Arts & Entertainment, Music

Learning From the Blues

Carlos Santana

Lesson time 13:00 min

If you can play the blues, you can play anything. Carlos shares his perspective on the blues masters, and provides you with techniques to infuse passion into your playing.

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

Topics include: Carlos's Blues Influences • Learning From B.B. King and Peter Green • Get Your Hands Dirty • Explore Beyond the Blues


There's a reason why youngsters love that kind of music. It's like youngsters like to take no shit from nobody. That's why people gravitate to Metallica, you know, because you don't want to take shit from nobody, nobody. And there's a reason why this music-- Elmore James, Chuck Berry-- was accepted so much by the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, you know, from across the ocean, because they represented, along with The Who, the youth. But they were playing our music. [MUSIC PLAYING] John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, Lightnin' Hopkins-- that was a trio that I first got into in Tijuana. Later on, of course, was BB King and Muddy Waters and T-Bone Walker. But the first trio, it's so basic blues, uncomplicated, that it just hits you hard, you know, especially when you're a teenager. If you can play some blues, you can play anything. If you can't play the blues, you should do another thing as a profession, because the blues is passion, emotion, and feelings. And with that, you can create eternity, wonderment. Those are the elements for "State of Grace." - If you ever have the blues, remember what I tell you. You'll always hear this in your heart. [PLAYING GUITAR] That's the blues. Now I want to tell you what you done. - Lightnin' Hopkins, I didn't know was Elvin Jones' favorite guitar player. He goes-- [PLAYING GUITAR] But he starts with-- [PLAYING GUITAR] And what's really beautiful is that you learn that they making love to the guitar. And once in a while, they slap it because-- [PLAYING GUITAR] Be like oh, oh they're slapping it. Hey. Jimmy Reed probably sold more records than anybody out of all the blues players, because every university, they had toga parties. And toga parties was like-- (SINGING) Got me running. [PLAYING GUITAR] Got me running. They'll drink beer. (SINGING) Got me running away. You want a man to go. Everybody, the whole place-- (SINGING) Go. Drinking beer. - (SINGING) Yeah, it goes down, baby. Oh yeah, it goes down. - Anything by John Lee Hooker is going to have this. [PLAYING GUITAR] The Doors, Canned Heat, ZZ Top-- everybody plays the blues. I mean, everybody that plays the boogie one way or the other-- Miles, you know, everybody. I have music by all of them. And sooner or later they visit that-- [SINGS BLUES NOTES] - (SINGING) I don't want nobody, you, you. Nobody to love. - John Lee Hooker, he told me, "You know, Carlos?" I says, "Yeah, John?" He says, "I loves God and loves peoples." He loves God and he loves people. That's what he plays. Well, no wonder his music is so immediate, you know, because God's in it, and he wants to serve people. He wants to make people happy. Just him saying that-- although he didn't have to say it, but the way he said it to me, he gave me the key. This is the key to who I am in my music. I love God, and I love peoples. [MUSIC PLAYING] It should be a required listening in schools, the first f...

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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