Guitar lesson for

Mrs. Robinson

by Simon and Garfunkel  •  Lesson #51

Video lesson

My beginner lesson, focusing on chords and strumming:

For an intermediate lesson showing some of the runs and fills, see this:

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Editor’s notes

In my first lesson, I show you how to play the basics of “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel. I’ll be using no capo and will focus primarily on the chords and strumming patterns you’ll need to play the song. This lesson includes chord charts, tablature, strumming pattern diagrams, and the progressions you’ll need for each section. If you’re looking for some of the more advanced riffs, runs, and fills this song uses – look for my other lesson where I break those down in detail.

In my second lesson, I’ll show you how to play some of the fills, riffs, and runs for this song. This is a slightly more intermediate lesson, following up on my beginner-friendly lesson that shows the basic chords and strumming patterns needed to play this song. In this lesson, I’ll be playing without a capo –– and will show you how to play the (1) intro/filler riff; (2) a verse melody riff; (3) the verse walkdown from C to A minor; and (4) the chorus walkdown from C to D to G.

Timestamps for my second lesson:

My guitar cover of the entire song

Lyrics with chords

E                                                     E7
Dee, dee dee-dee... dee dee, dee-dee dee dee, dee-dee dee
     A                               A7
Doo, doo doo-doo... doo doo, doo-doo doo...
D                   G                   C        G/B     Am
...Dee-dee dee-dee, dee dee, dee dee... dee-dee, dee-dee dee
E           D7

                  G         Em
    And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
    G               Em                 C                 D
    Jesus loves you more than you will know... whoa whoa whoa
                  G            Em
    God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
    G              Em                  C               Am
    Heaven holds a place for those who pray... hey hey hey
    Hey hey hey...

     E                                           E7
We'd like to know a little bit about you for our files
     A                                  A7
We'd like to help you learn to help yourself
D                  G               C    G/B    Am
...Look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes
E                              D7
...Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home

                  G         Em
    And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
    G               Em                 C                 D
    Jesus loves you more than you will know... whoa whoa whoa
                  G            Em
    God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
    G              Em                  C               Am
    Heaven holds a place for those who pray... hey hey hey
    Hey hey hey...

E                                                E7
...Hide it in the hiding place where no one ever goes
A                                  A7  
...Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes
D                G                C    G/B     Am
...It's a little secret, just the Robinson's affair
E                            D7
...Most of all you've got to hide it from the kids

              G          Em
    Koo koo kachoo, Mrs. Robinson
    G               Em                 C                 D
    Jesus loves you more than you will know... whoa whoa whoa
                  G            Em
    God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
    G              Em                  C               Am
    Heaven holds a place for those who pray... hey hey hey
    Hey hey hey...

E                                     E7
...Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon
A                             A7
...Going to the candidates' debate
D                  G               C          G/B     Am
...Laugh about it, shout about it, when you've got to choose
E                                 D7
...Every way you look at this you lose

                   G           Em
    Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio
        G                Em             C              D
    Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you... woo woo woo
                    G         Em
    What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson
    G               Em             C              Am
    Joltin' Joe has left and gone away... hey hey hey
    Hey hey hey...

Chords needed

E ––––0–––0–––3–––0–––0–––––––0–––2–––2–––0–––0––––
B ––––0–––3–––0–––0–––1–––0–––1–––3–––1–––2–––2––––
G ––––1–––1–––0–––0–––0–––0–––2–––2–––2–––2–––0––––
D ––––2–––2–––0–––2–––2–––0–––2–––0–––0–––2–––2––––
A ––––2–––2–––2–––2–––3–––2–––0–––––––––––0–––0––––
E ––––0–––0–––3–––0––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
      E   E7  G   Em  C  G/B  Am  D   D7  A   A7

Chord progressions

Intro & filler riff:

E   /   /   /     ...played w/ bass-line riff


"We'd like to know a little bit about you for our files..."

