Cowboys & Aliens | guitar medley
Photo by John Fowler | Unsplash

Cowboys & Aliens

Free download of this performance on SoundCloud.

Cowboys & Aliens is a 2011 American space Western film directed by Jon Favreau. It stars Daniel Craig, Oliva Wilde, and Harrison Ford. The film is based on the 2006 graphic novel of the same name. The plot revolves around an amnesiac outlaw, a wealthy cattleman, and a mysterious woman — who must ally to save a group of townspeople abducted by aliens.

I love this movie. I don’t get the 44% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Jon Favreau single handedly ignited the MCU and brought us Baby Yoda. The guy deserves 80% for life — for anything he does. But seriously, Cowboys & Aliens is a REALLY fun movie.

The music by Harry Gregson Williams is excellent. He combines electronic and Americana music. It’s very similar to The Mandalorian which is also considered to be a Sci-fi Western. Gregson-Williams has had quite a few monumental pieces in the past 15 years including: Crossing Mars (The Martian) and Life (Prometheus).

The tracks, ‘Jake Lonergan’ and ‘Return to the Cabin’ were some of my first ever posts on YouTube in 2011. I often delete old content with the intention of redoing and reposting. Lately, I’ve had a lot of comments on asking me to repost those Cowboys & Aliens videos. I decided to combine the two pieces into an updated medley. I think it turned out pretty cool.

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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.) These guitars are WAY out of my price range at 5k. I’m gonna make some good use of it while I have it.

How to play Cowboys & Aliens | guitar medley

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The guitar tab for this medley is beautifully written across 4 pages, and played straight through without repeats. I recommend this piece for intermediate guitar players and up.

I begin with ‘Return to the Cabin’ — then I created a cinematic sounding interlude at 0:44 to connect me to Jake Lonergan at 1:10. Just for fun, I did a little ‘The Good, the Bad And The Ugly’ at 2:11. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

You’ll need a guitar pick nearby for the Jake Lonergan section. I have mine tucked away in my hand. Having taught guitar for nearly 30 years, I’ve become adept at fingerpicking while holding picks, pencils…almost anything really.

Against my better judgement, I’ve given you a strumming pattern below the chord shapes in the Jake Lonergan section. I say that because strumming should be organic and innate. Like driving a stick-shift. You don’t think about it, you just feel it.

Cowboys & Aliens | guitar medley

D means down, and U means up. The overall basic strum pattern is: DDUUD  UDD. The timing can be said out loud as: 12123  122. However, ideally you’re ignoring the pattern and doing your own thing.

This arrangement is tuned in DADGAD (Kashmir). From low to high: D A D G A D.

Written by:

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