Gustavo Santaolalla

Just a short post this time. I’ve thankfully found some rare and unusual free time this holiday. However, rather than relax (which I’m not sure I know how to do) I decided to transcribe and post a quick little tune. As Paul McCartney says, “You play music, not work music.” Sounds good to me.

How to play Lullaby Theme by Gustavo Santaolalla

Gustavo Santaolalla’s score for The Book of Life is tremendous, and Lullaby Theme illustrates his penchant for creating melody with actual chords.

This is not the actual guitar part of Lullaby Theme. From what I can tell the song is densely comprised of multiple vocal, guitar, and ronroco parts. I created an all-in-one arrangement for the main section of the song. 

I like this riff, particularly because you’ll have to use your thumb to fret the bottom end of a few G chords throughout the song. That’s a really great technique to learn, and it will serve you well. I’ve placed an (_) underneath the specific thumb-fretted chords.

Other than that, Lullaby Theme is relatively easy to play, but better suited to intermediate-level guitarists. Lullaby Theme is played in standard tuning, and I use a capo on 5th fret. Enjoy, the tab is available below:

Lullaby Theme for guitar (Gustavo Santaolalla)

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

If interested, my main guitar is a Cordoba GK Studio. I say main, because its the most even playing and neutral guitar I own. The nature of recording yourself for download and YouTube requires perfect tuning and intonation. More often than not, I reach for the GK Studio.

All of my gear (and recommendations) can be found at the top of the page in the gear section.

Happy New Year,


Written by:

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