As one of the most unique and respected guitarists in the world, Allan Holdsworth has influenced countless others, including legendary artists. If you’re a wee bit confused, you’re in luck because Holdsworth explains it all in the video. In the process, he identifies 10 “really usable scales”. Well, Allan Holdsworth not only mastered horn-like phrasing and tone, but he managed to do it whether he used Gibsons, Fenders, Charvels.

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As one YouTube commenter put it, Holdsworth could be considered a test case of “reinventing the wheel. It’s always the same thing.

Allan Holdsworth – Guitar Instructional Video (1992)

That would be a very nice legacy. When a instrucitonal player or a violin player picks up their instrument, they automatically have sustain without having to plug into a fuzz box. That’s basically how I think of scales. So rather than predicting any particular motion with my fingers during warm up exercises, I’ll just wiggle them in hot water until they’re loose.

PREPARED GUITAR: Allan Holdsworth Instructional Video

Holdsworth died Sunday, April 16,at age Have you always approached the instrument like that? We were going to record two nights. Also, I kind of believe that a live show is an event that’s only meant to be experienced by the people who happened to be there at that point in time. But if nobody calls, what do you do?


If you’re a wee bit confused, you’re in luck because Holdsworth explains it all in the video. And even though Holdsworth hates live recordings, there is no better setting to hear a modern master at work. His pick is a 1mm Dunlop. Do you find it easier to get your sound these days? I must have Attention Deficit Disorder or something. I choose a note to start my improvisation, and I go from there—just trying to make some melody or sense out of it.


The moisture gets into my skin, and I can grab the strings better. I wish I aklan hear a solo in my head from the very first note to the very last, but they kind of go their own way. To get anywhere near that ideal with a plank of wood and six strings is a Herculean task, because guitarists don’t have the steady stream of wind that a horn player uses to nimbly deliver lines that dance across measures with an Astaire-like grace.

Newer Post Older Post Home. I used to just sit and play the guitar before I went on, but I’d find myself falling instructiojal all these patterns and things I didn’t want to play.

You turn the amp down, and we turn it up in the control room.

What I took from those guys was how their tunes make me feel in my heart. Now, Carvin and I are in the process of making a headless vidfo of my signature model, because I really like the way the headless guitar hangs on me.

There are two things, but they’re not always easy to do. I hit a dry spell when I was going through some personal stuff over the past four years, but that affected my composing more than my soloing. Whether it’s Charlie Christian drawing inspiration from tenor giant Lester Young, or John McLaughlin channeling the spirit of John Coltrane, guitarists of all stripes have been infatuated by the endlessly inventive improvisations and tonal complexity of modern saxophone masters.

I have difficulty concentrating on anything for a great length of time. And, unlike many other players instruuctional bell-like sounds, Holdsworth didn’t plug an archtop into a Polytone and call it a day. But to compose, I have to sit down with a guitar and focus, and when things aren’t as I want them, it’s very easy to get scatterbrained and drift from one thing to another—which results in a cycle of non-productivity.

Things haven’t changed a whole lot.

I started to get an understanding of how to record a guitar when I was with Tony Williams in the Believe It days. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, but there’s more likelihood now of me being frustrated with my own ability to a point of not wanting to do it anymore, than there is of it pushing me forward.



Most of them are classical composers such as Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, Copland, and Bartok—particularly his string quartets.

Allan Holdsworth Interview with Guitar Player. That sounds like a life-long mission.

Hopefully, I motivated some players enough for them to move the guitar forward and take it to yet another level. I’ve always wanted this sound—and I can hear it in my head, which is a good thing—where I’ve got all the sustain and beef one gets with a dirty sound, but without all the crud you have to deal with.

I get to a certain point, and then I get fed up and go do something else. So I’m constantly trying to find a way to make the sound give me everything I need to get the sustain, but have none of the fur around it. How much time do you spend with the instrument each day?

Distortion gets in the way. And, you know, eight out of ten guitarists who saw me play it would come up and ask if I could make it sound like a Fender Stratocaster. WellAllan Holdsworth not only mastered horn-like phrasing and tone, but he managed to do it whether he used Gibsons, Fenders, Charvels, Steinbergers, tube amps, or solid-state amps. As a result of his studies and other influences, he realized chords are merely parts of scales that are being played simultaneously.

I often get into problems if I try to think ahead. It’s very flattering, obviously.