Kansas – Dust In The Wind Video Guitar Lessons

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!! 😀

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"Dust In The Wind" Intro & Verse

"Dust In The Wind" Chorus, Bridge & Outro

"Dust In The Wind" Solo (String Section)

"Dust In The Wind" Full Performance For Study


  1. michael whitley on January 10, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    thanks for teaching this song Carl.

  2. Rahul Vimal on April 29, 2015 at 2:36 am

    Hey Carl,
    This is really a great song and a great lesson too. Can you please teach the classical version of Radioactive by Imagine Dragons without the capo ???? Much appreciated.

  3. William Leonard on February 17, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Working on this song….would also like to learn Dan Fogelberg “Leader of the Band”. You probably already know it!

  4. Keith Halwig on June 2, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I think I need some advice. I am a beginning intermediate player (hope that makes sense). I decided I wanted to learn to play this song; however, I have never finger picked a song before. I put the time in to learn it, and have practiced it at least a thousand times (no joke). I thought by this time it would sound as good as it does when you play it–but I just can’t seem to get the whole thing smooth in any one attempt. Do you think maybe it is due to the fact that I skipped the part where I should have learned finger picking techniques first before jumping into the song? I’m a bit baffled. I don’t think it should take this much effort or, am I wrong about that? Any advice?
    Thanks, Keith

    • Carl Brown on June 2, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      Hey Keith, I recommend just practicing the picking pattern by itself on just open strings until it feels very smooth and pretty much second nature to you.

      After that, practice the picking pattern along with the chords by isolating each chord change individually. That would mean to play the pattern 4 times on one chord, then switch to the next chord and play the pattern 4 times on that one. Just go back and forth between those two chords at a slow to moderate tempo until you can smoothly move from one to the next without any break in the rhythm.

      You should at least do this with the more difficult chord changes in the song. That is the most economical way to practice pretty much anything on the guitar. Isolate the difficult sections and repeat them again and again at a manageable tempo so that you don’t break the rhythm at any time. 🙂

  5. Keith Halwig on June 3, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Greatly appreciate the advice/wisdom Carl–especially the last sentence. Why didn’t I think of that? 🙂 I guess that’s why I’m a subscriber. lol

  6. Keith Halwig on July 22, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Hey Carl: Never thought I would be able to play along with you on the “Full Performance for Study” on this song; however, after taking your advice and putting another 50 hours into the song–I’m finally there. Very rewarding. Aside: getting my nails in better shape also helped a lot although its difficult taking care of the nails and being active at the same time. Any advice on finger picks? I bought some metal finger picks at my local guitar store that made my fingers feel like I had Frankenstein fingers–I couldn’t use them.

    • Carl Brown on July 27, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      Hey Keith, I never use fingerpicks and have always disliked the sound and feel they produce.

      You right though, fingericking on a steel string acoustic can do an number on your nails. Are you losing the nail length too quickly or is it more of your nail edge getting a little rough? I file my nails for classical guitar to a fine polish (just the playing surface that contacts the string), before I practice and usually a couple times during the practice session as well. I recommend doing that and hopefully your nails will grow fast enough to keep up with all the filing.


    • DAvid on August 3, 2023 at 9:27 am

      Hey Keith, i am working on that tune also. onething i know is in order to learn to play the guitar, you have to practice, you at least have to do soemthing every day. i go to some music stores during my lunch, and i play/practice the finger picking part, after about a month it starts to sound likethe song, then i add the C and A and do the same thing,BUt the finger picking i do EVERY DAY is really helping me. i am not good by a long shot, but as i do it every day, it starts to sound like the lesson, Well kinda… stil need practice, but when i was learning my fiddle i said i would do it every day or something every day. the first year i may have only missed 3 days. second year, i was buiolding violins. so missed maybe 10 to 15 days. but it makes a difference. the finger picking you can do every day, just put the guitar where you can get to it easily. the lesson may only last 15 minutes, but those fingers will remember,that is what you need. maybe not. but good luck and GOD blees you.

  7. Greg Hinkle on November 7, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Such a pretty song,,,one of my favorites,,,and my style of picking. Thanks Carl,,,for all you do, great tutorials,,,the best???

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