Max Richter: The Departure | fingerstyle guitar
‘The Sistine’ Photo by Calvin Craig | Unsplash

The Departure

Free download of this performance on SoundCloud.

HBO’s The Leftovers begins three years after the “Sudden Departure” — where 2% of the world’s population suddenly vanished.  The series focuses on a police chief (played by Justin Theroux) and other grieving families as they struggle to adjust to life after The Departure.

Many publications have referred to The Leftovers as “one of the greatest television series of all time”. There’s praise for everything: writing, directing, acting, and overall depth. The musical score by composer Max Richter has also attracted critical acclaim. The Leftovers ended in a pitch perfect three seasons, and has since developed a cult following. 

The Departure theme is actually an earlier piece from Richter entitled The Twins (Prague). However, it’s most notable as the central theme of The Leftovers. The music was retitled and revamped — and there are many variations throughout the three seasons. I based this arrangement (on an actual guitar variation) from season 2 called, The Departure (Phone Call).

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Gear used

For this piece, I used my Cordoba C7. You can find a current list of my gear here.

How to play The Departure | fingerstyle guitar

(Note: this is my premium material.)

This guitar tab for The Departure is beautifully written across two pages. I recommend this piece for intermediate guitar players and up. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

You’ll play this arrangement straight through the guitar tab twice. You’ll end with the 1st stanza of page one. I’ve given you the chord shape names above the guitar tab to make the reading more efficient — and help you quickly identify chords in other songs.

Max Richter: The Departure | fingerstyle guitar

This arrangement is played one whole step down (from low to high): D G C F A D. However you could just as easily play in standard tuning.

If you’re a newer guitarist, and having trouble with the chord shapes — I recommend capoing the 2nd or 4th fret. The higher tonality is pleasant and the positioning is easier on the hand.

Written by:

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