the polar express

The Polar Express

Composer Alan Silvestri’s The Polar Express theme is a modern classic, and I think of it in the same caliber — as any of the classic John Williams movie themes.

Even though The Polar Express was released in my adulthood (2004) I watch it every year with child-like wonderment.

The dissonant sound design, and the bizarre voice over of Know-It-All (played by a similar looking Eddie Deezan) combine to create a strange Willy Wonka edge to The Polar Express. The whole thing is just ever-so-slightly unsettling. I believe this is what so cleverly captures (even the adult) imagination. 

Underneath all of this is Alan Silvestri’s joyful, celebratory score which still lets your sub-conscience know it’s a holiday film.

For more guitar arrangements like this, check out my Holiday archive. I really like Silent Night for beginner guitar players which is also a *free tab.

More experienced guitar players can try my version of Greensleeves which is entirely doable for intermediate level guitarists.

Gear Used

For The Polar Express Theme I used my Cordoba Gk Studio. You can find a current list of my gear here.

How to play The Polar Express Theme for classical guitar

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This piece is the central theme of The Polar Express, and it can be a real tear jerker if you’re a fan of the movie.

Although the guitar tab is just over one page long, this song is better suited to intermediate guitar players and up. You’ll have to change some bar chords shapes rather quickly.

I’ve also included some of the chord names above the guitar tablature to help you along with positioning. An added benefit is learning some chord names by absorbing them, rather than consciously trying to memorize the chord names.

My order of play, in accordance with the guitar tab is: Intro 2x, Middle, Outro 2x, End. Again, it’s a very short and simple guitar tab.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

The Polar Express is played in standard tuning.

The Polar Express: theme for classical guitar

Written by:

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