This time, we are going to learn how to play “Evil Ways” as performed by Santana on their self-titled debut album in 1969. The song was written by Clarence Henry, and was originally recorded by Willy Bobo in 1967. It has been said that Carlos Santana detuned his guitar one whole step to play the chords in an open position for the recording.
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Now we are going to take a look at, and try to learn how to play, a song called “Black Magic Woman,” as performed by Carlos Santana in 1970 for the record Abraxas. The song was originally written by Peter Green in 1968 for his band at the time, Fleetwood Mac. The Santana version also blends in a song from 1966 called “Gypsy Queen,” by Gabor Szabo which adds much of the polyphony rhythm to the song. Black Magic Woman is one of Santana’s most popular songs.
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This is the start of a new series of articles in which we choose a song and then break it down harmonically to look at the theory behind it. Though we will show you how to play the song, and there will be tabs and music notation, these are not meant to be note-for-note tabs of the songs. These articles are meant to show you how to play the song, introduce you to music theory, and show you how you might apply it to your own music. This series might also be good for guitarists who are in a cover band and need to play these songs, but want to do it while retaining their own identity and originality.
This time we are going to look at the song “Soul Sacrifice” by Santana. Written in 1969, Soul Sacrifice was one of the band’s first songs. They performed it the same year at the Woodstock festival in Bethel NY and it was considered by many to be one of the highlights of the entire three day festival. The live performance of this song turned Santana into an instant success. This is an instrumental song loaded with powerful drums and guitars. We are going to look at the studio version of Soul Sacrifice from their debut album “Santana.”
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