Music & Entertainment

Bonus: Music as Language

Carlos Santana

Lesson time 12:36 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.
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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.

I dont really have a story but I have learnt a lot of good things, new things from Carlos.

The Maestro took us on a journey! So much fun!

Loved this one, I do wish he covered more basic stuff but it seems that these are meant to be quick and informative but the more detail would be amazing.

Carlos’ masterclass was not about how to technically play the guitar, but how you should approach playing guitar. I found it very enjoyable but mostl


Rupert D.

I loved it. Carlos is such a beautiful person. He has so much insight and feeling for music and people and life: Many things I never thought of! I feel I know him a lot more than I did before and so many things about him I hadn't expected. Much of what he said and offered in his class could apply to any musician, not just guitarists. I am really happy I did this class.

Rex H.

Loved Carlos. He takes you on a journey with the guitar and your soul like Paolo Coelho takes you down the path in the Pilgrimage. Doesn't just improve your playing; he transforms your being.

Robert O.

I really appreciate what Carlos Santana has shared in this course. This is way more insightful and intimate than I expected it to be. Many of the things he brought up hit me on a very personal level—it raised some major awareness in my spirit. Made me tear up in some parts (not over-dramatizing either). I play guitar often—almost everyday. I can feel something different in my playing when I try getting "myself" out of the way and tapping into something larger than me. It's liberating. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and encouragement!!!!

Cesar M.

I wanna thank Carlos for his generosity...since Evil Ways I've been inspired by his music, passion, energy, compassion, intellect, insightfulness and generosity...always giving credit to those who inspired and added ingredients to the mix. This master class proved that he continues to give generously and pushes us to reach far beyond complacency and add our own spice to the world. Mil Gracias Carlos! Fuerte Abrazo!! César

Robert W.

I really liked the way Carlos uses poems, stories and word phrases to create melodies and lead riffs over rhythmic structures. Clever and inspiring. I've been playing for many years and have never thought of that. I picked up other gems along the way as well. Carlos, you have such passion and love for music and people. Thanks for all your deep and inspirational insights. God bless!

A fellow student

I loved everything about it. Everything! Pages and pages of notes and inspirations. So many things to consider. So deep. He was such a pleasure to spend time with. And that is what it was like. Just me and him in the same room have a chat about music. I have much fun to do as a result of this, and this gift from my son seems to have come along at a very good time. I have been playing for 55 years. Played Pro in clubs and other venues when I was young (20's), written and recorded since I was 15. Santana has always been an inspiration to me, along with many others. I bought my PRS in about '87 and had Scott Splawn build my main amp for me about 5 years ago now. Whereas I have never stopped playing, Carlos have me sooo many things to think about, dial in and commit even further to, it may just keep me busy, and happy forever. I am a Masterpiece! Thank you Carlos.

Andy J.

What song is that in the intro to this lesson; its a fast moving rhythm part. I want to figure it out but I'm having some problems it is too I'm looking for the name of the song to see if there are tabs or a tutorial video out there...thanks in advance - long live Carlos ! we love you man - long time fan from Detroit, MI. now live in Southern CA.

A fellow student

One of the best musician who touches the beyond dimensions, the oneness, It is blessed to listen to his music and story, he conveys the life changing messages....


Carlos is very personal and personable. He has a peaceful quality about him that is infectious. I loved the way he talked to me as though I was sitting right in front of him with a guitar in my hand. I loved learning and watching Carlos- it helped me understand what makes a great guitar player connect with their audience. Thank you VERY MUCH!

Roger L.

I really enjoyed this monologue on music from Mr. Carlos Santana, an amazing player and teacher at that. Loved the expression of styles, flavors, moods and emotions he expresses. Very insight and motivating for me as a player and person. My commitment level, integrity and confidence has greatly increased (Thank You). I've watched this session over and over and will continue to do so as the message sinks in deeper and deeper. Thank you Mr. Santana Rockin Roger Richmond, Texas