Gustavo Santaolalla: Brokeback Mountain Suite | fingerstyle guitar
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Brokeback Mountain Suite

Free download of this performance on SoundCloud.

About 10 years ago, Gustavo Santaolalla performed the Brokeback Mountain Suite for the Latin program, Encuentro en el Estudio. To date, it’s his best performance of the Brokeback Mountain score (and I’ve watched them all). The guitar tone is gorgeous. You’ll notice that Santaolalla is in a complete flow state — deliriously lost in own music. I love that.

Gustavo Santaolalla’s arrangement of the suite leaves out two central pieces from his score: Snow and Riding Horses. I’ve been forever tinkering with the idea of creating a “complete medley” encompassing all of the movements in the order of their appearance in the Brokeback Mountain film. However, I wanted to keep the vibe of the original Encuentro en el Estudio performance. It’s a labor of love, and it deserves OG respect.

I adored creating and playing this. It is this score, and Gustavo Santaolalla’s guitar playing that inform my entire musicality. It usually takes me about 12 takes to get a mistake free version of my performances. The only difference with the Brokeback Mountain Suite is that I didn’t mind playing it over and over again.

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I’ve also performed each of the individual movements. They’re way more involved than the snippets in the suite — if you’d like to hear/play an expansion:

Opening

Brokeback Mountain 1

Snow

Brokeback Mountain 2

Riding Horses

Brokeback Mountain 3

The Wings

Gear used

This is a beautiful guitar that I borrowed from a friend. It’s a Taylor Builder’s Edition K14ce purchased from Empire Music here in Pittsburgh.  (Not an affiliate link. Those guys are just my buddies.)

How to play the Brokeback Mountain Suite | fingerstyle guitar

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The guitar tab for this arrangement is beautifully written across a whopping 6 pages. It’s truly the best work I’ve ever done — and also the longest. Although there’s no difficult chord shapes, I recommend this piece for intermediate guitar players and up. I hope you enjoy playing this as much as I do. The guitar tab is available below:

You’ll take care to repeat the sections within the [: repeat :] brackets. Other then that, The guitar tab is played straight through from page 1 to page 6.

Gustavo Santaolalla: Brokeback Mountain Suite | fingerstyle guitar

This medley is played in standard tuning.

Written by:

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