In the spirit of spooky season, we’ve transcribed 5 TV/Film horror melodies on guitar for Halloween.
Please find the free tabs below. Enjoy.
1. THE EXORCIST
Mike Oldfield’s 1973 album Tubular Bells is one of the most revered albums ever written and includes many beautiful pieces of music.
Though the opening ostinato riff sends shivers down the spine of most as this is of course, the music used in the classic horror film The Exorcist released a year later.
The following tab we’ve transcribed places the riff on the highest e string. Notice the first bar in this riff uses a 7/8 time signature and the second picks up a 8/8 bar to complete the phrase.
2. STRANGER THINGS
Stranger Things…the best TV show on at the moment? We think so!
The main title score was written by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein of the band Survive. The title sequence is built on a foundation of a Cmajor7th arpeggio phrase running through the piece recorded on a Oberheim Two-Voice synth.
We could sweep these arpeggios on guitar using a hammer-on to the 2nd note and a hammer-on & pull-off on the notes of the D string however, we’ve opted to describe a picking approach here to sound more like the even dynamic of the original synth.
Halloween 1978, on-screen horror and the arrival of Michael Myers to terrify our darkest nights.
The film was directed by John Carpenter who also composed the iconic theme music. The music is written in the odd time signature 5/4 and the main phrase we hear in the first 2 sections shifts chromatically a semi-tone every 2 bars. Both these compositional techniques add to the tension and uneasy feel of this piece, perfect for a slasher movie.
These phrases on the e & B strings are tricky to alternate pick, so starting on an up pick then continuing with a double down pick on the 2nd string could work better to maintain an outside string picking approach throughout.
4. THE WALKING DEAD
The Walking Dead is a gripping series and the music is composed by one of the greatest TV score composers of our generation (in our opinion).
This is Bear Mccreary who has wrote the music for series Black Sails, Battlestar Galactica & Outlander to name a few as well as The Walking Dead. These series are worth a watch just for the music scores alone!
The Walking Dead’s opening riff, originally wrote for violin has a haunting sweeping minor 9th arpeggio that works great on guitar.
Also, anyone notice in the series Negan’s bat shares the same name has BB King’s Gibson guitars Lucille?
5. THE X-FILES
The Truth is out there? Quite possibly, however we do know Mulder & Scully were a match made in heaven! Professionally of course.
The X-Files has to be included on this list. Mysterious, intriguing and sometimes extremely horrifying, Mulder and Scully were always on the case to solve or ponder on the bizarre.
The title sequence by Mark Snow stands as one of the most recognisable TV music themes ever written. We got a little carried away with this one transcribing the full title sequence melody. A lot of delay and reverb will sound good for this one.
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