Kansas – Dust In The Wind Guitar Lesson Pt.1 – Intro & Verse

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This video guitar lesson is designed to teach you all of the beautiful guitar parts for “Dust In The Wind” by Kansas. This song is one of the most popular fingerstyle guitar guitar pieces ever written. As incredible as this song sounds it is actually only one fingerpicking pattern throughout, making it a great piece to learn.
The fingerpicking style that we are working with in “Dust In the Wind” is called Travis picking. Travis picking is the technique of using the thump to pick two repetitive bass notes to create a rhythmic and harmonic foundation for the song. It is used by not only Kansas, but by such players as Lindsay Buckingham and Chet Atkins as well.

Within these video lessons you will learn all of the intricacies of this gorgeous piece of music from the acoustic guitar parts to the viola/violin solo. That’s right, in this video guitar lesson series I have also arranged the classic viola and violin solo section for guitar to give you a complete study of this classic rock masterpiece.

There are actually two guitars playing during the original recording of “Dust In The Wind”. One guitar is in standard tuning and the other is using Nashville tuning. Nashville tuning is the process of tuning the EADG (6543) strings an octave higher than standard. This almost gives a 12 string guitar effect to the song. Within this video guitar lesson I will be using a standard tuned guitar throughout. Good luck!!


  1. Thanks so much!

  2. Jonathan McGuire

    I have watched the video and although, I made some improvisations due to the lack of height of some of my fingers, my version can still match yours and thank you for your video and hope that you will bring us some more!

  3. sir can you please do a lesson smokie song Mexican girl

  4. Blackbird

  5. Thanks for the tutorial this helped a lot

  6. How long it takes to play it clean? I play it with picking pattern now and it sounds like mess. (i mean it sounds ok, but when i play it a while my fingers start to fail)

  7. 8:05 ——VERSE start

  8. Play the whole thing through in the beginning!!!!!

  9. Oh em gosh! I can't wait to have my guitar back! Thank you so much for publishing this.

  10. At what point do you actually play the song so I can hear what it's truly supposed to sound like? I have no reference on your video I can play along with the whole song and practice.

  11. Wow… long ago I "made up" what I thought was my own song. I was actually attempting a ewan dobson song, but since my skills are quite limited it transformed into what I thought was my own thing. I've never looked up how to play this song until now and I'm stunned. I've basically been playing a variation of this song for years and didnt know it lol. No wonder it felt so familiar and reminiscent the whole time.

  12. Intro:
    3:42 1-0-3-1 0-3-1-0 3-1-0-3 pattern with 4 melodies each
    4:39 C – played 1|0|3|1
    5:43 Am – played 0|3|1|0
    6:15 C – played 3|1|0|3
    6:38 AM – played 1|0|3|1 the '1' with only half of the picking pattern 07:00
    7:11 Change from Am into the verse

    Verse (played twice through)
    08:06 whole verse played
    08:21 verse starts with C (play 1 picking pattern)
    08:29 Switch (vocals start)
    08:46 Am – high e played (1st and 5th string). 2nd time default picking pattern
    10:07 G – thumb on 6th string, all other strings open
    11:01 Dm7 – 1st,2nd,3rd,4th played
    11:58 Am – high e played (1st and 5th string). 2nd time default picking pattern with cut off 12:17
    12:46 whole verse played again

  13. My first song as a beginner! My confidence has exploded. Thank you Carl for your time and patience to instruct as you do!

  14. Nice job!

  15. thank you for doing this video. And if you don't mind me saying you could save time not explaining the chords. If people can't play the chords to this song they aren't advanced enough to play this song. Again thank you..

  16. Too confuse for beginner – too much at once.

  17. such a nice song to play

  18. SuperRockin4ever

    Just one request. Please play it through before you break it down helps to be able to go to the beginning and try it with it cause all you have to do is hit restart. Just a suggestion. I love the lessons and you have helped me a lot over the years.

  19. Anybody here in 2018? AWESOME Tutorial, However, getting my first finger to 1st and 2nd string on the 1st fret is next to impossible

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