Carlos Santana won't record anything until he's set the "tempo, feel and groove".
The legendary guitar player says he's lived by the same rules when it comes to laying down tracks since 1967, and he believes he has to set a smooth "bed" for his vocalists to sing over.
He explained to website masslive.com: "I set the tone with tempo, feel and groove. Whether it's the soundcheck or in the studio, those three things are imperative to me.
"They are the things that I've concentrated most on, from '67 till the day I die. I set the bed, so the feel, the groove and the tempo are at a certain place where you can put whatever song you want on top.
"And If the bed has lumps, the lovers are not going to have fun."
Carlos - who has had huge worldwide hits with tracks including 'Oye Como Va' and 'Black Magic Woman' - has just compiled a new album, 'Guitar Heaven', on which he covers a number of rock classics, and he said one of the highlights of playing live is when he gets to pretend to be a "shaman" on Doors track 'Riders on the Storm'.
He added: "There's a mystery to 'Riders on the Storm' - there is a guitar on the original but it's not a guitar oriented track I had a chance to put in a guitar solo into this and pretend in a good way that you're a shaman, that you get a chance to play John Lee Hooker and Miles a little bit here and there. That track is wide open."
'Guitar Heaven' is out now.