Carlos Santana Explains Why He Left Gibson for PRS Guitars, Believes He Saved the Company With...

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by ZackyDog, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    My opinion is that the blues comes from the soul and it really don't matter what instrument you are using to express the feeling.
    Scott, Waxhead and calebaaron666 like this.
  2. sgarnett

    sgarnett Gretschie

    Apr 14, 2020
    My 6120, alone, doesn’t sound very bluesy. Through the Fluid Drive, on the other hand, is a different story ....

    Santana sure wrung some great sounds out of those P90s. I’ve never though of his sound on any guitar as fitting into a style, except his own. However, when I read that he started on violin, something clicked into place. The vocal quality of it also reminds me of a comment by BB King: he sings, then Lucille sings. And then there’s Ian Anderson, who sang into the flute. Where am I going with this? No idea ....
  3. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    But his phrasing is often based on blues. I think from where he sat when he was getting started, he was very much heading for the blues but ended up adding blues inspired riffing to latin beats in a lot of cases. Tasty is a specific word in my dictionary and Carlos Santana is the definition.
    Medium John, sgarnett and section2 like this.
  4. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Gretschie

    Sep 11, 2009
    Venice, CA
    I respect and admire Carlos Santana more than I actually like his music. I do like his Woodstock performance. When I was in the studio recording my album I used my Gretsch Corvette with HiLotrons and my Strat with a TV Jones Power'Tron for solos over my Duo Jet with Dynasonics. I could have used the Jet for solos. It sounded great but it didn't match the sound I heard in my head. Because of this experience I understand what Carlos is saying about a Gretsch guitar in his hands. It's just not what he is going for. Still, he has great tone in his hands but he uses the wrong equipment. From my perspective he used the right gear for his playing at Woodstock.
    ZackyDog likes this.
  5. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Guess what @ZackyDog ? I played a number of times "Soul Sacrifice" with my band using my Gretsch Tennessee Rose. And I played loud (RAT 1981 Rev. B, Fender Champion 100). And she feedbacked nicely - to my surprise ! :cool::cool::cool:



  6. afire

    afire Country Gent

    If he had said that, who would disagree? But you can't play blues on a Gretsch doesn't really compute, A) because you can; B) because I don't think most people think of his music as blues (you won't find many classic rock guitarists who's playing isn't rooted in pentatonic blues licks, but that doesn't make their music blues).

    Now, you can't play blues on a Rickenbacker, that makes more sense.

    Or maybe not.
    JC higgy likes this.
  7. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    What would be the right equipment for Santana?
  8. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    That's mighty tasty!
  9. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    By the way, I like Carlos and his music. He's not putting Gretsch down at all. As much as I love his sound on Soul Sacrifice using his Gibson SG Special with P90s and Galien Kruger amp (another great sound), I wouldn't use that setup to get the sound I love: a Gretsch G6122/6119/6120, etc. with a VOX or Fender tube amp.
    BuddyHollywood likes this.
  10. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I know. Just a silly off the cuff statement. I'm participating in picking it apart because, well, I've got nothing better (that I want) to do.
  11. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    In an interview that I read years ago, CS stated that his goal was to recreate the sound of John Lee Hooker. In my onpinion, he failed miserably - his tone in the past two or even three decades is so mid-heavy, slowly blooming and compressed, I personally don't like it. He used to sound so fresh at Woodstock, a dirty and "quick" tone, full of energy. Nowadays it feels like chewing fudge, too sweet and too sticky.
    He sure has created some great music, he had an impact on many players, but he seems so saturated - his sound as well as his playing. And that perfectly fits what I think about PRS: way too perfect, a very nice tone, perfect looks, but I can't seem to find any personality in these guitars. Well, that's just my opinion, and I seem to become a grumpy old man lately.
    sgarnett and BuddyHollywood like this.
  12. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Gretschie

    Sep 11, 2009
    Venice, CA
    For the way Carlos Santana plays he should use a Gibson of some kind whether an ES-335, a Les Paul, a Les Paul Jr, an SG or an SG Jr straight into a tube amp of his choice whether it be a Marshall, a Fender or a Mesa Boogie. His tone is too processed for how I like to hear a guitar. Paul Reed Smith guitars are only now starting to have any kind of sound that I like coming out of them and I think that is mostly because of John Mayer.
    Medium John and Floo like this.
  13. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Which is to say, the only good PRS is a Fender Stratocaster. ;) I can't disagree. :D
    BuddyHollywood and new6659 like this.
  14. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Check out this post. By decree, the Gretsch is an acceptable plural of Gretsch.
  15. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    He should? Isn't a PRS just a better Les Paul?
    Medium John likes this.
  16. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
  17. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
  18. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    I can't see Carlos getting his sound from a Gretsch, any more than Leslie West getting his Mountain sound from one.

    Just ain't going to happen.
    Scott likes this.
  19. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    I saw this interview, at least I think it was this one, a few weeks ago. I’ve always been a fan but I liked him more before watching the interview than I did after. Some of his personal opinions left me a little cold.
  20. Tadhg

    Tadhg Gretschie

    Aug 8, 2019
    Qld - Australia
    As Robbie's pointed out, Santana 'met' Captain Anderton over Zoom the other day. This is a transcription of that. It's a bit disingenuous of Ultimate Guitar to transcribe it without giving any credit to the original source.

    Unlike Robbie, I wasn't thrown by Carlos' personal opinions, because I already knew he was a bit of an odd cat. I don't have to agree with them to find the interview entertaining, and some of his music incredible. I got the impression that the Captain didn't necessarily agree with everything he said, too!

    When he 'met' the Captain, he said almost exactly that. He's looking to produce a vocal thing, to sing through his guitar. He also very much prefers listening to female vocalists.

    I found his mention of finding Albert King playing with the Doors, then calling 'his friend Eric (Clapton)' so they could go fanboi over the performance together refreshing. So many years in the industry, making music many find life changing, yet he can still feel like a giddy teenager discovering something new from one of his idols.

    Fascinatingly, Carlos played a little bit during the interview. For those who say you can't see him as a blues player, I couldn't either. Before that video. Because when he decided to do a little impromptu demo of the PRS SE Santana he had through his Dumble, he played some pretty straight, traditional blues solos. It wasn't remotely close to what I expected.

    Here's the full interview:
    sgarnett likes this.
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