gustavo santaolalla

21 Grams is a 2003 American drama film directed by director Alejandro González Iñárritu, also the director of: The Revenant, Babel, Birdman.

21 Grams is groundbreaking, in that the storytelling is non-linear. You’re presented with three people, with three seemingly unrelated stories — until they’re eventually brought together by a single event.

Gustavo Santaolalla’s score minimalist, often a single guitar line with a tremolo effect.

My gear

I’m working hard to improve the audio quality of my videos. In fact, I’m obsessed. I’m now editing the audio separately from the video, and I think the results are amazing.

You can really hear the quality of my instruments now. In the video above I’m playing my Edge Strat. For me, it’s the perfect guitar: Vintage looks and tone — with very subdued modern amenities. I can do everything with it: rock, blues, and Santaolalla.

As evidenced by the video, the tone is amazing. U2’s The Edge is on the board of directors for Fender Guitars. Fender’s new CEO, Andy Mooney, is Irish, a guitar player, and good friends with The Edge. Mooney’s first order of business was the creation of this understated black stratocaster, dubbed, The Edge Strat.

My amp is a Vox VT40x. I used to be that amplifiers with onboard effects were generic sounding. Not so anymore. The VT40X has a tube in the preamp, and you can manipulate its expression.

The amplifier also contains a bunch of vintage amp models and effects. For Did This Really Happen?, I’m aware that Gustavo Santaolalla uses a vintage VOX AC30 and a Fender Telecaster. I simply dialed the amp to it’s AC30 selection, and added the tremolo effect.

(You can find all of my gear here. Also, would you mind subscribing to my YouTube channel? That is a major help to me. Thank you!)

How to play Did This Really Happen?, by Gustavo Santaolalla

Did This Really Happen? is very easy to play. I would encourage you to try the arpeggiated fingerstyle that I’m using. This is how Gustavo Santaolalla finger-picks his chords.

Each chord is comprised of 4 notes on 4 strings. You’ll line your thumb, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd fingers with the strings and pluck in succession. After a few tries it becomes really smooth and efficient.

Voicing the chord this way sounds far more elegant than any alternative.

Good luck, and have fun. The guitar tab is available below. Did This Really Happen?, is played in standard tuning:

Did This Really Happen? Gustavo Santaolalla

Please comment to let me know what you think, or if you have any questions. And please subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thank you!


Written by:

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