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Biography, Guitars and Album by Carlos Santana

Santana is a legendary Mexican guitarist, who has shared nationality with the United States since he was 18 years old. Known for fusing Rock music with Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms, without disdaining blues, jazz, or funk.

Carlos Humberto Santana was born in 1947 in Autlán de Navarro (Jalisco). His father played the violin in a mariachi band. For this reason, Carlos began to play the violin. But at only 8 years old, he switched to guitar.

Around that time his family would move to Tijuana, Baja California. In Tijuana, Carlos began to study guitar, influenced by African American stars such as B. B. King, T-Bone Walker, and John Lee Hooker, and tutored by Tijuana guitarist Javier Bátiz, a precursor of rock in Mexico.

Arriving Carlos, to be part of Bátiz's band «Los T.J.'s«. But it would not be as a guitarist, but as a bassist, playing Rock and Roll songs from the late 50s.

In 1960 his family moved to San Francisco (California). Carlos would stay in Tijuana to improve his musical techniques in the local clubs, but a year later, when Carlos was 14 years old, he would go to San Francisco, and he enrolled in school to learn English.

This change was very fruitful musically speaking, adding to his knowledge of Latin music, the various musical styles flourishing in the San Francisco Bay metropolitan area, such as Hippie trends.

After finishing high school in October 1966, he founded the Santana Blues Band, which would later be called simply Santana.

Getting to play in 1968 at Bill Grahams' historic Fillmore West. Although his main appearance would happen in 1969 at the Woodstock Festival, rubbing shoulders with great music stars such as Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, Neil Young, and even Jimi Hendrix himself, among other artists.

That same year, Santana would release his first album, simply titled Santana.

And in 1970 they released the album "Abraxas", with the hit "Oye Como Va". A theme by Tito Puente. An example of Caribbean music with the rock touch of Santana's guitar. And with the successful version of a Fleetwood Mac song written by guitarist Peter Green, "Blanck Magic Woman".

From then on they would be releasing records at a more or less constant rate of one per year.

And in 1976 they would publish the album «Amigos«, with one of Santana's greatest hits, «Europa«. An instrumental piece that was originally called: «Here comes the lady with the mushroom face who comes to town». A very successful rectification at the very least.

Santana would continue to release records during the 80s and 90s although he would never match the hits of the 70s again.

Until at the end of the 90s, Carlos Santana decided to leave his previous record label, to start a new stage with the production company Arista Records.

Publishing in 1999 his eighteenth studio album, «Supernatural«. On this album, Santana would have various collaborations such as the group Maná, Rob Thomas, and Eric Clapton, among others. Resurfacing with force, and with whom he would reap the greatest success of his career. With hits like "Corazón Espinado" in collaboration with Maná. "Smooth" in collaboration with Rob Thomas, or "Maria Maria" in collaboration with The Product G&B.

In 2002 he would publish "Shaman", following the style of collaborations from the previous album. Santana would continue to produce new recordings to this day, publishing at the beginning of 2019 what is his latest album so far: «In Search of Mona Lisa«.

Carlos Santana: Guitars, Amps, and Pedals

Santana had several models of guitars such as the Gibson SG, which he used at the legendary Woodstock Festival. The Yamaha SG 2000, or the Gibson Les Paul.

But his most charismatic guitar is the Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Custom model. This guitar follows the typical build patterns of the Gibson Les Paul, but with a 25-inch scale in between (between the Gibson-style short scale, and the Fender-style long scale). Preferring Carlos, the wide profile masts.

When it comes to classical guitar, he uses the Alvarez CY127CE.

The strings he uses are the D´Addario 9-42, and the Signature GHS Strings Carlos Santana of 9.5-43.

The picks he uses are large in size and 355 triangular in shape, as Santana tends to pick up the pick with three fingers, rather than with two fingers or the standard way.

Among the amps, Carlos has used are the Marshall, Fender, and Mesa-Boogie heads.

Among the effects pedals that I used this:

 - Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer

 - ProCo Rat

 - Mu-Tron Wah

 - Ibanez Modulation Delay

 - And in rack format, it has used the reverbAlesis Quadraverb.


Carlos Santana is a living legend of the electric guitar and connoisseur of very diverse musical genres. Mixing them like a true alchemist, merging them masterfully.

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