Sicily. Photo by Sabrina Mazzeo | Unsplash

The Godfather

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I’m currently 44, and just finally watched The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. If you’re a young person and haven’t seen these films, you must prioritize them straight away. They’re total perfection in script, cinematography, and acting. You’ll be glued to the screen — only occasionally opening your phone to IMDb what you’re seeing.

[Pro tip: if you watch on Amazon Prime — simply pausing the film on any given scene will bring up the actor’s names at the bottom of your screen.]

While it’s consensus that Part II is an even better film, I’m still fixated on the 1st installment. The arc of Michael Corleone — a doe-eyed WWII hero — into the heir of “Godfather”, is incredible to watch. Al Pacino’s eyes slowly dim and his voice deepens throughout the film. This culminates in the final “baptism scene” where his soul is completely iced over. Again, most of his acting is done with his glare. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Part II’s most compelling story line is the fleshing out of Vito Corleone — played to perfection by a young Robert De Niro. Even Marlon Brando’s (older) Vito is kind of a good guy. He has prudence, and generally wants to do right by the people in his orbit. As we see with the young Vito — the role of “Godfather” was given to him by circumstance. He only became brutal to overcome the brutality of others.

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Gear used

For this piece, I used my Cordoba C7 guitar. Additionally, I recorded using my new X/Y mic from Zoom. You can find an updated list of my gear here.

My music

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

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The Intellimusica Spotify Playlist: Ethereal & Cinematic Guitar
Deep cuts from artists like Gustavo Santaolalla, Hans Zimmer, Jeff Buckley, and Radiohead – combine to create a heady flow of music for focus, meditation, and self-reflection. This is a Guitar focused (but not exclusive) playlist that elicits the emotional, captivating quality of modern film scores.

How to play The Godfather (Love Theme) | fingerstyle guitar

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I recommend this arrangement for intermediate guitar players and up. My version is extremely doable for the occasional and sporadic guitar player. In fact, it’s a great way to get into something that sounds sophisticated — but is really not that difficult to play. I hope you enjoy playing this as much as I do! The guitar tab is available below:

The guitar tab is written across a single page. You play the page 3 times, stopping after the 3rd verse. In accordance with the guitar tab, my order of play looks like this:

Verse, Interlude

Verse Interlude

Verse

I given you the names of the chord shapes above the tab to help you play it more efficiently (and learn the general names of your chord shapes too).

The Godfather (Love Theme) | fingerstyle guitar

This arrangement is tuned one whole step down (just like the original): D G C F A D. However, it sounds even better in standard tuning, or capoed. The melody is so strong — you really can’t go wrong in any tuning or capo position.

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