Arts & Entertainment, Music

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.

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

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

Preview

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, ...

About the Instructor

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.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Carlos Santana

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

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