Gustavo Santaolalla

[Big news if you’re a Santaolalla fan. He has a follow up to Ronroco scheduled for release in July. I discovered this while searching for an MP3 of The Journey which will now be available on Santaolalla’s new album, Camino.]

El viaje

El viaje or The Journey is a classic Santaolalla piece, and it has long been one of my favorites.

Gustavo Santaolalla composed El viaje for the 2008 short-film, Where will life take you? The short was directed by Bruno Aveillan, as part of Louis Vuitton’s Journeys Campaign: an artistic return to the company’s core values of travel and adventure.

I have desired to play El viaje on guitar forever. The original is played on a ronroco: a tiny, Andean, guitar-like instrument that serves as Gustavo Santaolalla’s go-to choice for film scores.

Gustavo Santaolalla has a low-key instrumental album, aptly titled Ronroco from 1998. It’s a very relaxing, and ambient album to say the least. I highly recommend it for focused work, or meditation. Two of deeply spiritual songs from Ronroco, Iguazu and De Ushuaia a la Quiaca went on to spawn Santaolalla’s film-score career.

I had to wait until my aptitude for transcribing , and arranging on guitar was inline with El viaje. I remember attempting this song a couple of years ago, and I couldn’t come up with anything. Age age 37, even after 23 years of playing guitar, I’m still discovering my capacity as a guitarist.

Maybe one day I’ll finish Iguazu too. As of right now, I don’t have the right-hand finger stamina to complete it.

(Note: The Journey is my premium material. If you’re new to this blog, check out my free material to get an idea of what Intellimusica is all about.)

How to play Gustavo Santaolalla’s The Journey for guitar

-The guitar tab for The Journey is spread across four pages. Page 1 begins with the intro riff which I refer to as the Main riff in the tab.You’ll play the Main riff, then section A — the Main riff, then section B. Page 1 is played twice.

[If you can play The Last of Us, or any of the other Santaolalla songs on this blog, you’ll be in good shape for The Journey. Be sure to look for the Older Entries link at the bottom of the category page.]

-Page two of the tab is the bittersweet chorus of El viaje. None of the chord positions are difficult to play, but I’m switching between the low and high end of the neck pretty quickly. You don’t have to do that. The Journey has very loose timing, and the chorus sounds just as good played at a slow and moderate pace.

-Page 3 and 4 of the tab comprise the bridge. This is without a doubt the easiest part of The Journey.  After the bridge you’ll return to the first page of the tab and play it once thorough to close out the song.

Enjoy, the tab is available below:

The Journey is tuned one whole step down. The tuning is as follows from low to high: D G C F A D. 

Gustavo Santaolalla — El Viaje — The Journey

Written by:

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