Chapter 16 of 16 from Carlos Santana

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

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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Find the heart of your sound

With 10 Grammys and almost 50 years on stage, Carlos teaches you his spiritual take on playing guitar. Learn how he weaves emotion, artistic expression, and musical styles from across the world to create a sound that transcends genre 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.

Genre-defying legend Carlos Santana teaches his unique approach to playing, with bonus lessons on techniques, and words of inspiration for artists.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with exclusive tablature for Carlos’s improvised music and essential listening lists.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Carlos will also critique select student work.


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

His approach of teaching music is unique ! I've learned a new way of playing, playing with my heart & my passion. The goal is to give happiness to the audience, it's not so much about the technique, it's finding out my personality and share it with passion to the fans. Congratulations Mister Carlos, you're a real mentor for many musicians.

Great, good energy, gives a very good insight how he thinks/feels about music and life!

How Carlos sees the world around him as a seasoned successful musician. How to deal with building yourself from the inside out to become a musician who is connected to life. Music and life speak the same language as you build a channel from your soul to the life surrounding you...

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


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.

Joe C.

Busted a string - out with a bang! Thank you for these lessons. Re: African music - some of the music today I don't get - I grew up listening to Motown and Italian music - but I can sense the appeal it is very primal - goes back to the basic simple African beat. Rap?

Philipp K.

Really amazing class. Made me aware to treat every piece I play and compose as an offering to heal.

A fellow student

This will be watched again and again....each word is important....not to learn by rote , but to make your heart feel.....Carlos puts into words what I have felt, but never been able to explain fully....... The Best!

Antoinette C.

I know why I limit myself... it's necessary to contain... but I am so grateful that you were born and I was able to be liberated by your music.

A fellow student

so much great information. probably have to watch 2 or 3 more times at least. such great insight on putting heart, mind, body and soul into playing. thank you Mr. Carlos Santana

Verzaubert Z.

the breath and gratitude great things for anyone to embrace. his constant references to Eastern philosophy is nice, would be great if he gave recognition to it so others can discover the sources he was also introduced to.


I bought an all-access pass for my friend Carolyn and I watched this. I'm so glad I did. What an inspiration of the spirit. Carlos is so genuine, sincere, sweet, and full of musical and life wisdom. I will think of these offerings every time I pick up my instrument. It has changed my life. Love and respect. -- Dan

Teresa M.

I don't play guitar either I'm justa huge fan of carlos, and my god i think he expanded my dancing. And his transformation video is convincing me to be a full-time 1000% a time an artist

A fellow student

Good lessons that went beyond technique and tried to get into the heart and soul of playing...I really enjoyed the time spent with Carlos. KG


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, ...