guitar tab

Jeff Nichols is my favorite director right now. I can’t think of another director whose movies I look forward to quite like his.

At the time of this writing I’m 39, almost 40, and Jeff Nichols is right around my age. His heartfelt stories resonate with me because he looks at a big, complicated picture and distills it to an elegant concept. In this case, love.

Many socially conscious filmmakers, are subtly (or not so subtly) wagging a finger at a segment of the population with whom they have antipathy toward. Even with his very first movie, Shotgun Stories, Jeff Nichols has examined the motivations of all characters.

No one is necessarily good or evil. There’s a certain maturity to his films that is sorely lacking in Hollywood.

Prior to Loving (Nichols’ latest film starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) there was Midnight Special: one of the greatest science fiction adventures you’ll ever see.

[The story revolves around Roy Tomlin and his biological son, Alton Meyer, who are on the run from both the government and a religious cult. After discovering Alton has special powers — their goal is to get him safely to his final destination.]

I’ve arranged the music for Midnight Special, and a pretty good summary of each of Jeff Nichols’ films here.

Loving is about Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who were married in 1958, Central Point Virginia. They’re ultimately banished from Virginia, and the Lovings case goes all the way to the supreme court. 

I haven’t seen Loving yet, but it will be available to rent soon enough. My 2 year old son precludes me from seeing any movies lately.

How to play Proposal, composer by David Wingo

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Composer David Wingo is a multi-instrumentalist and member of the indie-folk band Ola Podrida. He’s the composer for most of Jeff Nichols’ films.

His music is inextricably linked to Jeff Nichols’ storytelling. I can’t imagine one without the other. Especially Midnight Special and Loving. The themes are deliberate and minimalist — just like the movies. The simplicity and straightforward nature of the music gives it a strong identity within the film.

Proposal is essentially a progression of chords rather than a single-note melody. The guitar tab is a single page long, and Proposal is best suited to intermediate guitar players. However, the slow speed and short duration of Proposal makes it a great song for beginner guitar players to practice chords.

I’m voicing the chords with a technique I picked up from Gustavo Santaolalla’s guitar style. Each chord is comprised of 4 notes played on 4 separate strings. I line my fingers up on the strings and play them in a succession from my thumb, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd fingers. Think of your hand peeling off of the strings.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Proposal is played one whole step down. Your tuning is as follows from low to high: D G C F A D:

Loving: Proposal for classical guitar