Photo by Aron Visuals | Unsplash

[Reposted from 2017. Updated: July 5th 2022]


Inception is a 2010 science fiction film written, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb; a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious. Cobb is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased in exchange for a seemingly impossible task, Inception: the implantation of another person’s thought into a target’s subconscious.

Recall the world-bending special effects in Doctor Strange. Christopher Nolan pioneered that 10 years earlier with Inception.


Director, Christopher Nolan has literally a perfect track record. Every one of his movies are universally adored by audiences and critics. Since Batman Begins, Hans Zimmer has scored most of Nolan’s films. Inception, is one of Hans Zimmer’s greatest film scores. The finale, Time, is a masterpiece. It has been widely copied and unscrupulously poached for other films.

You might also like to play…
(these Hans Zimmer classics)

Gladiator: Now We Are Free | fingerstyle guitar + TAB

Interstellar: No Time for Caution | fingerstyle guitar + TAB

The Dark Knight Rises | fingerstyle guitar + TAB

Gear used

For Time, I used my Cordoba C7 Cedar. The cedar top has a naturally dark and deep sound. You can find a current list of my gear here.

My music

You can find my personal music on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and all streaming services:

Evan on Spotify

Evan on Apple

The Intellimusica Spotify Playlist: Ethereal & Cinematic Music

How to play Time for classical guitar

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Time is not difficult to play. Hans Zimmer uses a very simple, and brilliant chord progression. Eventually the melody weaves into the chord progression, and it sits well within the established chord shapes.

The guitar tab for Time is beautifully written across 3 pages. It’s spaciously written so it’s easy to comprehend. Enjoy this, the guitar tab is available below:

I’ve divided the guitar tab into: Intro, Section 1, Section 2, and Section 3.

My order of play within the guitar tab is:

Intro, Section 1, Section 2, Section 3

Section 2, Section 1 (End)

You’ll notice that I’m driving the bass notes with my thumb. This is indicated with dots (. . . . . . .) following each chord. In this case, there are seven dots, meaning you’ll play the bass note seven times following the chord. However, the timing is really: chord 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 – chord 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 – chord 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. So on and so forth.

Hans Zimmer’s Time for classical guitar

Time is played in a low, and somewhat trick tuning. From low to high: C E A D F# B. Or, depending on your tuner:  C E A D Gb B.

Now, you may not want to tune your guitar 2 & 1/2 steps down. An alternative is: tuning every string down one half-step except for the Low E (6th) string. The tuning would look like this: E Ab Db Gb Bb Eb

Obviously, it won’t sound as low as my version, but will still sound good nonetheless.

That’s the tuning scheme: the 6th string stays one half-step higher than the rest of the guitar. Good luck!


Written by:

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