Watching Allan Holdsworth perform may leave you with the impression wide- interval licks and ideas that you’ve never had access to before. Welcome to my second column/lesson! This month I’d like to talk about one of my favorite players of all time – Allan Holdsworth. He’s been a big influence in the.

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I remember listening to Holdsworth play when I was a kid—with complete disbelief at what I was hearing. On the high E string, we are fretting four consecutive notes moving up the scale of the pentatonic, then we move back down the scale using the same notes.

Once again, take care to play these lines in time and with precision. I’m not saying that this the secret to his playing—not by any stretch of the imagination. Please feel free to join me on YouTube here. He ends the phrase on the b13 of the E vamp. There are lots of exercises that help to holdsqorth this, and I think one of the best ones is the common chromatic exercise across all strings.

The third phrase mm. Being a rock guy, I tend to apply all of my techniques to the pentatonic scale first then slowly branch out into other scales. This is repeated on the G string, but this time its only a three-note run holdswoeth the third note being the start of the arpeggio.

Part 2 Hey guys!

An Allan Holdsworth-Inspired Pentatonic Run | Guitarworld

It starts on a C natural b7 and the phrase then descends in quarter note triplets across the next two bars ending on an Eb b9. The purpose of this column is to show how to incorporate all the different techniques into musical phrases, and not just seeing them as physical workouts rhythm, melody, and harmony are always the primary concern. Thanks and I hope you enjoy! The goal of this holldsworth will be to break down some of those lines, and talk about how a,lan relate to the holdswodth Allan is approaching.


Allan stops on the same note allowing it to sing a bit, showing the clear change in harmony by sitting on the root for a few moments.

This time I am going to dive a little deeper into the Octatonic scale. This is one of the hardest phrases to play in the solo, but at the same time one of the most rewarding ones. Holdsworth represents everything that is good in the realm of guitar: Download the latest version here. His column at Guitar Messenger is called Technical Difficulties, and it will be focused mainly on developing different techniques such as vibrato, bending, picking, legato playing, tapping, sweeping, and every other mechanical challenges related to the guitar.

It can seem simple, but playing all the different permutations […] Diminished Possibilities: This will clearly demonstrate how much Allan can bring to a rather simple progression with his masterly rhythmic and harmonic vocabulary. As with any technique I create, my main focus is that they enable me to play lines or runs that would otherwise not be possible at speed.

Another string skipping idea is used throughout measures where the scales used are: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip. The problem with this is that these techniques are not really suited to the pentatonic.


Francesco is currently part of a Metal band called Hiss of Atrocities, and has also recorded three instrumental solo projects. He […] Diminished Possibilities: I want to show you some of the […]. Traditionally, we are taught to play scales and runs using a combination of two allna three alan per string. Launched on Monday, October 15th, Random Holdswogth Polyphonic Writing for Keyboard: I think you should have mentioned what chord each section was played over and maybe why those scales work over them.

I believe it’s important to listen to as many guitar players as possible and do your best to learn something from them all. The second line mm. This solo is a great example for all players focusing on Rock playing in general, because it shows how much one can really do over a simple vamp. The technique was what really grabbed me, rather than the theoretical side of his playing, as I was simply to young to grasp the complexities of his musical knowledge.


The last fast run mm. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. From here it leads into a six-string arpeggio starting on the high E and ending on the low E.

Once again you can see Allan refusing to highlight only one harmonic possibility for the vamp he is playing over, choosing instead to color the simple vamp with phrases that imply more harmonic motion than is really there.

Allan seems to have been adding more and more tension to each phrase as the solo progresses — joldsworth last line seems to be the tensest line of the solo, capitalizing on the ambiguity of the implied dominant chord.

Allan ends this phrase in the first beat of measure 16 with a lick from hell! Rather, this was what I took out picks his style and approach. Further, notice how Allan ends the phrase in bar 11 with a chromatic line that when compared to the vamp gives us both the b6, the natural 6, the b7, and the natural 7.

It requires immense concentration and control likcs your fingerings. From here it gets tricky!

The vamp changes back to a D chord in measure 29, which is followed by another huge string skipping line which utilizes the Whole Tone scale 1 2 3 4 5 6 for the first 8 notes, and changes to a D Lydian Dominant scale 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 for the remainder of the phrase, ending on a tritone against the D 4.

Allan is outlining an 8 note synthetic scale, which includes both b9 and 9 holddsworth 1 b2 9 3 4 5 b6 b7.