There’s a reason why Gustavo Santaolalla is at the musical helm of the most compelling film scores of the past 16 years. He has remained very discerning about who he works with — and what he works on. I’ve read dozens of interviews with Gustavo Santaolalla over the years, and he mentions this in almost every single one.
[If you’re interested in this man’s musicality, I suggest this podcast. It covers Santaolalla’s music, life story, and his genial personality.]
I’m especially impressed with Santaolalla’s penchant for picking projects that just explode, virally in the culture. Just in the last few years: The Last of Us (video game), Making a Murderer (Netflix), and now Borrowed Time (short film).
If you’re an artist or creator, this is a guide for longevity. Carefully decide what you lend your talents too. Think of the cultural and future implications.
You can find all my Gustavo Santaolalla guitar tabs here.
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How to play Gustavo Santaolalla’s Borrowed Time guitar theme
I played the three main sections of Borrowed Time in one take. In the video and in the guitar tab, I’m referring to them as: Opening, The Cliff, The Watch, and Closure.
[Audiophiles: In the video, I ran my mic gain too high (the hissing sound) and fixed it by EQ-ing the bass up in the mix. The take was too good to do over. But usually, my gear sounds better than this!]
The guitar tab is three pages long, and definitely displays the avant-garde guitar playing and instrumentation of Gustavo Santaolalla. At the very beginning of the video, 0:40, and 2:55 — I’m using my volume knob to create a swelling effect.
The Cliff section was hard to discern, but I did my best. Really, the finger-style part should just be “felt” but I believe I’m playing each chord shape 6x or so.
This guitar tab is a blend of the original instrumentation, and a few notes I threw in to add some background and guidance. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:
Borrowed Time is played in a Drop-D tuning. Your Tuning is as follows from low to high: D A D G B E.
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