How to Play Oye Como Va by Santana (Guitar Lesson)

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DJ Phillips

Oye Como Va

Originally written in 1963 by Latin Jazz musician Tito Puente, "Oye Como Va" was made famous by Santana's 1970 cover. In this lesson, DJ breaks down the rhythm and lead sections to this influential song.

Taught by DJ Phillips in Songs with DJ Phillips seriesLength: 55:14Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
DJ Phillips teaches the rhythm and solo sections to Santana's cover of Oye Como Va. Originally written in 1963 by Latin Jazz musician Tito Puente.

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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

Pete62Pete62 replied

Awesome! More Santana please DJ

bluedog12bluedog12 replied

Maaaan I loved the performance! Awesome!

jddavisjddavis replied

Great lesson DJ.... I'm just starting to learn this song, great take on it.

woodchuckjamminwoodchuckjammin replied

this dude rocks

BetThisNameAintTakenBetThisNameAintTaken replied

Check out his lesson on how to do The Alley Cat Strut. He really gets into the spirit of that one.

oscarnumero3oscarnumero3 replied

Great stuff, I would love to learn No One to Depend On You.

fredrokfredrok replied

I have enjoyed your tutelage, how about a couple more Santana songs, Please. And your not bad on the bean shaker, lol.

numbinumbi replied

Love the dance moves mate

jerseyfrankjerseyfrank replied

Hi DJ. Really enjoying the Oye Como Va lesson. I have been working on it for a while and your lesson explanation is really helping. Just one problem. On measures 97 and 98 you kinda go over it quickly and I just can't seem to get those measures down. Can you help me?

sam54sam54 replied

Never have seen a Les Paul with single volume/tone and double buckers. Epiphone yes, gibson no. Where did you get it?

gibstratgibstrat replied

a friend of mine who speaks spanish said that it loosely translates to listen to what i say

redskinalumredskinalum replied

Sweet lesson - my favorite!

leibnizleibniz replied

Great job DJ. You made it fun and easy to learn. Keep up the good work!

aquiguillermoaquiguillermo replied

Still on that. Almost get it...

aquiguillermoaquiguillermo replied

¿ Oye como te va ? Great lesson in my opinion. Thanks. Having a great time...

cnlai75cnlai75 replied

I love this guitar song.I have been trying to learn it.I am almost there!

GondekGondek replied my favorite guitar songs!

erikschaeperserikschaepers replied

cardinal is right , it means "look how it goes, my rhythm .." the second line translates as " just right to make you come, mulata" - a mulata being a girl of mixed race and color. there you have it ...

sfletchersfletcher replied

Dude I need to come back and remind myself a bite at a time. Getting there though very good lesson. Nice piece to learn not overly hard but impressive for others to hear this coming from the guitar of an intermediate type.

chunkschunks replied

u did a great job and your integration of humor at the start gave the lesson the umph factor; looking forward to your next one; also, selecting a Santana song was refreshing- don't see many song lessons of his music on internet (at least i haven't); if u get a chance for another sometime it would be great- there are many, but one of my favorites is "Bella"---- anyway, want to thank you for a very lucid presentation so even guys like me can get it--

SodaPopSodaPop replied

can you play the rake in measure 34 in the open string D7 position?

cardinal45cardinal45 replied

that song has so much down-time for the guitarist, u can bake a pizza and finish it before the next verse xD haha

adamblaneyadamblaney replied

brilliant so funny pure cool comedy, dj every time i lose intrest in guitar u drag me back. keep it up man introduction was amazing

adamblaneyadamblaney replied

dj thank you so much that was the greatest introduction ever, so funny and cool comedy well performed. keep it up dj every time i lose intrest you bring me back. keep it up !!!!!!!!!

pattybpattyb replied

this is a great lesson. been trying to learn this song for years and, with this lesson, I think I'm going to!! great job. Jamplay keeps getting better and better. wish I would have had something like this when I first started. kudos d.j.

marcyf64marcyf64 replied

Wow - what a cool lesson d.j. - thanks man!

esaizesaiz replied

Outstanding work, production and explanations!

jazzmanjohnjazzmanjohn replied

Im desperately trying to put all my time into learning jazz.but I'll definitely try to build this into my reportoire. Great Lesson DJ.

