Phantom Thread III

As a massive fan of both Jonny Greenwood and Paul Thomas Anderson, I could not wait to arrange the theme of Phantom Thread for my guitar.

I had been working on another giant piece of music for this blog, but nothing was flowing. Thankfully I checked the new releases, and Jonny Greenwood’s score for Phantom Thread had been released.

Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) created one of the all time great scores for There Will Be Blood; a previous collaboration with director, Paul Thomas Anderson. Greenwood was snubbed for an Academy award nomination (in 2007) on a technicality.

There Will be Blood was ruled ineligible due to its use of pre-existing material. It was minutia, as 95% of the score was original to the film. Recent 2017 eligibilities include Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch who’s scores for Dunkirk and Blade Runner 2049 both include pre-existing material from other composers!

[As an aside, I love the work of Zimmer and Wallfisch, I’m just illustrating the goofiness of the Academy Awards. It’s based in opinion and politics. My belief is that Jonny Greenwood was merely an industry outsider, at the time.]

However, the music of Phantom Thread is a classical masterpiece — while also being innovative and edgy.

There’s are four variations on the Phantom Thread theme. I chose Variation III because it was less specific than the other variations, and thus, more open to interpretation. It flowed seamlessly to the guitar.

You might also like to play…

Dunkirk: Variation 15 for guitar + TAB

Alien Covenant: theme for guitar + TAB

Blade Runner 2049: Tears In the Rain for guitar + TAB

Gear used

For Phantom Thread, I used my Cordoba C7 mahogany guitar. You can find a current list of all of my gear here.

How to play Phantom Thread III for classical guitar

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I would characterize Phantom Thread III as best for intermediate guitar players and up. Although none of the chord shapes are outrageous to play, it feels a little too advanced for beginner guitarists.

The guitar tab for Phantom Thread III is beautifully written across two pages, and played straight through without repeats. It doesn’t get more straightforward then that.

I hope you enjoy this. The guitar tab is available below:

Phantom Thread III is played in *standard tuning*. However, you might have noticed that I have a capo on the 2nd fret?

I liked the darker sound of my Cordoba C7 for Phantom Thread III. I keep the C7 tuned at least a whole step down at all times. I simply put a capo on the second fret to bring it back to standard tuning. The shorter frets made the chord shapes a tad easier as well.

Not sure you want to go through the hassle — but you could tune your guitar down (from low to high): D G C F A D and then apply a capo the 2nd fret. Or, just play in standard tuning, and everything will sound exactly the same.

Jonny Greenwood: Phantom Thread III for guitar

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