The Shawshank Redemption: Stoic Theme | fingerstyle guitar
Photo by Denny Müller | Unsplash

The Shawshank Redemption

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Written and directed by Frank Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption, is a 1994 drama film based on the 1982 Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.  The film tells the story of a banker who is (despite his claims of innocence) sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murders of his wife and her lover. Over the following 20 years, he befriends fellow prisoners, and becomes the key figure in a money-laundering operation led by the prison warden and guards. The musical score is by venerable composer, Thomas Newman.

The Shawshank Redemption is a legendary film, and will usually be in the top 5 of any film buff’s list. It’s on the level of The Godfather. Script writer/director Frank Darabont was only 34 years old when he made the film. His follow up was the next greatest Stephen King adaptation, The Green Mile.  Darabont seems mostly interested in writing screenplays, but I hope he directs again. At 61, he’s still very much a young man.

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Gear used

For this piece, I used my Cordoba C7 Cedar guitar. It’s a relatively inexpensive guitar, that sounds warm, while still retaining the highs at lower tunings. You can find a current list of my gear here.

How to play The Shawshank Prison (Stoic Theme) | fingerstyle guitar

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The guitar tab for The Stoic Theme is beautifully written across 3 pages. I would characterize this piece as easy to play because all of the chord shapes are relatively simple. However, you will need to move through those shapes quickly. My order of play looks like this, in accordance with the guitar tab:

Intro 2x, Verse, Bridge.

Verse, End.

The Stoic Theme is great for intermediate guitar players, and will serve as a excellent piece for beginners looking to try something sophisticated. Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

The Shawshank Redemption: Stoic Theme | fingerstyle guitar

My tuning for this arrangement (from low to high) is C G C F A D. You just as easily play it in a standard drop D tuning as well: D A D G B E.


Written by:

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