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Arts & 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.


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...

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.


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

I'm not a musician, although Carlos Santana is so fascinating. I felt like I was downloading his passion and fire. Thank you so much Masterclass!

Carlos has rocked through every age of my life, because his music has always touched my soul! It was fascinating to hear about his journey.

I know a lot more about why I have always loved his music!

Entertaining and Fun..learned a lot and very inspiring! Thank you


A fellow student

I really love his childlike playful smile when he said "the holy ghost"hahhah

Richard B.

This was great. After three months of lock down, practice and not playing with other people, this helped my mindset a lot. Thanks Carlos!

Pete R.

I'm not even a guitarist and I love Carlos' Masterclass! It's all about bringing your SOUL to what you do. It happens that he's expressing it thru guitar but that's secondary. PRACTICE - whether it's cooking or writing or gardening or making furniture - to improve your SKILLS - then surrender - breathe into the task at hand - and open your heart up & express your humanity. It feels like that's what he wants us to know, he's just using guitar as a vehicle for that message. Really powerful.

A fellow student

Is it useful to follow Carlos Santana's class if the only instrument I have is an acoustic guitar?


I think the reaon why I am a soloist is because others "think they're one" but they aren't.

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