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.


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