The Shape of Water: theme for guitar (Alexandre Desplat) + TAB
Photo by engin akyurt | Unsplash

The Shape of Water 

The Shape of Water is a 2017 American fantasy drama film directed by Guillermo del Toro. The Academy Award winning music is by composer, Alexandre Desplat. The Shape of Water, which also won best picture, is a highly original film. That originality is matched by Desplat’s pitch perfect score. The title theme is as close to musically underwater as you can get. Truly amazing stuff.

You might also like to play…

(some other Academy Nominated film music from 2017)

Dunkirk: Variation 15 for guitar + TAB

Phantom Thread: theme for guitar + TAB.

Three Billboards: The Deer for guitar + TAB

(these two were snubbed by the Oscars in 2017, but are excellent nonetheless)

IT score + TABS.

Wind River music + TABS.

Gear Used

For The Shape of Water, I used my Cordoba GK Studio guitar. You can find a list of all of my gear here.

How to play The Shape of Water | fingerstyle guitar

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I would characterize The Shape of Water as best for intermediate guitar players and up. Beginners will have a rough time with this. While I try to make everything as easy as possible, your left arm will be stuck in a low, underneath position. There’s heavy use of the pinky (4th) finger as well.

The guitar tab for The Shape of Water is beautifully written across two pages. My order of play, in accordance with the guitar tab, goes like this:

Intro 2x, Verse, Chorus

Intro 2x, Verse, Chorus, End.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

The Shape of Water is played in a simple trick tuning. You’ll tune the 1st (high E) string down one 1/2 step. That’s it. Your tuning will look like this, from low to high: E A D G B Eb or (depending on your tuner) E A D G B D#. You will then *place a capo on the 3rd fret.

[You might notice my capo is on the 4th fret. My entire guitar happened to be tuned down a 1/2 step when I transcribed the song and I didn’t realize it. You’ll be good if you follow the tuning and capo instructions above. Very simple.]

Alexandre Desplat: The Shape of Water for guitar

Written by:

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