Chapter 2 of 16 from Carlos Santana

Practice as Musical Offering


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

Topics include: Harness Your Breath • Dismiss Your Brain • Explore One Key With a Rhythm Machine • Explore a Single Note • Learn Every Part of a Song • Practice Gives You Freedom • Stay True to Your Sound

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

Topics include: Harness Your Breath • Dismiss Your Brain • Explore One Key With a Rhythm Machine • Explore a Single Note • Learn Every Part of a Song • Practice Gives You Freedom • Stay True to Your Sound

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.

I have been a musician for 30 years. Carlos' Master Class reminded me to always thrive to explore deeper, be a better listener, and be a better communicator in the language of music. Confidence and appreciation to move my listener and myself in my playing and the way I live. Always be genuine!

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.

I don't come from the spiritual point of view like Carlos does, but I'm totally with him on playing with passion. Does the motivation behind it matter? I don't think so. It's about feeling it deeply and making sure it goes back out to the listeners. His joy is infectious, and it has infected me.

This class was everything I was hoping it would be, knowing that Carlos Santana plays from his spirit, heart and soul. He shared openly with us about where the music comes from, so that we can take it wherever we like. His emphasis on African music as the wellspring has me studying up on what I might have overlooked before. Thank you, Masterclass, and thank you, Sr. Santana.


Tom B.

The main thing I like about Carlos is he takes the music, breaks it down and then makes it sound like it's his! Thank God he did not play BMW or Oye Como Va like the record, he made them his own! And we can do that too!!!

A fellow student

I was showed how to breathe in a dream once and hearing one of my favorite musicians talk about it and it's importance is so humbling. It's so simple, but so important.

Daniel H.

An ultimate legend of music speaking on a new level of consciousness. I’m humbled. What an amazing musical talent.

A fellow student

I'm hoping as a beginning player to see more up close lessons on actually mastering the fingerboard, but it is interesting.


I felt more than I heard and I heard everything. I listened with my heart instead of my ears. I saw with my brain because I knew.

Richard L.

<3 it! sound and video timing slightly off, I could help fix that if you like.

A fellow student

My day job isn't playing a musical instrument, but I can apply much of this lesson to it. There's some dexterity involved, there's a goal to be completed, and creativity... and the need to put soul in it. I love Carlos. :') And he's right. Not everything has to be a chore... enjoy life! My father said when I was a kid that jobs are awful but you have to suck it up. I don't think that's true. You can love what you do and improve yourself and the world.


I have strived to find something as helpful as this lesson. Carlos has such a beautiful soul! Just from 2 lessons I have been taught to not worry about all the mechanics and just feel the music. Allow your spirit to guide you from note to note. Don't think about it and don't try to copy someone else's playing. Look deep inside of you and channel your own creativity. Thank you so much Carlos! Thank you so much MasterClass!

Allie G.

Positivity ! This next generation needs this message big time. Thank you for admitting there is something bigger and beyond our brain and mind . Credit for effort. Discipline and practice. Tools theory.

Tamasine H.

What I love is that you can apply this to every creative expression we can think of. An inspiring guy


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. [INHALES] 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 [INHALES] 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. [INHALES] 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...