Sting: Shape Of My Heart | fingerstyle guitar
Photo by Laine Cooper | Unsplash

Léon

Free audio download of this performance on SoundCloud.

Léon is one of my all time favorite movies. Starring Natalie Portman, Jean Reno, and Gary Oldman — Léon: The Professional is an amazingly casted and highly entertaining crime/thriller. When it was first released (on VHS) in 1994 is was simply called The Professional. I believe they released a special edition (or director’s cut) when DVD’s arrived on the scene in the late 90’s. That was titled Léon: The Professional.

This movie is squarely from the 90’s golden age of adventurous storytelling and filmmaking. The movie industry was entirely sparked by the success of Quentin Tarantino’s early films — and daring, independent filmmaking was en vogue. Tarantino excluded, 90’s movies were always tightly packaged into 90 minutes. I’ve always thought this run time is ideal as you’re left wanting more.

What do we have currently? For 20 years, it’s been either superheroes or slow, socially finger-wagging dramas that appeal to no one but The Academy. Just watch Léon: The Professional and you’ll see that it’s perfectly balanced, lean entertainment.

Directed by Luc Besson, Léon is an American-style crime drama with the flare of French Cinema. Gary Oldman’s dastardly character moves through the set like a ballet dancer. Natalie Portman gives an emotionally skillful performance (at 12 years old). Jean Reno (Léon) perfectly negotiates the character of a gentle, minimalist, and emotionally slow *hitman.

Shape Of My Heart

The final musical cue in Léon is, Shape Of My Heart, by Sting. This song is from the album, The Summoner’s Tales. It was recommended to me by a friend (and former guitar student) Teddy Elattrache. Teddy is now an LA based actor and musician.

It must be said that, for all intents and purposes, this is the actual guitar part of Shape Of My Heart — and it’s a work of art. I’ve ghosted in Sting’s vocal melody in the verse and chorus to create a true fingerstyle guitar arrangement. However, the actual (intro) guitar line is a mind-blowing exercise of musicianship, writing, and quality.

Juxtapose this piece with the popular music of today — and there’s a steep decline in musicianship. John Mayer might be the lone standout in delivering expertly crafted pop music. An abundance of great music can be found everywhere — it’s just not filling stadiums and getting billions of streams. This worries me because; as our art declines, our culture declines.

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Gear used

My guitar for this arrangement is a Cordoba GK Studio. You can find a current list of my gear here.

How to play Shape Of My Heart | fingerstyle guitar

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The guitar tab for Shape Of My Heart is beautifully written across 3 pages. I definitely recommend this for intermediate guitar players and up. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

My order of play for this arrangement looks like this:

-Intro (the actual guitar line), Verse 2x, Chorus, Bridge

-Verse, Chorus, Intro

Additionally, where appropriate, I’ve given you the chord names above the relevant chord shapes. This will help you play more efficiently and learn your chord shapes. The names are relative to the capo — meaning that these would be the chord names in standard tuning with no capo.

Sting: Shape Of My Heart | fingerstyle guitar

This song is played in standard tuning with a capo on the 2nd fret. Feel free to play it without a capo, or in any fretboard position you like.

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