Photo by Vinícius Henrique Photography | Unsplash

Wild Life

When the Surf Comes Up is a motif by composer Gustavo Santaolalla. The piece is from, Wild Life, a documentary directed and produced by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo).

The film follows conservationists Kris Tompkins (CEO Patagonia) and her husband Douglas Tompkins (founder North Face and Esprit). Together, through decades of work, they created national parks throughout Chile and Argentina. They preserved one of the last wild places on Earth by making the largest private land donation in history.

I’m a huge fan of Gustavo Santaolalla’s film music, and the soundtrack to Wild Life is glorious. Lots of nifty riffs, and some beautiful melodies that will tug at your heart.

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(this is one of Gustavo’s BEST riffs)

How to play When the Surf Comes Up | fingerstyle guitar

The guitar tab for this piece is beautifully written across two pages. The original is almost 3 minutes long, with redundancy that’s designed for film. I paired it down to the two essential riffs. I think this is an excellent little etude for beginner and intermediate guitarists to practice trills. The whole this is played on literally 2 frets.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

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

Verse 2x, Chorus

Verse 1x, Chorus, End

**Gustavo Santaolalla: When the Surf Comes Up | fingerstyle guitar

This motif is played in standard tuning.