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Arts & Entertainment

Bonus: Music as Language

Carlos Santana

Lesson time 12:47 min

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

Carlos Santana
Teaches the Art and Soul of Guitar
Carlos Santana teaches you how he creates a distinct, soulful guitar sound that moves the hearts of audiences.


If you take the instrument from the guitar or the piano, what you have is, like, , 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.

Devadip centers the music at the human heart. Thru teaching opens a gate in the universe for your music to flow.

I enjoyed how Carlos tied in life lessons with his guitar instruction.

Music, Life lessons and love. What else can I say other than time to play. Love the Master Classes.

spot-on so far, really enjoy the focus on bringing the whole body/mind/spirit into the music


Stephen C.

Thanks Carlos, for the knowledge love and wisdom, which will help me become a better musician.

Emma T.

I loved him he was amazing, but you know if you're a beginner for some people it actually was a bit confusing. Anyway, I loved a great and talented man!

What a great man! Thank you Carlos for such a great Master class. Greatly appreciate learning from your incredible, amazing and awesome wisdom. H

A fellow student

I'm very disappointed, honestly, the premium access is not cheap, and these are not guitar or music lessons at all, this is more like a Santana's interview about some subjects, but NOTHING specifically about music or guitar technic, exercise, etc. I feel cheated. Truly unbelievable.

Darrin T.

Thank you Carlos for helping me remember who I am, why I am here, and what I am to do. I am very grateful for you and this masterclass. Peace and Love, shine on.

A fellow student

Carlos is a legend. Just wanna say thank you for this. It has brought soo much clarity and new perspective to my life and purpose. You've answered more questions that I've been asking myself for a while now than most people will ever know lol. This was more than just a class for me. Its "Truth". A life changer and that straight arrow that I've been searching so long for. Carlos again thank you too much for sharing this. You've managed to do another beautiful thing in this life. Bless you.

A fellow student

Outstanding. Great life advice applicable to all areas of life. Thank you, Carlos! "Why do you play music"?

Anabel R.

Enhorabuena por esta clase magistral. He disfrutado mucho conla elocuencia y la simpatía de Carlos Santana.

Arthur J.

I liked the lessons and of course Carlos is amazing. I wish you could speak with the teachers on and offline. I know compression is sort of his sound but on a guitar with no other instruments olaying it sort of sounds like someone tapping the top of the mic with every note and chord like "testing 1, 2, 3". I'll be your amp tech for the next one man! I took my dad to see the band about 20 years ago at Great Woods in Mansfield, Ma. So glad we went. I love his philosophies, spiritualism and human approach that he takes throughout the course.

A fellow student

I feel very happy, I could understand and see music different, music is more than play just for play there are more things beyond. thanks Carlos for iluminate my musical path.