Arts & Entertainment, Music

The Music Beyond the Page

Carlos Santana

Lesson time 22:20 min

Music is everywhere. Carlos teaches you to draw musical inspiration from people, voices, and anything else you experience in the world around you.

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

Topics include: Weave Your Life Into Your Playing • Read More Than Sheet Music • Find Songs in Faces • Study Attitude • Emotional Dynamics • Turn Commands Into Notes • Play a Conversation • Listen Deeply to Life • Find Your Generation's Groove


We were in Fresno in a parking lot, and Gregg Rolie came over and says, hey, I want to do this song by Peter Green. It's called Black Magic Woman. I go, OK. So we started playing it, and I came up with my parts, which is like a combination of Otis Rush and Wes Montgomery and things like that. Like, for example. [PLAYING GUITAR] Wes Montgomery. [PLAYING GUITAR] Then Otis Rush. Otis Rush. [PLAYING GUITAR] And notice that at the very end you kind of curse a little, like, ugh! Like-- [PLAYING GUITAR] You know, it's important at the very end you put a little bit of that, ugh, kind of thing, you know. Because that's what gets people's attention. You know, if you just play it bland like-- [PLAYING GUITAR] Nada. [PLAYING GUITAR] And then the other one. [PLAYING GUITAR] Sing it, you know. So I guess everything that I learned in the streets from my dad and everybody else, I can't help it. I just put it right into whatever is asked for me to do. I got volumes of life that I learned from Tijuana and San Francisco. [MUSIC PLAYING] It's important to read music from the point of where you want to be centered at your profession with. For example, this is a really good story. It's about Miles Davis, of course. And this lady asked him, says, Mr. Miles Davis. He says, yeah, yeah? Says, should I pursue classical music or jazz? Miles Davis says, can you read? Says, yeah, I can read. Says, when you look at the paper, just looking at it, can you hear the music just by looking at the notes? She goes, no. He goes, stick to classical. You know? So it means that it's great to learn music if you want to be in classical music or learn where things are for a music score for movies and TV. Some of the most brilliant musicians, they don't know how to read, you know, Louis Armstrong, Wes Montgomery. So I'm not saying that one is the other. You do what you need to do in order to get to the center of it. If reading helps you to get a better job and that's what you're, you know, focused on, then learn to read. Yet, when I'm hanging around Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, they got everything. And the same thing with Miles. They can read, as they say, fly poo-poo on paper, you know. They can read anything. And they also put the paper aside and they can improvise madly, you know. So that's when you have everything. That's when you are a complete musician. [MUSIC PLAYING] Clive Davis instructed my brother Wyclef to come over from LA to San Francisco in one night and create something with me. And brother Wyclef came over. We introduced each other. He looked at me like I'm looking at you, and you would've thought that my face was written music, a sheet music paper, music sheet. He kept looking at me, and he goes, oh, yeah. [PLAYING GUITAR] Then he goes, yo, yo, get a pen and paper, man. Write this down. [PLAYING GUITAR] He made the song on the spot by looking at my eyes. It was scary and exci...

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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