Carlos Santana picks his favorite guitarists of all time

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Carlos Santana is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and an incredibly gifted guitarist. Since the 1960s, he has been honing his own sound, which combines bluesy rock with jazz with Hispanic influences.

Together with his explosive live performances, he is well renowned for working with a variety of other outstanding musicians over the years.

When it comes to the top guitarist of all time, there are a few names that top the list, like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, and some more.

However, they also had their own influences. Many of them also had a ‘guitar hero’ they looked up to.

While there may be a very less great guitarist like Carlos Santana, there were some guitarists he is fond of.

Countless other artists and inspired generations of guitarists have covered his music. Santana has remained a hugely influential guitarist and continues to be revered by guitarists and fans alike.

Santana is well known for his performance at Woodstock in 1969 and his various collaborations with other musicians, including rock icons such as John McLaughlin and Herbie Hancock.

He has talked about B.B. King, Mike Bloomfield, Ritchie Valens, and Jimi Hendrix in his wide career. Talking about his favorite guitarist, one of them he talked about was Jerry Garcia.

He wrote, “Most people who play the blues are very conservative. They stay a certain way. Jerry Garcia was painting outside the frame. He played blues but mixed it with bluegrass and Ravi Shankar. He had country and Spanish in there. There was a lot of Chet Atkins in him – going up and down the frets. But you could always hear a theme in his playing. It’s like putting beads on a string, instead of throwing them around a room. Jerry had a tremendous sense of purpose. When you take a solo, decide what to say, get there and give it to the next guy. That’s how Jerry worked in the Dead.”

He continued, “Jerry was the Sun of the Grateful Dead – the music they played was like planets orbiting around him, He wasn’t a superficial guy at all. It was a lot of fun to play with him because he was very accommodating. He’d go up and down; I’d go left and right. And I could tell he enjoyed it because the Dead always invited me back.”

Carlos has also talked about de Plata. He said, “For flamenco, most people go with their favorite musician as Paco de Lucía or whoever; my favorite is Manitas de Plata.” Before him, he had talked about B.B. King. This was during an interview with Steve Newton.

He had asked Carlos, “If you had to pick just one [guitarist] that blew you away the most, as both a player and a person, who would it be? My guess would, if I might be so bold, would be B.B. King, but you might have another?”

He replied, “B.B. King, the chairman of the board, is definitely one of them. I would say it’s a circle of seven: Wes Montgomery, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Manitas de Plata.”

He also talked about Otis Rush, and revealed, “I love Otis Rush.”

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