Chapter 6 of 16 from Carlos Santana

Learning From the Blues


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.

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

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.

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

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.

Learn More


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.

It is interesting to see his perspective on music, and he gives good wisdom, However, I do wish that it had more theory and tricks on how to actually play guitar and some tips on how to improve playing to get to that level of shredding.


Inspirational and motivating, I am currently a dishwasher doing it also to help my mom who has chronic arthritis and cannot use her hands so much so that part hit me pretty hard however as carlos said he knew his destiny changed the moment he made the decision to be a full time musician and so will I.

Wow, that was the fastest class ever! I felt he taught about life, not just about music and playing guitar. A beautiful experience and a beautiful person! Thank you to Carlos and thank you to Masterclass for making it happen!


Mark B.

As the weeks continue I too have my eyes wide open. I really love listening to you the Master Carlos as talk about the influence on you. Digging deeper and loving every moment especially the history lessons .. John Lee Hooker and Peter Green . Just amazing. I am so grateful for this class.


My dad played drums Carlos. He was 3 guys.Elvin Jones for his depth Buddy Rich for his skill and himself for his own soul. He also knew Buddy Rich and Elvin Jones My baby sister was name after his wife Keiko. Thanks for your insight in directing my guitar playing Primarily The Blues Its all about feel. And it's fun too. Kamp

Antoinette C.

Besos para ti mi amore! I knew you were classical the moment I first heard you.

Allie G.

What a walking dictionary of musicians ! I agree Required Listening in schools......all styles of music. We did JUST that !

A fellow student

This is a very interesting experience. I am learning about the heart and soul of the guitar without having the ability to do the lessons. I do enjoy the revelation by master Carlos Santana. It makes me feel my guitar in three frets can sound beautiful too. thanks.

Robert Lame Bull M.

Thank you so much Carlos this is awesome to be honored to have the ability to get guitar lessons from you my brother rock ‘n’ roll thank you. You rock the world. Thank you so much for all your great music! God bless. Robert Lame Bull McDonald, former Redbone guitarist.

Brett B.

I have been playing blues music since the 1980's when I first picked up the electric guitar, and I still feel like I haveonly scratched the surface. From lesson 1, I have been picking up on the blues influence in Santana's playing, and I am finding his words and playing examples to be useful and inspirational. Most profound to me here is John Lee Hooker's statement, "I love God, and I love peoples." Santana says that's the key to his playing, and I am going to agree for myself and consciously integrate that into my musical offerings. I really, really appreciate the shout out to Peter Green and his importance. A big takeaway from this lesson is that blues music (and all music) is open to all people, no matter what their identities. What we need is an openness to learn and a reference to learn from. Here is my take on Santana's Peter Green style playing.

Jon P.

"If you're a guitar player and you can't play the blues, you should take up another profession." I laughed so hard I cried on that one. I just joined here and this series is the first I'm exploring and is exactly what I've needed after 40 years of "playing with" guitars.

Ernesto M.

OK, Peter Green. Went to Spotify, typed in Peter Green. The first song that came up was Slabo Day. Then A Fool No More. Eyes open, Carlos!

Jonathan S.

Again, watch his right hand and notice how he plays with the pick, then drops it into his hand and plays with his fingers, then back to the pick—all smooth like it's nothing.


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...