The Ecstasy of Gold for acoustic guitar

Posted on 14. Nov, 2015 by in Best of Intellimusica, Film Score, Modern Classics, Premium Tabs

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I’ve always wanted to transcribe The Ecstasy of Gold for this blog. I’ve actually been toying around with this song for years. I didn’t want to post my version unless I had something meaningful to add to the mix.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is the best of 3 movies of Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy — otherwise known as The Man With No Name Trilogy.  Even though it’s the last of the series, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is actually considered to be a prequel. 

The music, and more specifically The Ecstasy of Gold, is thought to be composer Ennio Morricone’s best material.

(Note: the Ecstasy of Gold is my premium material.)

How to play The Ecstasy of Gold for acoustic guitar

This took me a few years because there’s no way to create a cohesive sounding version for guitar in standard tuning. It’s quite possible to play in standard tuning, but it would require some finger acrobatics to play the song properly.

Ultimately, I find overly complicated stuff to sound just that, overly complicated. For the Ecstasy of Gold, my goal was to find a tuning and position where the whole thing would just flow. I stumbled upon the idea for the tuning while I was driving, and listening to the Rolling Stones of all things.

The guitar tab for The Ecstasy of Gold is only two pages long. You’ll play the two pages straight through — then repeat the ‘refrain section’, then play the ‘end section’.

I would classify this song for intermediate guitar players and up. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

The Ecstasy of Gold is played in

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3 Responses to “The Ecstasy of Gold for acoustic guitar”

  1. Deniz

    14. Nov, 2015

    Hello Evan,

    I am a long-time and big-time fan of your blog and your art. It was your playing that inspired me and a number of my friends to learn the guitar.

    I have recently recorded the “Secreto en la Montana” medley, have a listen if you like. Thought you might enjoy seeing some actual results of your blog, rather than simply thankful comments/subscriptions etc.

    Reply to this comment
    • Evan Handyside

      15. Nov, 2015

      Hello again Deniz,

      I’m very impressed with your guitar playing. You sound like Santaolalla himself! I’m curious, what gear/software did you use to record? It sounds wonderful!


      Reply to this comment
      • Deniz

        15. Nov, 2015

        Hello again Evan,

        I use a Focusrite 2i4 audio interface that is plugged into my computer via a USB cable.

        Into this interface, I plug in an Audio-Technica AT4040 condenser microphone. I found that this microphone is terrible for a lot of things but just happens to be brilliant for guitar. I connect it to the audio interface via a Gotham XLR-to-XLR cable. I find these provide a very noiseless recording.

        I record in a competely untreated room (acoustics are horrible), as I am a student and cannot afford to really professionally treat the recording space. You would get much better results than me with similar gear in your office.

        However, let me stress this, all the gear doesn’t mean anything if the instrument is not up to par. I use a custom built Lakewood A-32 guitar I got built to my specifications. The sound is truly amazing – this guitar would sound good recorded onto a phone microphone.

        I also master my recordings (amateruishly, I am not a pro) using a plugin called Izotope Ozone to really bring out the character of the guitar.

        Hope that helps.

        Reply to this comment

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