Smooth Guitar Solo Lesson – Santana

In this installment of the "famous solos" series, we will take a look at the main solo for "Smooth" by Santana.

Guitarist Carlos Santana has been a highly successful and influential guitarist since the sixties, but with the release of Santana's "Supernatural" in 1999 and it's chart topping single "Smooth", he achieved his greatest commercial success by far.

"Smooth" is pretty much a guitar solo from beginning to end but for this Smooth guitar solo lesson I have decided to concentrate on what I feel is the main guitar solo of the song.

We have melodies brought out with half step bends and hammer-ons, followed by the second half of the solo that incorporates large bends and a lot of fast picking to really bring the entire solo to a climax.

All in all I think this solo is a great study on how to construct a solo. There is a definitive beginning, middle and ending to the whole thing. That is something that is desperately missing from many player's solos. You need to be able to tell a story within the solo, not simply play licks that you know and Carlos Santana does a great job of that here.

There are some challenging sections of the solo, especially towards the end, but if you break it down into small sections I think this solo would be a great study for any intermediate to advanced player.

Try to memorize the sound of the solo before attempting to play it. That will help you immensely with the first half of the solo that basically plays the same notes over and over but phrases them completely differently each time through.

Simply following along with your ear is a much easier way to play something like that. Remember, half of what it takes to become a great guitar player or all around musician is completely reliant on how well you can listen to music and absorb it.

Obviously we are just scratching the surface of all the great guitar parts we could learn by playing "Smooth". If you guys want to learn the entire song remember all it takes is this video lesson getting 600 YouTube "likes" and then I will teach the entire song note-for-note.

Just click the link below to open up this lesson's YouTube page and then click the "like" button under the video. After it reaches 600 YouTube likes I will be right back here teaching the entire song. 🙂

Smooth Guitar Solo Lesson's YouTube Page <-- Click here then click the "like" button under the video!

OK good luck with this one. I will see you guys back here soon with the full song I hope...


If these free lessons help you, please donate to keep new ones coming daily. Thanks!! 🙂

Donate to GuitarLessons365
Other Amount:

Smooth Guitar Solo Lesson - Santana


  1. Craig Taylor on February 18, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Carl,
    Stumbled across one of your u tube videos and loved your teaching method.I am an intermediate player and are really wanted to improve my soloing techniques and to learn to create solos over chord changes (not just licks which alot of utube videos are all about)rather than just jamming around and playing the same pentatonic licks which I have been playing for years.
    Can you recomend a good starting point on your website and offer some guidance here
    Love your website..and of course your guitar playing
    cheers Craig,Down Under Australia

    • Carl Brown on February 19, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Hey Craig, can you let me know a little more info about what kind of areas you feel you need to study up on? I can help you formulate a better plan then. 🙂

  2. Craig Taylor on February 18, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Carl,
    Sorry but forgot to ask….do you have any tab available for your song lessons??
    Regards Craig

    • Carl Brown on February 19, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Unfortunately, I can’t include TABS to most songs on the site do to international copyright laws. Sorry.. 🙁

  3. bryne h on November 7, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Hi Carl
    Great lesson i was wondering if you could do a lesson for santanas europa such a melodic song i would realy like to learn it

  4. Jerry Jinks on February 15, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    This has a distinctive minor sound to it. Could you elaborate on the chords related to the sound of the lead. Thanks

    • Carl Brown on February 17, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Not sure what you mean by “chords related to sound of the lead”. Can you elaborate a little? 🙂

  5. Leeroy Zamudio on December 29, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Hey Carl, any chance of doing a black magic woman lesson?

  6. Christopher Gonzalez on February 25, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Hey Carl, love the lessons! Whenever you have time can you add some more Santana? Would love to learn more of his songs


  7. Rob Allare on June 29, 2023 at 8:55 am

    More Santana please!

    Great lesson!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.