Brokeback Mountain 1

Gustavo Santaolalla’s Brokeback Mountain 1 is my favorite piece of music ever. It informs, literally, all of my guitar playing. It’s the sole reason for this blog, and serves as a grounding principle for my musicality: minimalism. When in doubt, play less.

By using sparse two-note intervals, Santaolalla lets the guitar’s resonance to all of the work.

As I play though Brokeback Mountain 1 — I feel like Gustavo Santaolalla essentially followed his ear till the end. I don’t believe he knew what was going to happen after playing the first note.

The song plays out like a circular journey; resolving with the beginning. It’s beautiful. It’s masterful.

If you’re a fan of Gustavo Santaolalla’s Brokeback Mountain score, I’ve performed a few of the pieces for this blog:


Riding Horses

and the Brokeback Mountain Suite from Gustavo Santaolalla’s iconic Encuentro en el Estudio performance.

Gear Used

For Brokeback Mountain 1, I used my Taylor GS Mini Mahogany. My strings are Martin Custom Light SP. The strings are very resonant — and the custom light size allows for easy lead playing too. For a list of my current gear, click here.

How to play Brokeback Mountain 1, by Gustavo Santaolalla

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The guitar tab for Brokeback Mountain 1 is beautifully written on two pages long — and played straight through without repeats. Although most of this song could be characterized as easy to play, I recommend it for intermediate guitar players due to the bar chords later on in the piece.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Brokeback Mountain 1 is played in standard tuning.

Gustavo Santaolalla’s Brokeback Mountain 1 guitar theme