/G(du) Am Em
Lie la lie Lie la lie Lie lie la lie Lie la lie
Am G F C/G(pick 4x)
Lie la lie lie lie la lie la la la la

Verse 3:

C/G (walkdown) Am
Asking only workman's wages I come looking for a job
G
But I get no offers
G7 G6 C/G
Just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue
(walkdown) Am G F/C
I do de-clare, there were times when I was so lonesome
C/G G C/G
I took some comfort there . . . Ooh la la la la la la la

Repeat Chorus

Verse 4:

C/G (walkdown) Am
Then I'm laying out my winter clothes and wishing I was gone
Am G G7 G6 C/G
Going home where the New York City winters aren't bleeding me
Em Am G G7 G6 C/G
Leading meeeeeeeeee going home.

Verse 5:

C/G (walkdown) Am
In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade
G G7 G6
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down
C/G (walkdown) Am
Or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame
G F/C
I am leaving, I am leaving
C/G
But the fighter still remains
G G7 G6 C/G C/G chord
M m m m...

Repeat Chorus

Ending

G G7 G6 ^ C/G C/G
e|--------3-------3-|--1----1--0-------|-------0--------0-|------0----|
B|--0---------0-----|----------------3-|--1---------1-----|------1----|
G|------------------|------------------|------------------|------0----|
D|------0-------0---|-----0------------|-----2--------2---|------2----|
A|----------2-------|--------------2---|--3---------------|--3---3----|
E|--3---------------|--3-------3-------|----------3-------|------3----|

"Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."


   
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(@esrona)
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 15
 

Great song, thx for this great post, well done.


   
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(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

You can also do the intro (absolutely beautiful, as Shug says) further up the neck using more open strings to give it a kind of shimmering waterfall effect. If I remember correctly, it's all eighth notes and you want to let the open strings ring out:

Beat:
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

E - - - 0 - - - 0 - - - - - 0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B - 8 - - - - - - - - - 0 - - - - - 0 - - - 0 - - - 0 - - - - - -
G - - - - - 7 - - - 7 - - - - - 7 - - - 7 - - - - - - - - - 0 - -
D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 - - - 7 - - - 0
A - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Paul Simon would later use this same technique to a much different effect in the solo on Peace Like A River, from his first solo album....

Peace


   
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(@tldavis92)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 34
 

Thank you for posting "The Boxer", this one of my favorite songs.


   
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(@misspatty86)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 9
 

This is great. Thanks a lot!


   
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