Chapter 9 of 16 from Carlos Santana

The Music Beyond the Page


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

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

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

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

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.

Lot's to learn and love here , so I don't feel I'm finished. Will be returning often of insites!

Thank you for the inspiration, confidence and techniques. It was like having Carlos in my living room. Great job film crew!

I just love the class! In my opinion, what Carlos showed in these lessons is far beyond than just guitar techniques, it is the way that I can truly become, who I am.

Best music workshop ever!! Carlos has freed me from years of fretting over technicalities. "If I just learn this, then..." Play from the heart. Peace


Roberta H.

Love this lesson. Love Carlos's spirit so much. Learning so much. Also receiving confirmation for the things I intuitively do like play music in response to nature. I hope to keep improving. My hope would be to play as free and confidently as Carlos and have my own style. These lessons are beautiful.

Brett B.

Santana's favorite story about his father and how he spoke to birds with his violin is now one of my favorite stories too! I can't help but be a little envious of the 6 year old child who received such a profound gift at such a young age =) So much fun to play along with Santana doing Black Magic Woman, which is the first of his recordings I remember hearing way back in 1970-something when I got a cassette of Abraxas in my stocking for Xmas. He became my first guitar hero before I knew what the guitar was! At the end of the lesson Santana states "You don't have to stay in a bad situation and use it as a code of honor to be miserable. ", which I believe is quite relevant for today's cultural and political climate. Yay! For the Exercise, I followed Santana's example of Samba Pa Ti by writing a short poem and then composing a set of riffs and melodies to go along with the words. Here it is if you are interested in listening...

Allie G.

I love it ! If you can talk to birds, you can talk to people. How true. Thank you Mr. Santana

Beez M.

I studied piano for 7 years with two different teachers. I was very well versed in the theory of music as it lay in the page but neither of these teachers, nor my choir teachers, really encouraged me to find the soul within the notes. I found some of that instinctively but it would have been nice to have had someone, in my youth, lead me so directly to that water. I'm coo coo for Carlos. This is a lovely lesson about both music and life. <3

Sergio C.

I really appreciate Carlos Santana class for something that most guitar instructors usually never talk about – everyday life, and the relation between you and you your environment. Just like Ortega y Gasset, a Spanish philosopher, once said: I'm myself and my circumstance.

Dan A.

the tastiest fruit i've eaten was actually when I was living in Melbourne, Australia. I was at a friend's place and there was an apple tree in his garden. the apple was green and half of it had gone bad. but i wanted to eat it cause i've never really plucked an apple from a tree before, so i cut off the bad side and ate the other. the apple was twice the size of a normal apple. it was so tasty i think i may have heard some music in that bite! <3 Great Lesson Sir!

A fellow student

Is it just me or is he magically playing between finger plucking and picking? like does he just like a magician roll it into his other fingers like a card and back? Is he doing something else I'm not noticing? He also seems to hold his pick in an unusual way. Am I the only one noticing this?


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...