Photo by Vanessa Sezini on Unsplash

The Gravel Road

The Gravel Road is an incredible piece of music from M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village. The music is by the iconic composer, James Newton Howard.

I remember seeing this film at a packed theater in 2004. At that point, M. Night was the king of October, producing eerie movies every two years; The 6th Sense (1998), Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), and then The Village in 2004.

The Village is definitely where some fans thought Shyamalan had “jumped the shark” – an idiom where a creative work has exhausted its core intent. I loved the movie — but I found his following film, ‘ Lady in the Water’ to be the head scratcher. [Signs is my favorite movie of all time.]

James Newton Howard’s score for The Village is immensely listenable. I especially love it around this time of year. I live in Western Pennsylvania, and the music matches the foliage and the Northern California-like weather. [Our weather is horrible year-round, except for September and October.]

The Gravel Road is beset with violin arpeggios. That deterred me from arranging this song for so many years. A guitar version would be too difficult — and it wouldn’t sound nearly as good as the original violin section.

I’m from the school of Gustavo Santaolalla where the least moving parts sound better, and are far more emotive. For my arrangement I chose to focus on the main melody. I skipped the violin arpeggios altogether. I hope you like it!

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How to play The Gravel Road | fingerstyle guitar

The guitar tab for this piece is beautifully written across two pages. It’s relatively easy to play and suitable for beginner guitar players and up.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

In accordance with the guitar tab, My song structure goes like this:

Intro, Verse, Refrain 2x, Verse End

Verse, Refrain 2x, Verse End, End

**The Village (2004): The Gravel Road | fingerstyle guitar

This piece is played in Drop D tuning with a capo on the 5th fret. Your guitar will be tuned like this (from low to high): D A D G B E, then a capo on the 5th fret.