Darkest Hour

One of the most underrated soundtracks of 2017 was the piano driven score for Darkest Hour, by composers, Dario Marianelli, and Vikingur Olafsson.

I had been working on the finale, We Shall Fight, for months. I couldn't find a way to pair it down. The suite is very long -- with ever changing chord progressions. It was just too much a of a time commitment for me.

However, the light piano intro of We Shall Fight is a recurring theme throughout the Darkest Hour score -- and the track One of Them contains the central piano theme. I paired the two together to get a nice little guitar piece that a practicing guitarist can play in minutes.

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Gear Used

For Darkest Hour, I used my Cordoba GK Studio guitar. My strings are Savarez Red Card 520R. They have an amazing tone and feel. Specifically, the treble strings use rectified nylon that give a sensation of grip to my fingertips.

You can find all of my current gear here.

*Discovery about my strings

Nylon strings last a long time because there is no metal to degrade under your skin oils. But, the eventually they do dull in tone, and that's when I change them. Usually a set lasts me 6 months -- and I play a LOT of guitar.

[Note: string duration is highly dependent on your ph level too. Teenagers destroy strings in a couple of weeks of light playing -- whereas adults can make strings last for months. Also, adults tend to be less funky, i.e. washing hands frequently, not practicing guitar while eating a bag of Fritos. I've been a teacher for over 20 years. I've seen it all folks.]

My 3-year-old son, was in my office the other pretending to clean my guitars. He found some sort of microfiber hand towel (80% polyester, 20% polyamide) and was scrubbing at the strings of my GK Studio. After he was done I picked up the guitar to retune it, and strings had some top end tone back!

I grabbed the towel and scrubbed even more. I was able to bring the strings back about three months, I'd guess. If you were to wipe down your strings consistently -- there's no telling how long your strings will last.

I found a similar towel on Amazon -- but you can probably find these at any store near you. 80% polyester, 20% polyamide seems to be the key.

How to play Darkest Hour for classical guitar

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The guitar tab is beautifully written across two pages. Although I'm not using any difficult chord shapes, Darkest Hour is better suited to intermediate guitarists and up. The right hand fingerstyle is fairly relentless.

I love this piece. I hope you enjoy it too. The guitar tab is available below:

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Written by:

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