demo | how to play “Samba Pa Ti” on guitar by Carlos Santana | electric guitar lesson tutorial

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Part 1:

Part 2:

An electric guitar lesson on how to play “Samba Pa Ti” by Santana, from the “Abraxas” album released in 1970.
This is such a beautiful and classic guitar instrumental. It paved the way for many instrumental rock guitar players like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.
I remember when it first came out, I was blown away by Carlos Santana’s melodic playing. He was the only guy that I can think of that was playing like that at the time. He played with such excellent dynamics and feel, something that a lot of “rock” guitar players just weren’t doing, yet he would throw in those blistering pentatonic rock licks as well.
The piece starts out not too hard, but by the time you get into the end section, it starts to get a lot tougher. The hardest part for a lot of guys will be getting the bends right. The beginning sounds easy, but if your bends are off it will kill it pretty quickly! Also, attempting to play stuff like this with a lot of gain will make it impossible to play with any dynamics. It’s a pretty clean sound that he’s getting so there’s nowhere to hide on this one!
Anyways, I hope you enjoy the lessons. I had a great time putting these videos together, it was a lot of fun as I’ve always really loved this tune.

I get a lot of questions about my sound so here’s what I’m using:
My guitar is a 1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe. I have Suhr Aldrich pickups on it. I have them coil split, but for this video they were in full humbucker mode. For this tune I had my guitar on the neck pickup, and I had the wah pedal on the full treble position. I also used a detune setting of +8 -8. Other than some reverb, it was straight into the amp with a very low gain setting.

My amp is an Egnater Renegade head. I am using a Two Notes Torpedo Live. It’s a load box and a speaker emulator so I’m not running the Marshall 1960b speaker cabinet anymore. It enables you to crank up your tube amp but use headphones, or just listen at low volume through your monitors, so I can be rocking out and getting a great sound without bothering people around me. So far I like it!
I use a TC Electronics Nova System through the loop for effects. I also have a BB preamp which I essentially never use anymore, and sometimes (rarely) a Boss CS-3 compressor. The reverb is from the amp. My wah is a Dunlop MC404 CAE Dual Inductor, REALLY great pedal! I also use a Polytune tuner which is fantastic.

Folks may be surprised at how much time and effort goes into creating these videos. If you’re getting something out of the lessons and can afford to contribute, I’ve setup a Paypal link. If you can’t afford it no worries, but if you can, any amount is appreciated and will help me to continue to make the videos.


Thanks for all the comments, and questions and of course for subscribing. A special thanks to all of you that have contributed financially by making a donation! I really appreciate the support. Good luck to everyone with their guitar playing.
Video Rating: / 5


  1. Superb demo….Thank you so much.

  2. Just marvellous – I am in awe, jaw dropping, many thanks.

  3. aw man, got melted face all over my favourite Santana shirt!

  4. Please please please do andy timmons cry for you
    i will donate everything I have and name my first born after you

  5. Could you do the solo to planet caravan by black sabbath?

  6. Great stuff as always – I guess the "thumbs down" folks are people who don't know how to play a radio.

  7. Poor Jonny by Robert Cray?

  8. Great Lesson Barry thanks for taking the time to post.

  9. I would love to hear all I've ever wanted by santana. Also teaser by Tommy Bolin. the riffs are really close to being the same.

  10. You should do a Q&A to celebrate hitting 100,000 subscribers

  11. Love it

  12. or something relatively jazzy

  13. black water by doobie brothers please

  14. What type of strings do you normally use for your LP? Slinkys or something else?

  15. Outstanding!!! You do Carlos proud; impeccable timing and cadence.

  16. To the thumbs down, please explain!

  17. It's just incredible how close to the actual thing you can get… You never ceases to amaze me.

  18. Good job man, i love your videos.

  19. excellent. did your lesson on the guitar solos for Mr. Crowley get removed?

  20. i was having trouble learning this song, perfect timing. thanks !

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