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.

Stayed up till 2am to take in all the classes. I was mesmerized not only by the technical approach but rather the way Carlos thinks and feels about music and life. Very inspirational and educational.

Awesome! So much to unpack, I'm going to have to back and review some lessons. And do the work book. But it definitely helped re-discover some things.

I have followed Santana's music for over 35 years now, and I've tried to check out as many interviews with him as possible, usually in written form. So I loved getting a visual with all the informative nuances. I loved this course. One point, can you please provide transcripts of the bonus lessons.

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


Phillip D.

Carlo's, Thank you for your Wisdom, time and energy to share with the world. Really appreciated the class, and Thank You for your masterful presentation. Phil

Burke, Martin N.

This lesson tagging me a lot about myself, one thing being that I’m a song. I’m just a never ending song played by a soloist that has just learned the last part of his song.

A fellow student

An honor and a privilege to attend class with Master Carlos Santana. It gives a path to follow in music where you and your surroundings become the ultimate inspiration to unleash the soul in your experience. My playing will never be the same. It will improve. Life will improve. Thank you Devadip.

Steven A.

It's never bad learning from a legend like Carlos Santana and to delve into his mind. This was another GREAT Masterclass!


What a Wonderful inspiration! I like to watch all as an overview then go back and work through each of the example lessons. So glad I didn't miss this!

Angela K.

Excelente la clase! Muchísimas gracias por todos los consejos tan valiosos. No toco guitarra pero me gusta escribir.

Mark B.

I am so grateful to you Carlos .. thank you for all that I have learned..

Tom B.

I loved this lesson... it's helped me connect to a cerebral part of playing music that I was missing or at least not realizing in my playing. After listening to Carlos in this course, I have an entirely new appreciation for his music and better understand that what drives him is within all of us... we just need to let it out!

Parag P.

Thank you Mr Santana! I was a rapper, poet, songwriter for many years but my love for music has me taking on producing and beat making which ultimately led me to purchase instruments including the acoustic guitar I just bought today! Its funny how we share the same mindset especially on service and helping others! I hope to jam with you someday but meanwhile, I'd like to start by saying Thank you! I don't care where I start from, as long as I'm in it, I'm always at home! -Prognosis Peace

Gregory G.

How did I like this lesson? I loved it. Thank you so much for sharing with us Carlos Santana. I will have to watch this over and over again. There was too much knowledge and wisdom to learn in one viewing.