#1
Hi, i´m playing for three years now and i am supposed to play Smooth by Carlos Santana. A week passed and still i can´t play that. Is it really that hard or am i really that lame? Any ideas on how to learn it? Thank you
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#2
santana has been playing for at least 40 years. dont get let down if you cant play something he wrote after a week of trying.
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#3
Quote by Cahir
Hi, i´m playing for three years now and i am supposed to play Smooth by Carlos Santana. A week passed and still i can´t play that. Is it really that hard or am i really that lame? Any ideas on how to learn it? Thank you

ya read the tabs and watch him in the videos. i'm sure there is a youtube of "how to play smooth" but i never had to search it.

the quick little riffs are pretty easy except the solo which took me some time to piece together.

i don't play it exactly note for note, i never do that, just close enough to fool the average non-guitar player provided it sounds good to me.

you can spend years trying to get his technique down, he's a great player.

but the best i can say is learn the riffs and play it about 2000 times along with the song and you should be close.

it's carlos, so a prs and a mesa wouldn't hurt either.
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#4
I never learnt the solo, I just improv over it using the basics of Santana's solo, I recommend giving this a go by finding the key/scales he uses. Plus if you improv using them you can say "yeah I wrote this solo" etc. you know.

The licks he plays between the vocals etc. shouldn't be too hard, are you finding these hard or is it just the main solo?

After listening to the real solo, Santana's phrasing is pretty interesting so you just have to stick at it, you will get it, like the guy above mentioned it's just a case of practicing it over and over. A guy who has been playing for so long is going to have a lot of distinctive technique that you can't learn without playing for a long time, it's just a case of sticking at it. Good luck with learning it!
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#5
The reason guitarists like Santana are so amazing is because they make complex songs sound easy. Stevie Ray Vaughan is another good example. I still don't know how his fingers did what they did, on 12+ gauge strings no less...

Don't get discouraged and keep plugging through it. The biggest thing that helps me is to break up the song into a bunch of little pieces. I learn each piece at a time and I don't move on to the next one until I learn the one before it. It's easier to tackle a hard song that way than trying to plow through it all at once (for me anyway).
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#6
Plus Carlos plays with a lot of Emotion. I've seen him 3 or 4 times over the years and he always sounds Great because he plays from his Heart.
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#7
Quote by dngrsdave
Plus Carlos plays with a lot of Emotion. I've seen him 3 or 4 times over the years and he always sounds Great because he plays from his Heart.


Get out and never use that word in this forum again. Emotion being a deciding factor in a guitarist sounding good is a fallacy.
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#8
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Get out and never use that word in this forum again. Emotion being a deciding factor in a guitarist sounding good is a fallacy.

The hell it is... What about all the blues greats? The guys who couldn't even read music? They played from the heart and people loved it because they could feel the raw emotion in their songs.

Speed and technique are nothing more than facilitators - they allow you to bring a song to life. But if you don't have your heart in it then it shows, no matter how fast or technically accurate you can play.

I knew a guy in college who was one of the most technically accomplished players I've ever met. But he always played from the brain, not the heart. Every single thing he played sounded lifeless.
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#9
Quote by 57Goldtop
The hell it is... What about all the blues greats? The guys who couldn't even read music? They played from the heart and people loved it because they could feel the raw emotion in their songs.

Speed and technique are nothing more than facilitators - they allow you to bring a song to life. But if you don't have your heart in it then it shows, no matter how fast or technically accurate you can play.

I knew a guy in college who was one of the most technically accomplished players I've ever met. But he always played from the brain, not the heart. Every single thing he played sounded lifeless.


No, you didn't feel any connection with what he played, that doesn't mean his playing was actually lifeless at all.

I've said this more times than I care to count: emotion is not in music and it isn't in playing, it's in the ear of the listener.

Take note: I'm not arguing for or against speed and technique and I'm saying nothing about the idea of learning theory. What I am saying, and have done many times, is that emotion, or lack of it, is justification or criticism for something that has no base in logic. Whether you enjoy someone's playing is down to you, it has nothing to do with technique, theory or any of that other stuff.

I'm sick of people using "emotion" as a justification for something that is inherently without logical basis.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Apr 5, 2011,
#10
I'm serious, this guy played all the right notes but it was like listening to a computer play it, not a person. There was no feeling in what he played. It was lifeless. That's the only way I can describe it.

You're seriously saying that you can't tell the difference between someone who truly puts their heart into what they play, and someone who's just hitting a series of notes in a row?
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#11
I am just sick of people who are sick of people. Seriously, you either like a song or you dont, its opinion and really music can convey emotions quite well, though you can be happy and play a sad song.

Anyway, TS just work at it, there will always be songs that take a lot of work to learn but you can learn a lot from it. Think it was at least a year before I actually started playing any songs all the way through, and theres plenty ive yet to round off solos for.
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#12
Quote by 57Goldtop
I'm serious, this guy played all the right notes but it was like listening to a computer play it, not a person. There was no feeling in what he played. It was lifeless. That's the only way I can describe it.

You're seriously saying that you can't tell the difference between someone who truly puts their heart into what they play, and someone who's just hitting a series of notes in a row?


I can tell the difference between what I think is someone who's putting their heart into what they're playing but hell if I actually know.

There's inherent quality to the music that tells me if it's one way or the other and really there isn't to you; there's just what connects with you, speaks to your musical tastes and your psychology and so on but it's not in the music.

If it was an inherent quality to the music everyone would react to the same pieces of music the same way but we don't. You obviously appreciate old blues guys, I for the most part do not. I love modern shred and death metal, I'm guessing you probably don't. I love gypsy jazz, most of my friends can't stand it. I'm sure you can figure out from these things that it cannot possibly be something in the music that gets a reaction out of people.


In other news... this is my 13,000th post on here.
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#13
I think we're talking about different things.

I'm not saying that emotion is a physical aspect of a song. If that was the case then you're right, every listener would have the same reaction to a song, which isn't true.

What I'm saying is that when a guitarist plays "with heart" then they are "feeling" the music more than just "thinking" the music.

For example, on a theoretical level you can understand how to bend a string. But it's how you feel the music that tells you how far to bend it, how fast or slow to bend it, how long to hold it, when to introduce vibrato, etc. That's the "emotion" I'm talking about.

I think that's what he meant when he said that Santana plays with a lot of heart. He doesn't think the music, he feels it.
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#14
lol at the flame war.


if emotion helped all those emo bands could potentially sound good.


/discussionaboutewwmotions...

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#15
^^ Haha... true. Maybe I am wrong...
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#16
Thanks for the comments you made. But let´s cut the discussion about feeling, shall we?
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#17
Quote by 57Goldtop
^^ Haha... true. Maybe I am wrong...

i'm just here for the lulz.
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#18
Quote by Cahir
Thanks for the comments you made. But let´s cut the discussion about feeling, shall we?

You bet Sorry for hijacking your thread. Good luck learning the song!
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#19
Thank you, Hopefully it will just take some time
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#20
Seriously, try breaking it up into chunks. And like gregs1020 said, check out youtube for some tutorial videos. I'm sure there's something out there...
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#21
Santana made an awesome song, and Rob Thomas's voice pulls it all together. Awesome stuff.

Seriously, I'd be shocked if I could play a guitar legend's song in a week. I think you're askin for a lot.