Samba Pa Ti, from Santana’s Abraxas album, is a seriously fine specimen of instrumental composing. It’s always been one of my favorites and is an obvious song to cover on low-G uke.
I tabbed all of the main melody parts but decided to skip the solo at the end.
Why isn’t the solo included?
If you browse around here enough to get a feel for my ethos you’ll notice I’m kind of a hard-ass about certain things. This is one of those cases where I have to ask the question:
If you need a tab, should you be playing the solo at all?
In my opinion – no. Tabs are a great tool for getting beginning and intermediate students a foothold on some easy-to-play pieces (such as the A and B parts of Samba Pa Ti). But they shouldn’t be a shortcut for developing musical skills.
A truly advanced player would gladly rise to the challenge of transcribing the solo by ear. It will teach you WAY more than a tab ever could. It’s worth your time.
The hardest part of Samba Pa Ti are the unison bends. These take some practice. The trick is keeping one finger steady while moving the other. If you run out of fretboard real estate, start your bend one fret higher so you only need to bend a half step. You’ll get a similar sound.
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If the bends give you trouble, just play the note that doesn’t bend.
Brittni Paiva recorded this on her album, Brittni, and had the chance to perform the song with Carlos when he came to Honolulu years ago.