From Carlos Santana's MasterClass

Bonus: Music as Language

Carlos explores the universal language of music, and how it connects us through time and space.

Topics include: Add Contrast for Balance • Have a Conversation With the Drummer • Relax Into Melody • Explore the Roots of Music • Absorb Global Melodies • Merengue Jam


Carlos explores the universal language of music, and how it connects us through time and space.

Topics include: Add Contrast for Balance • Have a Conversation With the Drummer • Relax Into Melody • Explore the Roots of Music • Absorb Global Melodies • Merengue Jam

Carlos Santana

Teaches the Art and Soul of Guitar

Learn More


If you take the instrument from the guitar or the piano, what you have is, like, [HUMMING], you know, and it's a cycle, like anything, like life. You can put guitar or piano playing those chords, and then you put the uniqueness of a singer, whether it's Buika or Angelique Kidjo or a male singer, and what you have is just like pure romance. And when you have pure romance, then you know you're alive, you know? Nothing makes you feel more alive than romance, and especially spiritual romance because spiritual romance doesn't deal with guilt or shame. It just deals with, oh God, more. But what happens when you play this music, it's not that it's repetitious. It's a spell, and there's a difference between a spell and redundant repetition. For example, Revel's "Bolero" is a spell. It keeps repeating, but it's not redundant. We try new rhythms in here, and I feel really excited about it because it makes me feel like I'm young and vibrant and alive. I owe this so much to African musicians and African rhythms and just the spirit of Africa, period. [MUSIC PLAYING] We arrive at making a decision to put acoustic guitar on "Maria" because of the contrast. One is like-- one says hello, how are you doing, you know, like-- [PLAYING GUITAR] So that sets the tone for like, hi, how are you? This is nice. And then we're going to hit you with like-- [PLAYING GUITAR] And then you drive it home like a-- [PLAYING GUITAR] Yeah, so it's always about contrast and drama, good drama, you know, not negative drama but good drama. [MUSIC PLAYING] With the right drummer, when I hooked up with that person, though we may not shake hands or whatever, but I'm sitting in with somebody. And if the right drummer, when I go like-- let's say we're playing something, whatever it is, but I go-- [PLAYING GUITAR] Then he's required to go "whrrrrr" with me, you know, and me with him. So now we're having a ferocious conversation. It's not just playing timely. It's not just the-- [PLAYING GUITAR] Although it's nice, but you don't have to stay there the whole day, you know? You can-- it's nice. It's a base, but it is important that a drummer has good ears to go up when you go up. When you ascend, he's supposed to ascend which you. Otherwise you sound like you're all crazy by yourself and everybody's like, what's wrong with him? He's freaking out, and like, but nobody's freaking out with me. Then I'll give you a dirty look like, hey. You know, you're supposed to go with me. What are you, you know? Pay attention and get crazy. I go up, you go up. I go down, you go down. You know, that's the whole thing of a soloist, whether it's Herbie, Wayne, or Miles, or Coltrane, listen and go with them wherever they go. [MUSIC PLAYING] Those songs are written to coo, adore, and make children loved by grandparents. Usually parents are in a hurry to achieve something. Grandparents already did it. And so that's another beauty about music, ...

Find the heart of your sound

With 10 Grammys and almost 50 years on stage, Carlos Santana teaches you how to play guitar in his spiritual style. Learn how he weaves emotion, artistic expression, and musical genres from across the world to create a sound that transcends classifications and connects with audiences. Join Carlos in his studio as he breaks down his process note by note—so you can discover the soul of your sound.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I have not finished the class just finished my first round of video lecture. I am exited to jump into the work book and get started on some of the practices empliment and use some of the tools that you offer. Thank you Kindly

Carlos Santana is at once humbling and exhalting , simultaneously Down-home and Regal and always in the Heart ,a bright light in the darkness. Thank You

I learned a lot about the attitude to bring when I pick up my instrument as a prerequisite for more freely expressing myself

Expanded my knowledge of global music, obtained performance tips, and gained insights on how to improve as a person and musician.


A fellow student

I have been playing for many years. Carlos says what been bottled inside ..You made me laugh a few times when you talk about the zone and knowing your there. The freedom and the notes not played all the elements of a player in this class. Playing is not just scales and I can't wait to see you play my hometown Jones beach next month. I so lucky to have found this class. I really loved the rhythm section with all the latin flavor licks. You even say all all comes from one place not taking credit it's all about you. Amazing legend Carlos hope get your autography one day.. I have also been fortunate to see BBking live and you feel the connection with the audience .. thank you for your wisdom..

Mark B.

16 weeks later and I’m sad that this course is at the end .. so grateful that I get to revisit any time I like ! I can’t tell you how much this class has meant to me. In the beginning you talked of building confidence. I wasn’t sure about my own confidence, but you and these lessons have given me life from within. Your words and encouragement carried me through this class! So many great thing in each chapter to take away and apply.. I’m going now to take a walk ! Thank you Master Class and most of all thank you Carlos Santana ! You are heaven sent. The Master of all Masters in MasterClass

Rommel A.

This is a marvelous Masterclass. So insighful and inspiring. I've never had so many musical ideas with my guitar like I did after doing this course. I totally recommend it! Cheers.


Thank you, Mr. Santana. This Masterclass is so much more than a course on learning guitar. I highly suggest this class for anyone aspiring to live a life involving the creation and performance of Music. Enjoy the wisdom.

Frank R.

OMG! The Mother of all Masterclasses. Every person on this planet should watch this to obtain a PhD in the meaning of life and how to live it. It is actually a class on The Art and Soul of Life and what it truly means to be a human being. Thank you, Carlos, this was so uplifting. Life-changing wisdom I will pass down to my children and grandchildren.

Rob L.

Carlos hit a few beautiful nerves along the way. Thank you for the inspiration and the understanding how to look at myself. Respect and awareness to our world and our past. A true artist and inspiration to me. Thank you, God bless.

Matthew T.

Gracias Carlo, Your spirit always comes through no matter what. Hope there is much more light on you path!

jennale A.

This class felt like Carlos was teaching the truth about artistry, musical integrity, understanding of where human connection and spiritual ones with ourselves , and what really lives in the heart of a musician. I took this master class expecting Carlos to do what most masterclass instructors do, but Carlos gave so much more. He showed so much honesty and gave truth about musicianship. This class was more of a spiritual musical guide to help any musician tap into their own truth and integrity. This will forever, be my favorite masterclass!!!

Scott W.

The content was beyond what I expected. Every chapter inspired. So well produced, directed, and performed. Having Mr. Santana for a teacher? Peligroso!!

Neil C.

Excelente! I appreciate how Brother Carlos can articulate the truth behind what so many have shared (Parker, Coltrane, Davis) and even the verbal phrasing of his own leads.