Dust In The Wind

I began attempting this song over a year ago. I’d struggle with it with frustration for sometimes hours at a time. Then I’d leave it for something else for a time. I’d revisit it for duel purpose, to improve with the song and as a practice session for fingerstyle.

I edited this in an effort to get the bass notes a bit more apparent where I do not use a thumb pick.

As of yesterday this is the latest version.



A good effort at quite a tricky pick. It might be worth really slowing things down as much as you can and when you feel you’ve nailed it slowly then build up to match the speed of the record.


Thanks so much Brian, much appreciate the reply. The members here prefer videos so I’ll take what response I can get. Where I use Audacity on my laptop to record, making a video adds a complexity I am not ready to deal with just yet.
I listened to a couple of your recordings and found you to be an accomplished guitarist. I am 67 and picked up my first guitar at 65. If you could comment on the most obvious place that my recording needs improvement I’d appreciate it. I did (over time) what you suggested here. I seem to play better faster oddly enough. I know my vocals can always use improvement. I feel like I have the guitar down ok, although always room for improvement.

Been working on this for about 6 months and I know a couple of others who’ve been chasing it down. A long way from trying to sing while playing so chapeau for that. Be interested in what pattern you are using as something sounded a little off, not hearing the pinch for example. But heck there may be a few versions out there ? Certainly a good effort.


Much thanks for reply.
It’s the prescribed (or perhaps I should say, most often recommended) pattern. Which includes the pinch. I’ve heard the pattern referred to as the outside inside pattern. So it kinda goes 1 2+3+4+. Where’s the 1 is the pinch.
I can’t definitively say I maintained the pattern throughout. Tough to tell where I’ve become reliant on 99% muscle memory. Especially at that BPM. So maybe I was missing the pinch. Or, I don’t use. Thumb pick, so maybe the bass note is overpowered y my fingernails.
I’ve listened to many covers as I move forward with this song and I notice how any two people can make it sound a bit different. As far as singing with it,oddly enough I find it easier to play if singing. Problem is my singing in general…lol.
I’m gonna keep plugging away at it. Good luck with yours! Can’t wait to hear.

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Hi Mike, this was very good. You got the pattern most of time, but also sounds jerky at times. It is still work in progress, but it will improve with time. I also think slowing down and nailing picking make sense.

With these kind of things it is worth probably recording a video, so people can see your picking hand and provide better fedback. You don’t need to record separately and combine video and audio, just use OBS or even phone camera/mic will do.

Thanks Boris, appreciate the feedback. Maybe I’ll do a video fairly soon. My iPad takes a good video and I think the sound quality is pretty decent. I’m an anchorer though, I’ll probably get some grief for that. Tried to step away from it but it’s not easy.

Mike @MiJoy
Well done not the easiest finger picking song.
It is my ‘dreamer’ finger picking song, still working on the intro, so you are way ahead of me.
Toby @TheMadman_tobyjenner mentions the pinch, I am just basically using the pattern 1 and 3 in the Folk Finger Style Course, seems to work ok, I think the original has an extra note in the basic pattern.
Keep going.

Thanks Michael, As I said I worked on it on/off for over a year. I believe you have to get the pattern to the point where it becomes unconscious. Such that can talk to someone while picking it.
I had difficulties with certain chords at certain times along the way. Oddly enough I had trouble transitioning to the Dm# from the G (in all the verses). I think a lot of our struggles are in our mind…lol.
Keep plugging away! Thanks for the reply


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It sounds a bit like you try to put in a triplet feel with causes friction in the flow.

While you seem to be playing ‘correct notes’, the timign and emphasis is a bit off

try saying THIS in your head or even out loud

randaram darada randaram darada randaram darada randaram darada

each r that is in the beginning of a word, is a slight chord shape change.
in this case there it wuld be all C’s but you’re cycling through
C, Cmaj7, Cadd9, C

If you say that out loud, you are naturally putting the right emphasis timing in the flow

now try to emulate THAT flow on guitar


An ambitious song to aim for with singing and playing.
There are two fundamentals you need to get right to improve.
The first is ensuring you are playing full bars of 4/4. The pinch is a quarter beat.
1 &
The pattern then has six 8th notes.
2 & 3 & 4 &

The second is to sing alobg without your guitar to really absorb the timing and phrasing of the vocal.


You may wish to attend my upcoming ‘busy thumb’ vintage club.


@LievenDV @Richard_close2u ,
greatly appreciate the detailed advice. I feel I have so much invested in this song, improving to me is critical.

Thanks much!

Would not that be daradara, to add the & on 4 ? That did made me chuckle, as I used to chant something vaguely similar to get the feel into head, when first starting this odyssey. :rofl:


Regards the pinch, like you I do not use a thumb pick, so I am wondering if the B string is ringing out over the bass - not tried recording yet so will be mindful of that. Still fluffing up the bridge section and a few random chord changes stutter now and then but its getting there. I found going to the D#m, just fretting G bass note and not making the full chord shape helped the move, especially as the e string is not played/picked in the G. Took me a while to get combination working smoothly though.

Great song to learn though. :+1:

@TheMadman_tobyjenner When finger picking if playing a G I just fret the G note on the low E string. The problem I have is when I switch back to strumming I sometimes fret the G chord the same way accidentally and boy does it sound bad. I get mad at myself. I don’t do it often but sometimes my brain just decides to trick me.

I have a few fingerpicking songs I’ve recorded other than DITW. If you chose to listen keep in mind I’m still quite green. Guitar 2 years fingerpicking 1. Lady Jane is probably my favorite of these.
These songs are quite a bit easier than DITW. I used DITW to try to improve on fingerpicking. Which is the origin of the song BTW as you may know.
I’m working on Landslide and The Boxer, two fingerpicking classics. Landslide has a twist in the pattern that is giving me a challenge.

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Is there really such a club? I’ve kind of exhausted everything fingerpicking from Justin. Looking for more insight.

Oh yes.

Previous fingerstyle club sessions

Good for you, Mike. YOu are making progress on the song, sticking to it, and I note you absorbing the suggestions given. Beyond me to offer more specifics.


I don’t think so. Many do so. And my recollection of the conversations is to do what works.

In the long run there may be benefits to being able to finger-pick with a floating hand. It probably frees the hand up to perform certain other techniques, to blend in the odd strum in with the picking.

But that said, if the anchor works and enables you to develop, I don’t see any issue and imagine many here would see it that way.

As for me, when I started finger-picking on the previous Beginner Course I thought it would be beyond me. But I managed, though only with the anchor. Some years later I started to try with a floating hand and found what had been beyond me, was now in learning range.

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Making good progress, Mike. I think @LievenDV hit the nail on the head. Just need to work on the flow and slow it down until you’ve chord transitions under your fingers.

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Thanks David. I find some patterns, such as the pattern I use for Dust In The Wind, the anchor helps for precision. Other patters I am attempting to learn free floating. Example would be “descending arpeggio” such as the pattern Gordon Lightfoot uses in If You Could Read My Mind.
I guess it’s a constant learning experience. Thanks for sharing, it’s always informative to hear the journey of others.

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Good to hear from you, Mike. Glad you are sticking to it.
It sounded pretty good to me. I do agree with the “slow” comments. The speed will come. I don’t do finger patterns, but seems like you got some good info from others above.

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