Borrowed Time

Borrowed Time, is a short film, written and directed by Pixar animators Lou Hamou-Lhadj and Andrew Coats. Set in the Old-West, it explores darker, adult themes for a Pixar animated feature:

‘A weathered Sheriff returns to the remains of an accident he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With each step forward, the memories come flooding back. Faced with his mistake once again, he must find the strength to carry on.’

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.

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 (a short, animated 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.

How to play Gustavo Santaolalla’s Borrowed Time guitar theme

(Resources: learn more about Premium Memberships here. Get my weekly posts right to your inbox.)

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.

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 (short): Gustavo Santaolalla guitar theme

Borrowed Time is played in a Drop-D tuning. Your tuning is as follows from low to high: D A D G B E.