Finger Picking Pattern 1: part 2, Dust in the Wind

In part 1, you learned how to play the picking pattern that is used in the song Dust in the Wind. Did you notice that all of the picking was done on the middle four strings. In part 2, we will add the remaining chords for the song. You will use the same picking pattern but this time, you will be playing it on different sets of strings. For reference, I have recopied the pattern here.

Click on the diagram for an MP3 audio example.

Play this pattern over an open C chord.

Ok, this time, I am going to make you work a bit for this and not give you all the chord charts on this page as you already know them by now right? I am also not going to score out the whole song from beginning to end. Between the information in parts 1 and 2 you have everything you need to put it all together. Listen to the original song, use your ears and it should all come together for you. I have not created an MP3 for you to listen to this time. You should hear when it is right compared to the original song.

I will however give you a few tips.

  • Play the intro first (part 1) and then the following.
  • Notice the first bar below. You will see above and below the tablature some additional numbers. These represent the fretting fingers you need for these parts. Thinking of these as little chords will help. The same is true for the D/G chord ( D chord over a G bass note) in the last 2 bars of the song.
  • The 3rd bar of the song calls for a G chord. You really don’t need to play the whole G chord form here, just the 2 notes. See if you can figure out the most practical fingering (fretting hand) for it. One that moves nicely from the C chord in the previous bar.
  • To play the Amin/G chord (Amin chord over a G bass note), simply play an Amin chord and add your pinky (4th finger) on the 3rd fret of your E string as indicated in the tablature at that bar.

Are you ready? Good luck!

Dust in the Wind
By Kansas

(If the tab image is not rendering nicely on your browser, right mouse click on it and choose the save image option. Save it to your desktop and open it there. It will display just fine and you can print it for reference.)

© Synaptic Systems Inc., 2004


  1. Hey, nice lessons. I am a bass player and I can translate this for myself so thank you.

  2. Hey Bass Lessons (Craig?)

    Happy to help! Be sure to check back within a few days .. VERY special bass player feature coming!



  3. Thanks for the help, but the images are too small to read comfortably.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for your note.
      Did you notice the ” Please note, due to graphics issues, you are best to view this page here (Click Here)” At the top of the page? It will take you to larger images. Let me know if that helps 🙂


  4. I really don’t understand the second part. I have the intro down pat now cause of this lesson, but i still don’t know what the numbers above the bars means.

    • Hi there!

      The numbers above and below the bars represent which fingers you should use to fret the notes. So, for example, in the first bar, the 1 over the 2 in the tab means play that note with your first finger.

      Let me know if that helps 🙂


  5. Hello Gil, thank you for the fantastic explanations! I’ve been playing this song for years, but until I’ve revisited it some weeks ago and got enough speed to play it along with the record, I didn’t notice that I was missing something: the second thumb pick of each bar. So I found your page (great!) and fixed my picking with some suffering… nothing is worse than replacing an automatic movement, the fingers rebel all the time 🙂

    I’ve found some more differences. I didn’t play the G after the D in the chorus. Now there’s a doubt: does G takes the same time as D? IOW, what’s the exact meaning of D/G? I would, as you say, use my ears, but it’s been a long time doing it differently (with F instead of Dm7 and no G in the chorus) to hear clearly.

    I see you didn’t put the instrumental viola and violin part, guess you left it for a third part?

    • Hi Nico,

      Sorry for my slow reply again! D/G means a D chord with a G bass note as the root.
      Whenever you see something like that, for instance, the Amin/G a bit later in the song, the first part (Amin) is the chord and the second part (G) is the root (bass note) being played over the chord.

      As for the instrumental, do you mean the actual violin solo or the chords played while the solo is happening? If you mean the chords, the solo is played over exactly the same chords as given in part 2.

      Hope this helps!

  6. Gil, sure it helps, thank you very much for your answer. I’m spanish and we use a slightly different notation (Do, Re, Mi and so on, also some differences for indicating chords bases, sevenths and the like), but I’m learning yours with your help.

    In these days, I’ve been listening to the song with more attention and even seeing videos of Kerry Livgren and Rich Williams playing live! I can confidently say that the chords of the middle are different.

    The second time the chorus is sung, instead of ending in Am, Am/G, it starts playing a four bars group with x0750x the first bar, x0570x the second bar, x0350x the third bar, x0353x the first half of the fourth bar and again x0350x the second half of the fourth bar. Don’t ask me the names of these chords! 🙂

    This four bars are repeated three times (the first while Steve sings the “…wiiiiind, ooh ooh” part, and the other two groups during the first half of the vioin solo). Then the intro plays again while the violin goes on with the second half of the solo.

    These four bars groups are not easy for me because my fingers over the third and four strings tend to touch the second and fifth ones 🙁 but the effect is worth it.

    I’m progressing, but this song is difficult for a beginner like me, specially when I sing along. I find the Dm7 the hardest, so I change it a bit and play it on the 2-5 strings instead of 1-4. For the rest I follow your fine tab.

  7. what kind of scale is the violin solo played in? I know it’s not a pentatonic scale… or maybe it is…. please help

  8. chrisfinch says

    Hi Tom,

    The violin solo starts in an A Minor (Aeolian) scale. There is an A Minor Pentatonic run in the solo as well. You’re hearing Pentatonic because the Minor scale contains all 5 pentatonic notes.

    Half way through it switches back to C Major (Ionian).

    The song is in the key of C. So C Major (Ionian), A Minor (Aeolian), and A Minor Pentatonic sound great over the entire thing. The A Minor scale is the relative minor to C Major as they share the same notes.

    Hope that helps!

  9. tom helm says

    Hello Chris,

    Thanks SO much for your kind help!!! I can play this solo on the guitar in my sleep, both parts together, but was unsure of what the scale was.

    You rock my friend! thanks again…

  10. HardRockRob says

    Hey Gil… Thx for the awesome lessons… Been working on the fingering for the past few days and each day it gets a lil better and a lil faster. One question tho… Could you embellish upon your second tip!? ” You will see above and below the tablature some additional numbers. These represent the fretting fingers you need for these parts. Thinking of these as little chords will help.” Im still a bit confused there. Thanks again for all the time and help!

  11. Hi HardRockBob,

    Thanks for your comment 🙂

    What I was trying to get at there is that most of this can be thought of as chord shapes (C – G – Amin etc). Where there is not a chord symbol, it can help to look at your chording hand position and thinking of them as a chord shape. For example, in bar 1, there are 2 small chord shapes. The first one has your first finger on the second string on the second fret. Think of that as a shape. Do the same for the next one. Make sense? Hope so!


  12. HardRockRob says

    O…lol…duh… I kinda feel stupid 🙂 Needless to say i got it now, lol. Btw, its coming along great, im 40 started playing bout a year ago (and havent set my guitar down yet) and never thought i would be playing such an awesome classic but its getting there. Thx agn Gil.

    • LOL .. no need to feel that way!
      Keep at it Rob! I did something similar. I started Karate at 47. Am 55 now and one away from my black belt. I wear HUGE sparring gloves … gotta look after my fingers!

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