Music & Entertainment

Practice as Musical Offering

Carlos Santana

Lesson time 12:25 min

Learn Carlos’s strategies for acquainting yourself with your instrument, and growing more proficient and confident as an artist.

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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Sacrifice is like a burden, like like-- [PLAYS DIRGE RIFF] Like it's hard, and it's heavy, and you carry it up the hill. And it doesn't sound like fun. That's why I purposely encourage students to get rid of certain words that have a negative connotation to it. Because we're in the business, if that's what you want to call it, of accentuating positivity. And positivity has to be joy. You know, you have to reward yourself mentally for what you're investing, as what you call practice. That's why I don't call it practice. I dismiss practice and sacrifice out of my vocabulary. Those ones have kind of like a negative weigh-- too much weighed down. And instead of a sacrifice, I call it an offering. You know, this is my offering to today. I'm going to spend two hours, unplug the phone, unplug the TV, and just become acquainted. That's a better word. Become become acquainted with the symmetry of sound. Minor, major. Sad, happy. Soft, loud, you know? All of those things are really, really good to become acquainted. Practice is-- eh, I don't like that word. [GUITAR MUSIC PLAYING] It all starts with the breath. You have to know how to breathe. When you take a deep breath, and you-- you're sitting or you're standing a certain way, you're accessing the invisible. If you know how to breathe correctly, you can do the incredible and the impossible. If you don't know how to breathe correctly, and you're trying to play something that is beyond, you will pass out, because it's too powerful for your brain, you know, and too powerful for your mind. So you take a breath And then you trust. That's really two key ingredients-- take a deep breath and trust that whatever you're going to manifest is going to be true, because by taking the deep breath, you're actually moving yourself out of the way. And then in that breath, you're allowing the Holy Ghost to have his way over you, an- and play the things that you don't know how to express or feel. Because there's something beyond the the knowing of the brain and the mind. That's where spirit, and soul, and Holy Ghost comes in. It's the language that can be very, very accessible by everyone. [GUITAR MUSIC PLAYING] The way to prepare your brain before you practice is to dismiss it. Tell him to go for a walk. You know, right now, disappear. You know, we're just like going to the blackboard, and you erase everything. I learned that from Keith Jarrett, he does that every single time. He dismisses every melody, e-- he goes with a blank sheet of of anything, so that everything that he plays is at that moment being printed-- imprinted from the other side. So yeah, I'd say the best way to prepare your mind is to get rid of it. Right now, it's going to be only spirit, soul, and heart. Those don't need to practice. They know where everything is, and why it is. What we need to practice is the coor-- muscle coordination between the brain, and th...

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.

This is a marvelous Masterclass. So insighful and inspiring. I've never had so many musical ideas with my guitar like I did after doing this course.

The best of the best, Santana is a master not of music but soul! If you don´t has that, can´t realy play a instrument

This is a masterclass, not for someone who wants to learn how to play an A minor 7th or a D 9th. This is for someone who knows the mechanics but wants to understand how come my riff doesn't come across like the same riff when Buddy or BB plays it. This, like the course title promises, is the art and soul of playing the strings. Listen closely.

Some of the tablature in the workbook is not correct. Clearly noticeable in bars 12 and 14 after Santana's hands become visible. Also bars 4 and 6.


Ashley H.

When he says, "If you don't stand like that it ain't gonna sound like that." I laughed so hard. Straight up truth! I appreciate his philosophy of playing. How it's a spiritual journey and experience. That's what's missing in the music industry now. Relying on technology when there are souls on this planet that are vessels to that "out of this world" connection. I'm dedicating myself this year to keep playing and to continue. I've always had a connection with instruments. So glad I have this MasterClass!

Jerry B.

It's aiming to get the player into the right state - away from the "mind" to the "soul" with freedom/confidence of expression. Great advice. NOTE: The Tabs for "Practice Piece 2A" in the pdf file do NOT match the Night Train demo played by Carlos. Was it supposed to ??


Lesson One was explanatory enough to make up your own lessons and actually make money at it. Its amazing what all you don't know to discover what all you do.


Really enjoying the class so far - if anyone can teach aspiring guitarist how to play with soul, heart, and feeling, it's Santana!

Dwayne K.

I love this guy!!! this man is going to get me back to there i was spiritually and FUZE this with my 1st love GUITAR

samuel E.

what in the hell do those beginning symbols and chords mean, it's a vibrato of some sort, but the muddyness of the audio couldn't let me decipher by ear, and the fact they had him play in darkness for some stupid effect just made it impossible to get... Thanks guys, I paid you $240 to get frustrated, I regret buying the course and will not recommend this to anyone.

samuel E.

Anyone else disappointed with the tabs? I've been playing for years and don't know what to make of the squiggly lines in the beginning, and they blacked him out not even letting me f%%#ng see what his fingers were doing? thanks, masterclass you sacrificed lesson quality for some feaux cinematic feeling... way to frustrate a guy.

Binh L.

it's very inspiring but it's absolutely not for beginners :((( anyone has any idea how to learn this class successfully?

A fellow student

So so so so so so so beautiful and exciting and empowering to have this available. THANK YOU Masterclass.

A fellow student

Loved it! I learned I let me ego, lack of self confidence get in the away. Great advice to play one chord with drum track and explore scales without a destination. It’s the journey not the destination. Odysseus was right again!!!