Gustavo Santaolalla – The Last of Us Theme (Tab)

Gustavo Santaolalla – The Last of Us (Tab)

Gustavo Santaolalla is my absolute favourite film composer. He first came to prominence with the films Amores Perros and The Motorcycle Diaries. Then went on to win Academy Awards for Brokeback Mountain and Babel.

No doubt part of the reason I love his music is his extensive use of a ronroco (a large version of, the ukulele’s cousin, the charango). It’s that instrument he used for the theme tune to his first game soundtrack The Last of Us. And it’s an incredibly beautiful tune. Here’s a fascinating video of him discussing his work on it with a short clip of him playing it live.

Because the ronroco uses reentrant tuning, the tune transfers nicely to the ukulele.

Performance Notes

All the way through I’m using thumb and two finger picking. The thumb plays the g- and C-strings, the index finger plays the E and the middle finger plays the A.

When you’re playing this try to always emphasises the melody. In the first section (bars 1 to 11) that’s every note on the g-string. So pluck more forcefully with your thumb.

Then it switches to the A-string in bars 12 to 24. So in that section pick more strongly with your middle finger.

The section in bars 27 to 34 is a little different. There isn’t a strong melody here. But do give a little more emphasis to the notes on the A-string on the third and fourth beats of each bar.

Also, try to vary the dynamics as you play. Having louder and softer sections through the piece.


Buy the original on iTunes
More game theme tabs

View Comments


  1. pepamahina February 27th, 2014 11:34 pm

    I needed something new for solo uke and I knew I would find something great here. This is a lovely offering Al, thank you so much.

  2. Llamapolitics February 28th, 2014 1:22 am

    Amazing Cover! Been trying to figure it out from the youtube vid for a while but you just made it a whole lot easier.
    Great song for a great game.

  3. osvaldo February 28th, 2014 2:22 am

    Thaks for the tabs. Just a little minor detail amores perros is a mexican film.
    This is a nice interview-show The interview is in spansh but Gustavo plays several song including two using a ronronco minute 6:00 and 22:17

  4. Mike W February 28th, 2014 2:23 am

    Oh great call. My daughter is all over this. Thanks Al. Now she will talk to me if only to get help reading tab.

  5. Eric February 28th, 2014 2:24 am

    This is awesome! I was going to request this song about a month back but forgot. Thanks so much!

  6. Karthik February 28th, 2014 5:00 am

    Oh boy, just when I was getting ready to spend a few days figuring this song out myself! I can spend all that time actually playing it now. Thank you for this.

    One question about the tempo. Are you playing it slower than the original?

  7. Woodshed February 28th, 2014 10:59 am

    pepamahina: Happy playing!

    Llamapolitics: Thanks very much!

    osvaldo: Thanks very much for the link. Great to see him play live.

    Mike: You’re very welcome!

    Eric: Glad I could remind you!

    Karthik: Yeah, it is slowed down a bit. Mostly because I’m not good enough to play it quicker.

  8. a March 3rd, 2014 5:53 pm

    Amores perros is a mexican film, not everythin under texas is the same country.

  9. Woodshed March 3rd, 2014 6:03 pm

    a: Thanks. Fixed it.

  10. Nick March 4th, 2014 9:43 am

    This is one of the most addictive uke solos to date. Fantastic work, thanks….

  11. Woodshed March 5th, 2014 10:19 am

    Nick: Thanks very much!

  12. Yellowfish March 8th, 2014 5:48 pm

    Yeah so nice. Can’t wait to get started on it.
    Thanks a lot. I dunno what i’d do without this site.

  13. Woodshed March 9th, 2014 10:33 am

    Yellowfish: That’s very much! Happy playing.

  14. Shamalamadingdong March 10th, 2014 5:41 pm

    If you want to play it in the actual key, tune C down to B, and well…it changes everything, but I find it much easier to play that way. Thanks for this version though!

  15. Woodshed March 11th, 2014 7:28 am

    Shamalamadingdong: Yeah, I’ve seen that version. I wasn’t particularly taken with it myself.

  16. gabo March 12th, 2014 7:00 pm

    “South-Texas” has a name, plenty of names, plenty of nations. I´m a big fan of your work, but please notice that America is bigger than USA….just sayin´

    Saludos desde México

  17. Woodshed March 12th, 2014 7:16 pm

    gabo: Yeah, it wasn’t originally that. A previous commenter was a bit of a dick so I decided to be a bit of a dick too. I’ll change it when I’m feeling like less of a dick.

  18. Charlie Oh March 17th, 2014 12:11 am

    I really have to thank you for this. I’ve been a huge fan of your website since I first started playing Ukulele and your tabs and resources are how I got to play how I do now.
    This song in particular, I’ve been playing on repeat so I can learn it properly. Like yourself I’m a huge fan of Gustavo’s stuff, and the Last of Us is probably one of my favourite games to date, so the combination is awesome. Basically just thank you for taking the time to do this, I love you!

  19. Woodshed March 17th, 2014 6:59 am

    Charlie: Thanks so much! I’m really glad the site has helped.

  20. Helder April 10th, 2014 8:11 am

    It’s fucking beautiful. That’s it.

  21. Woodshed April 10th, 2014 10:18 am

    Helder: Thanks!

  22. diego May 24th, 2014 2:50 pm

    What type of ukulele is?

  23. Woodshed May 25th, 2014 8:49 am

    diego: Ohana TK35-G.

  24. Michael June 4th, 2014 2:58 pm

    Just have to say I love this. Heard it (here for the first time), learned it, and can’t stop playing it. Just one question:
    Do you know of any other ‘minor key’ instrumentals for the ukulele – I’m thinking of that ethereal sound?

    Thanks for all your great advice and instruction (love the book).

  25. Woodshed June 5th, 2014 6:41 am

    Michael: Good question. Hmm… Here’s three that come to mind:

    Sherlock Theme.
    Somebody That I Used to Know
    Safe and Sound

  26. Connor July 3rd, 2014 2:33 am

    How do I view the tabs?

  27. Woodshed July 3rd, 2014 7:47 am

    Connor: The big orange box under the video.

  28. Anna July 14th, 2014 8:28 am

    This is amazing! I’m leaning this song so I can play it at school :)

  29. Woodshed July 14th, 2014 10:27 am

    Anna: Thanks! Happy practicing.

  30. Vinny October 4th, 2014 7:41 pm

    Thanks for putting this one up! This is the first song I learned on the uke. Lots of fun to play!

    Love the site and your books. Thanks again!

  31. Woodshed October 4th, 2014 7:59 pm

    Vinny: Thanks very much!

  32. Dave December 8th, 2014 10:28 pm

    That’s an amazing song, brilliant performance of it too, love the use of volume thoughout.

  33. Woodshed December 9th, 2014 7:04 am

    Dave: Thanks so much! I really enjoyed playing this piece.

  34. SarkyWalrus March 14th, 2015 3:15 pm

    I Love this but having some pitch problems on the higher stuff. Don’t know if my fingers are a bit big for the soprano at that range or if I’m bending the strings a little

  35. Woodshed March 15th, 2015 3:38 pm

    SarkyWalrus: It might be the uke. Some ukuleles have pitch problems that high up the neck. Particularly sopranos.

  36. Samwise Gamgee August 19th, 2015 10:39 pm

    Now I can play ukulele and video games

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