Two time oscar winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla with his guitar. Toronto, ON. February 4, 2014. Nick Kozak/For the Toronto Star.
Two time oscar winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla with his guitar. Toronto, ON. February 4, 2014. Nick Kozak/For the Toronto Star.

In a previous post I had mentioned that I had yet to watch Alejandro Inarritu’s, 21 Grams. I did, but made it a 1/4 of the way through. It’s well done and well acted, but I just can’t take prolonged sorrow in movies these days.

Before my son was born, I would revel in movies like Biutiful and Babel (also Inarritu) but the world has become so depressing at the moment – that I prefer to cultivate a positive environment and keep my movie watching “light”. [Again, I think it’s because I’m inundated with the Disney Channel all day long. I can’t handle grit anymore.]

However, I really love the music of 21 Grams, and this riff  in particular by Gustavo Santaolalla. It embodies his minimalist style when it comes to guitar. As always, his understated score enhances the film.

I’ll take this moment to reiterate that your guitar playing should be about your personal satisfaction. You don’t have to play complicated things to feel like you’re a good guitar player.

The convention that you should always strive should learn difficult things is not necessarily true. Great guitar players know their limits and play within themselves. They play (in the truest sense of the word) and create. Their skill comes from the accumulated volume of having a good time — and a good time is: always playing guitar.

Personally, I never practice. I just do my thing and I get better because my thing is guitar. Between teaching my students and this blog, I have a guitar in my hands around 8 hours a day. It’s bliss.

And you don’t even have to have technical chops to be legit. Gustavo Santaolalla, U2’s The Edge, The Smiths’ Johnny Marr, and Tom Petty’s Mike Campbell are legendary guitar players who are fantastically creative rather than sophisticated lead players.

So, just play guitar and have fun. If you do a lot of that, you get as good as you need to be.

(Note: If you find this guitar tab useful, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. You’d be doing me a huge favor. Thank you!)

How to play Should I Let her Know? by Gustavo Santaolalla

This song is more of an étude: a short musical composition, designed as an exercise to improve technique or demonstrate skill.

For Should I Let Her Know?, I used my Cordoba Dolce. The guitar sounds amazing for under $300 and is my favorite guitar to play. It’s a slightly smaller, 7/8ths body style that resembles the first guitars built 200 years ago.

As always I use Savarez Red Card strings. For all of my gear, click here.

Should I Let Her Know? was very easy to transcribe and play. For more easy guitar songs, please look at my Easiest of Easy to Play category.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Should I Let Her Know?

Please comment to let me know what you think, or if you have any questions. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, you’d be doing me a huge favor. 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.