[Updated 5/2/22]

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Free download on SoundCloud.

I’m a huge Coen Brothers fan, and the The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix) is one of their best. It’s really the Coen Bros unleashed — as Netflix doesn’t have the same constraints as a Hollywood studio.

My favorite of the 6 stories was ‘Meal Ticket’. A man with no arm and legs — works in servitude to an impresario, reciting impassioned poetry like Ozymandias. While successful in larger affluent towns, their travelling wagon show reaches remote mountain villages where the audiences are indifferent. Suddenly, the torso man’s job security is in serious jeopardy as they were upstaged by another impresario’s chicken.

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Gear used

For The Book, I used my Cordoba C7 Cedar. It’s as deep and resonant guitar. Perfect for this song. You can find a current list of my gear here.

My music

You can find my personal music on Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, and all streaming services:

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The Intellimusica Spotify Playlist: Ethereal & Cinematic Guitar
(This playlist is curated and updated by me. It’s music that I’ve played and intend to play on Intellimusica. It flows beautifully — and additionally works as music for focus, meditation, and self-reflection.)

How to play The Book, by Carter Burwell

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The opening song, The Book, is actually two guitar parts. One steel string and one classical. I was able to find a position where the two can be played together, note for note, seamlessly. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

This song is perfect for beginner guitar players — as all of the chord shapes and fingerstyle are relatively easy to play. The guitar tab is only one page and beautifully written. You’ll play the page twice through.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: The Book (Carter Burwell)

The Book is played in a deep tuning. Your tuning is as follows, from low to high: C# F# B  E  G# C#. Or, depending on your tuner: Db Gb B E Ab Db.

Of course standard tuning, or one whole step down (D G C F A D) would work just fine too.

Written by:

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