The score for Snow White and the Huntsman was released on Tuesday the 29th and at the time of this posting, it’s Friday June 1st. That’s a very quick production time to go from transcribing and arranging James Newton Howard’s Snow White, to posting a performance video in just 3 1/2 days.

While I’m not the most technically proficient guitar player, my strengths are in transcribing music. That part happens very fast. However, there are two things I do to learn the music very quickly in a short time frame:

Relentless listening
This is a hugely overlooked and undervalued part of learning anything. I’m a house-call guitar instructor so I’m driving around to lessons all day long. I’ll put (whatever I happen to be playing at the time) on repeat and listen to the same song in between lessons, over and over.

By listening to whatever you’re learning (it doesn’t have to be music either), every nuance of the piece becomes a part of your subconscious. This technique is so effective, that actually playing the song on a guitar seems like a mere formality after you’ve heard the song a few dozen times. So, if you’re walking to class, driving to work, or exercising — get your headphones on.

Our goal is to learn the music, not to memorize it. The art of non-memorization requires strategic restraint. Once I have the music tabbed out, I’ll play through it only one or two times. After circling my sticking points on the tab sheet which might be a particularly difficult chord or something, I’ll then play through them about 4 to 5 times.

At this point, after about 5 minutes of total “practice”, I’ll walk away from it and do something else. I recommend at least a 1/2 hour before you pick up the guitar again.

If you don’t feel any improvement, space out your brief practice sessions by 1 hour or even a few hours. By playing briefly but frequently, you will learn (passively memorize) the music within a very short time frame. (Note: this is for strategic learning purposes only. By all means, if you’re enjoying yourself, play guitar all day long!)

For more on these techniques, read my post Effortless Guitar Playing: Why Practice Does Not Always Make Perfect.

 I hope you enjoy playing it, the tab is available below:

Snow White is played in standard tuning with a capo on the 1st fret. It is important to note that the tab is written as if no capo was used. So, the fret immediately following the capo is considered the 1st fret. 

Snow White (Tab)


Written by:

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