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, what I’m calling, a G suspended second tuning. It’s a variation of  the commonly used Open G tuning. A tuning used predominantly by Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.

A traditional Open G tuning looks like this from low to high: D G D G B D.  In the case of my G suspended second tuning, we’ll additionally drop the B string to A. Your tuning will now look like this from low to high: D G D G A D.

Good luck!

*The Ecstasy of Gold*

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

Written by:

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