Carlos Santana is a Mexican and American guitarist known for his guitar melodic playing approach influenced by B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Mike Bloomfield, Hank Marvin, and Peter Green.
Carlos Santana has won 10 Grammy Awards and 3 Latin Grammy Awards and has been ranked #20 on the list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists by Rolling Stone in 2015.
Here are 20 quotes by the maestro on composing music, playing guitar, and leading a good life.
On Playing Guitar
“The guitar is your first wings. It’s assigned and designed to unfold your vision and imagination.”
You can take things that Jimi Hendrix took, from Curtis Mayfield or from Buddy Guy for example, because we are all children of everything, even Picasso. But if you want to stand out, you have to learn to crystallize your existence and create your own fingerprints.
“Ever since I was a child I’ve always been very attracted to melodies. Whether I hear Jeff Beck, a choir, an ocean or the wind, there’s always a melody in there.”
On Creating Music
“I think of music as a menu. I can’t eat the same thing every day.”"My job in this life is to give people spiritual ecstasy through music. In my concerts, people cry, laugh, dance. If they climaxed spiritually, I did my job. I did it decently and honestly." Click To Tweet
“I have been accused of being a very simplistic, very lyrical player, and that’s okay. That just comes from the blues, which is my background. But every day you wake up and transcend. You can’t ever rest on your laurels.”
People are flowers. Music is water. Musicians are the hose.
“There’s a melody in everything. And once you find the melody, then you connect immediately with the heart. Because sometimes English or Spanish, Swahili or any language gets in the way. But nothing penetrates the heart faster than the melody.”
On Music That Moves
“Some songs are just like tattoos for your brain… you hear them and they’re affixed to you.”"The music of Hendrix wakes people up to their possibilities. It's more than just dreaming about being a guitar hero." Click To Tweet
“The best part of touring, still, is touching people’s hearts and igniting my band and igniting the people into what you call a spiritual revelation is sound and emotion.”
On Leading a Good Life
“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.”
“Happiness is not a destination or an experience. It’s a decision.”
Everything is a battlefield. If you fight with anger, you are part of the problem. If you fight with joy, you’re part of the solution.
“Most people are prisoners, thinking only about the future or living in the past. They are not in the present, and the present is where everything begins.”
“There is no greater reward than working from your heart and making a difference in the world.”
“Live up to your convictions. You walk in grace or you walk in fear. You can’t have it both ways.”
“Most people don’t have that willingness to break bad habits. They have a lot of excuses and they talk like victims.”
“The worst thing you can become in life is cynical. Cynical is like concrete. and nothing grows in concrete.”
Which of the above quotes resonated with you the most? Let us know in the comments below.