Gustavo Santaolalla


Alma is a hauntingly beautiful instrumental piece composed by Gustavo Santaolalla from his 2014 album Camino. The song is performed on the ronroco, a traditional South American string instrument, and it features a simple but mesmerizing melody that evokes a sense of longing and nostalgia.

Santaolalla has said that he was inspired to write Alma by the landscapes of his native Argentina, and the song’s evocative melody perfectly captures the beauty and solitude of the South American countryside. The ronroco’s warm, mellow tones add to the song’s melancholic atmosphere, and Santaolalla’s performance is both delicate and expressive.

How to play Alma | fingerstyle guitar

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

I’m still surprised at how well that instrument translates to guitar. I have no problem transcribing any of Santaolalla’s ronroco material, and I’m curious at the similarities between the two instruments.

Even Gustavo Santaolalla’s leftover material is nothing short of stunning. You just don’t get the same vision and depth with any other instrumentalist. There’s an obvious reason why he is the most in-demand composer of the past 24 years.

For what is a seemingly complicated song, the guitar tab for Alma is comprised of only two pages. The complexity comes from the intricate and precise finger-picking patters within the chord shapes.

The chorus section of the tab is played twice like this:

Chorus/ending (1)

Chorus/ending (2)

Alma is not for beginners, but intermediate and more experienced players will be fine.

Enjoy, the tab is available below:

**Gustavo Santaolalla’s Alma – for guitar (Camino)

Alma is played in standard tuning.