E   /   /   E7   /   A   /   A7  /
D   G   C   Am   /   E   /   D7  /  


"And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson..."

G   Em  G   Em   C   /   D   /
G   Em  G   Em   C   /   Am  /   -->  intro w/ riff

Strumming pattern

There’s some flexibility with how you strum, though I think the most important thing is to accent the 2nd (and possibly 4th) beat of every four-beat measure. You might start with practicing down-strums only, on the 2nd and 4th beats:

        ↓               ↓      
1   +   2   +   3   +   4   +  

Once you have that, you can add to it by adding some additional strums (played not quite as loud) on these other beats. Again, make sure the 2nd and 4th beats are where most of your accent is.

        >               >      
↓       ↓   ↑       ↑   ↓   ↑  
1   +   2   +   3   +   4   +   

Intro and fill riff

Repeat this as desired (usually two or four times is what I do). If you prefer, you can strum the E-chord for the full duration of this 8-count section, while accenting the bass-line melody notes. Or you can play a straight E chord and ignore the melody notes – it’s up to you.

E –––0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B –––0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
G –––1–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
D –––2––––––––––––––0–––––2––––––––––––––––––––––––––
A –––2–––––0––2––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
E –––0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
     1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  5  +  6  +  7  +  8  +

Other riffs and fills

Verse melody

If you want to emulate the vocal melody with your guitar while staying in the open E and open A positions, focus on these notes. You can strum along if you’re able to do so (though that’s a bit trickier).

E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–––0––––––
B –––3––3––2–2–––0–0––––––––––––––––––––––|–––3––––––
G –––1––––––––––––––––2–2–––1–2–1–––––––––|–––1––––––
D –––2–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––/4––2––|–––2––––––
A –––2––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–––2––––––
E –––0––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–––0––––––
     E                                        E7

E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–––0––––––
B –––2–––2––0––0––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–––2––––––
G –––2––––––––––––––2––2–––––2––2––––0––––|–––0––––––
D –––2––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–––2––––––
A –––0––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|–––0––––––
E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––
     A                                        A7

Verse walkdown

“Look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes…”

E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B –––––1––––––0––––––3~~~~~~~~~~~––––3–––1–––––––––––
G –––––0––––––0––––––2–––––––––––––––––––2–––––––––––
D –––––2––––––0––––––2–––––––––––––––––––2–––––––––––
A –––3––––––2––––––0–––––––––––––––––––––0–––––––––––
E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
     C     G/B     Am(sus4)              Am                 

Chrous walkdowns

High level, this:

E ––(0)–––––––––––––––––––––––(2)––––––––––––––––––––
B –––1–––––1–––––1–––––1–––––––3––––3–––––3–––––3––––
G –––0–––––0–––––2–––––0–––––––2––––2–––––2–––––2––––
D –––2–––––0–––––2–––––2–––––––0––––0–––––0–––––0––––
A –––3–––––2–––––0––––––––––––––––––3–––––2–––––0––––
E –––––––––––––––––––––3–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
     C    C/B    Am   C/G      D   D/C   D/B   D/A


E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B –––––1–––––––1–––––––1–––––––1–––––––––––––––––––––
G –––––0–––––––0–––––––2–––––––0–––––––––––––––––––––
D –––––2–––––––0–––––––2–––––––2–––––––––––––––––––––
A –––3–––––––2–––––––0–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––––––––––––––––––––––
     C      C/B      Am      C/G                      

E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
B –––––3–––––––3–––––––3–––––––3–––––––––––––––––––––
G –––––2–––––––2–––––––2–––––––2–––––––––––––––––––––
D –––0–––––––––0–––––––0–––––––0–––––––––––––––––––––
A –––––––––––3–––––––2–––––––0–––––––––––––––––––––––
E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
     D       D/C     D/B     D/A

Thanks for reading!

I hope this was helpful! Please don’t hesitate to hit me up with any questions you have. And as always, please let me know what other songs from Simon and Garfunkel you might want to hear lessons for. Have a great day!

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