The Martian

The Martian Score Suite (found on the soundtrack) essentially has two movements: Making Water, and Crossing Mars. Both of those songs can found individually on The Martian score, by composer Harry Gregson-Williams.

As of this writing I haven’t seen the movie yet, but more than a few friends recommended that I play Crossing Mars for this blog. I had been listening to it — and loving it — so this was a great opportunity to create a compelling guitar arrangement. [I created a guitar arrangement for Making Water a couple of weeks ago — also from The Martian Score Suite.]

Crossing Mars is a stunning piece of music. As I learn these orchestral pieces, it occurs to me that I’m totally trapped in a certain type of thinking¬†when I write music on guitar. Everything is in 4/4 or 3/4 timing — and my chord progressions are unremarkable.

On the other hand, a composer like Harry Gregson-Williams totally free, and writes music as if he has no limits on his imagination.

(Note: Crossing Mars is my premium material.)

How to play Crossing Mars for classical guitar

When I do go about arranging and orchestral piece of music for this blog — I usually take the opposite approach and play as little as possible. To this day I remain inspired and obsessed with Gustavo Santaolalla’s minimalist score for Brokeback Mountain. When I begin a transcription of this type, I usually think about what Santaolalla might do.

The guitar tab for Crossing Mars is a single page long. Your own ability considered — I view Crossing Mars as easy to play. There’s no difficult chord shapes to speak of, and that is by design. To have the output of material that I have on a week to week basis — it’s imperative that I make everything as easy to play as possible. I think it kinda sounds better that way too.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Crossing Mars is played in standard tuning — with a capo on the 1st fret. In the video above, you notice that my capo is on the second fret. That’s because I find the fretboard difficult to read when there’s a capo on the odd numbered frets. When possible, I’ll tune the guitar down 1/2 step, then put the capo on the 2nd rather than the first.

It’s important to remember that the guitar tab is written relative to the capo. The fret immediately following the capo is considered the first fret:

*Crossing Mars for classical guitar*

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.