james newton howard

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
― Mark Twain

My wife and I are unapologetic M. Night Shyamalan fans. We recently saw The Visit on opening night, and it was definitely a return to M. Night’s quirky characters and super creepy imagery. There was even a little trademark plot twist at towards the end.

What I like most about M. Night Shyamalan’s screenplays is the humanity, love, and life lessons that he seamlessly injects into a spooky genre of films.

The Visit’s lesson is definitely a good one: don’t hold on to anger. I hold onto anger for years. I have a feeling that all musicians, artists, and creators are like this. Anger can grab hold of an artist, in the same way an idea or riff can. Obsession is a prerequisite for creators.

Though, I’ve worked on this quite a bit in the last couple of years — actually by not getting upset in the first place. Whether I have a difficult client, an unrequited gesture, or getting cut off in traffic — I use deliberate self-talk to let the perceived affront glide over and away from me: It’s not that big a deal Evan. It not about you. Who cares. Life moves on. Get over it.

(Note: The Hand of Fate is my premium material.)

How to play James Newton Howard’s The Hand of Fate – Part II

Hands down, my favorite M. Night Shyamalan movie is Signs. The humor, the humanity, and the early fall scenery of Pennsylvania just get me. The music of Signs, written by composer, James newton Howard, in nothing short of a masterpiece — especially the final sequence known as The Hand of Fate — Parts I & II.

M. Night is a minimalist by nature and favors very lean movie making. He begrudgingly had to use CGI in Signs, and has a very hard time using music in his movies. He approached James Newton Howard saying, this movie doesn’t need music, but if I was forced to add music, what would you do?

And the very Hitchcockian 3 note motif was born. Though it has a sinister sound to it, the motif was then used as a series of melodic arpeggios to really tie in the heart of final scene. This would be know as The Hand of Fate – Part II.

The Hand of Fate – Part II was very intensive to figure out on guitar. It took me 2 weeks to get this just right. I deliberated over the opening the most. Almost like I was scoring the movie myself.

All of the chord shapes are relatively easy to play, and the finger-picking is easy enough too. However, I don’t regard The Hand of Fate – Part II as an easy song to play.

You’ll have to be pretty agile to jump around the neck smoothly — and that’s why I think this song is a good one to practice: agility.

The guitar tab is 3 pages long. If something is repeated, I simply put four dots (. . . .) beside the chord shape indicating that you’ll play that arpeggio 4 times. This actually makes the guitar tab far easier to comprehend.

Enjoy this, it’s one of my all time favorites. The guitar tab is available below:

The Hand of fate – Part II is played with your high E string tuned down to D.

*The Hand of Fate Part II*

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


Written by:

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