T Russ BluesT Russ Blues replied

Santana doesnt just play guitar, he makes love to it!! Great job DJ!!

SylviaSylvia replied

LOL Deej.... I luv ya man.... just luv ya. You always make me smile.

SodaPopSodaPop replied

I tried a shaker song once but it sounded more like Simple Gifts....

gaud2029gaud2029 replied

where is the shaker solo.. ?

roy944roy944 replied


maxjubermaxjuber replied

It seems the supplemental content is missing rhythm notes on the shaker moves, please post as soon as possible, I have been practicing but can't get it right, the sooner the better as I plan to be up much of the night working on it. :)

digitaloxdigitalox replied

great performance

GondekGondek replied

Thanks...great intro...I enjoy listening to Santana..

stratmusicstratmusic replied

It is impossible not to love this guy!! DJ, thanks for being such an awesome instructor and always including your humor as well. I always come away from your lessons and Q&As having learned something and with a smile because it was so much fun!!

strange_dejavustrange_dejavu replied

very good spanish pronunciation, dude!

dj.phillipsdj.phillips replied

Haha, thanks I did the best I could! (I took French in high school and even that was suspect.)

YucatanEdYucatanEd replied

Pure awesomeness! I'm going to do this one.

dj.phillipsdj.phillips replied

Thanks, Ed!

jboothjbooth replied

I've never seen a man ravage a shaker like that before [email protected]

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied

If we ever open up we already have an instructor!

dj.phillipsdj.phillips replied

Aww shucks.

cardinal45cardinal45 replied

still trying to figure this out but getin there! thanks man!

dj.phillipsdj.phillips replied

Supplemental content is up now. Hope that helps!

krazyfngazkrazyfngaz replied

Can you do a lesson on how to move your guitar around like a lady dance partner?

dj.phillipsdj.phillips replied

I'm sorry, but that is the FORBIDDEN DANCE. We'd have to pay extra licensing fees to teach it.

dj.phillipsdj.phillips replied

Supplemental content will be posted later today!

dj.phillipsdj.phillips replied

The supp is up!

cardinal45cardinal45 replied

Ill be the first one to correct u on this one dj!...anyway oye como va means "hear how this goes", so basically all together its saying hear how this goes, my rhythm (oye como va, mi rhythmo). So he's saying hear how my rhythm goes, basically simplified...anyway just felt the urge to say that! thanks man! haha :)

dj.phillipsdj.phillips replied

What'd I say? I got the translation from a Tito Puente site, Wikipedia and a person who spoke Spanish. That's about the extent of research I was willing to put in. So, thanks for the clarification!

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DJ Phillips

About DJ Phillips View Full Biography Like many guitar players who began playing around the same time, DJ began plunking out Nirvana and Soundgarden tunes when he first picked up the guitar in the mid-nineties. While these grunge-y roots certainly have their merit, it wasn't until DJ's eldest sister took him to a Led Zeppelin laser light show that the full potential of the guitar began to come into focus.

With Jimmy Page's Les Paul pyrotechnics as his inspiration, DJ began fervently practicing for hours on end in the suburban jungle of Southwestern Ohio. This newfound passion (combined with his complete lack of athletic prowess and physical coordination thus completely ruling out all sports) led him to form rock bands in junior high and high school. He grew to love the performance aspect of music and soon decided on it as a career path.

College led him to Nashville, Tennessee where he began to pursue a degree in Commercial Music at Belmont University. He also started another band and got his first professional theater gig the following summer. Since that summer, DJ has spent nearly every waking hour finding ways to play music and avoiding a real contribution to society in any other way.

He moved to Minneapolis after college, rocking out between theater gigs with his current rock band Brother Big Bad. He has now convinced the band to move to Nashville where music flows like water.

DJ is elated to be a part of JamPlay and is thankful for everyone's warm welcome and says "Now, let's ROCK, people."

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Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!

Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.

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