Gustavo Santaolalla

As a purely Santaolalla performance, I’m actually a bigger fan of Thin Ice — also from the Before the Flood soundtrack.

The title theme of from Before the Flood is clearly a Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross inception. It has those chord progressions that can only be Trent Reznor. Beyond the synth, Ross and Reznor have an unmistakable musicality.

As expressed in my Thin Ice post, Reznor has a subtle way of alarming you with his music. Like a creeping dread.

Gustavo Santaolalla’s Ronroco line gives Before the Flood a global feel to it. A Ronroco is a stringed, mandolin-like instrument of the Andean regions. It has a sound box traditionally fashioned from the shell of an armadillo or tortoise, now often made of wood. As mentioned before, check out Thin Ice for a more guitar centric Santaolalla song.

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How to play Before the Flood for guitar

For Before the Flood, I tried to capture Gustavo Santaolalla’s Ronroco line along with the synth instrumentation of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

The result is a truly unique guitar piece. And that’s what I try to do with this blog — generate things that have never been done before. 

The guitar tab for Before the Flood is two pages long and written beautifully. I firmly believe that (having communicated guitar for over 20 years) my guitar tabs are the most legible and easy to comprehend tabs available.

My order of play is as follows: Intro 2x, Section A 2x, Section B 2x, Section C 2x, Section A 2x, End.

The end of the song is partially a harmonic, with an open 5th string. The Ronroco sound is captured by using a capo on the 5th fret.

Enjoy the guitar tab is available below:

Before the Flood is tuned: D A D G A E (from low to high). Then you’ll apply a capo on the 5th fret.

Before the Flood for classical guitar


Written by:

Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, short-film composer, creator of modern content for guitar.