Gustavo SantaolallaUpon meeting a publishing agent when he first moved to Los Angeles:

“He said my music and songs were very good, but at a certain point, I will hit the ‘wrong chord or note.’ I took it as a compliment. I always try to look for the ‘wrong note or chord’ that will throw you off. Now people seem to like my wrong notes.” – Gustavo Santaolalla (Camino press release)

Taking a cue from Gustavo Santaolalla

Beyond the minimalism and simplicity of his music, Gustavo Santaolalla is a master of redirection. If a particular song is mostly minor like The Last of Us, he’ll abruptly change into a major bridge section without even leading you there.

In the case of Wait and Then, which is mostly major, he unexpectedly dives into a minor riff at the end (2:05 of the video). The contrast sounds amazing.

If you’re interested in creating your own guitar music — take a cue from Gustavo Santaolalla. Start with very simple riff like Wait and Then. Don’t be afraid to stay small and confined on the instrument. One or two easy positions is all you really need. Remember, we’re not displaying our skill — we’re creating music.

Once you have something that sounds good to you, abruptly change positions to something totally unrelated to your previous riff. I often do this when I’m stuck. I’ll randomly put my hands on the guitar — like a throwing a dart blindfolded.

Whether you’ve been playing guitar for 2 months or 2 years, creating your own music is vital to your guitar playing and your sense of musicianship. Wait and Then is actually played on a Middle Eastern instrument called an Oud. For all intents and purposes, Gustavo Santaolalla is a beginner at the Oud. That didn’t stop him from writing an entire song on it.

How to play Wait and Then by Gustavo Santaolalla from his album Camino

Just like Ronroco, Gustavo Santaolalla’s Camino works amazingly well as a relaxing accompaniment to almost anything. With all of my obligations as a 7 day per-week guitar teacher and blogger, I get stressed pretty easily. Camino is my go-to for instant stress relief and focus.

Wait and Then is loosely played so I added a basic structure to the open notes in the chorus. This song is very easy to play, and can be considered a great song for beginner guitar players.

Wait and Then is tuned to Drop D with a capo on the second fret. The tuning is as follows from low to high: D A D G B E (then a capo on the second fret). Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Wait and Then by Gustavo Santaolalla

Please comment to let me know what you think, or of you have any questions.

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Written by:

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