This week’s featured artist is Carlos Santana! Born July 20th 1947, he is a Mexican and American guitarist who rose to fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band Santana, which pioneered a fusion of rock and roll and Latin American jazz. Its sound featured his melodic, blues-based lines set against Latin and African rhythms played on percussion instruments not generally heard in rock, such as timbales and congas. He experienced a resurgence of popularity and critical acclaim in the late 1990s. 

From the late 60s to mid 70s Santana played Gibson SG Specials and Gibson Les Pauls, and a black Gibson SG Special. From 1976 until 1982 his main guitar was a Yamaha SG 175B, and sometimes a white Gibson SG Custom with three open coil pick-ups. In 1982 he started to use a custom made PRS Custom 24 guitar. In 1988 PRS Guitars began making Santana signature model guitars, which Santana has played through its various iterations ever since.

Santana does not use many effects pedals, but a few of his pedals throughout the years include a Dunlop 535Q wah, a T-Rex Replica delay pedal, an Ibanez Tube Screamer, and an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff distortion for his famous sustain.

In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine listed him at No. 20 on their list of the 100 greatest guitarists. He has received 10 Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards, and was inducted along with his namesake band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Check below for a live video of his mega hit Smooth along with Rob Thomas, and a tab of how to play the main riff!

Do you enjoy Santana’s sound? What are your favourite tracks by him? We are returning to in-home lessons as well as offering Video Conference Lessons if you want to learn about the ongoing history of music with a professional!

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