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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Launched on Monday, October 15th, Hldsworth string skipping idea is used throughout measures where the scales used are: Once again, take care to play these lines in time and with precision. It can seem simple, but playing all the different permutations […] Diminished Possibilities: The second line mm.

This particular line is what I would focus on the most.

From here it gets tricky! Obviously, it was a combination of his incredible knowledge and technique. I want lickss show you some of the […].

An Allan Holdsworth-Inspired Pentatonic Run | Guitarworld

Holdsworth represents everything that is good in the realm of guitar: The speed and the wide intervalic playing was simply amazing. I believe it’s important to listen to as many guitar players as possible and do your best to learn something from them all.

Please feel free to join me on YouTube here. 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. Notice again how he avoids the downbeat when starting a phrase. Francesco is currently part of a Metal band called Hiss of Atrocities, and has also recorded three instrumental solo projects.

To play these string skipping lines, be sure to practice at a slow tempo where you avoid hitting the string you are not playing. There are lots of exercises that help to achieve this, and I think one of the best ones is the common chromatic exercise across all strings. He ends the phrase on the b13 of the E vamp. 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.


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.

Random Lessons Polyphonic Writing for Keyboard: Allan seems to have been adding more and more tension to each phrase as the solo progresses — this last line seems to be the tensest line of the solo, capitalizing on the ambiguity of the implied dominant chord. The first line we are lickz to break down mm. I think you should have mentioned what chord each section was played over and maybe why those scales work over them. Rather, this was what I took out of his style and approach.

You will notice I incorporate my thumb in this lick also; I do this to enable myself to play longer one-string runs. This will holdsworthh demonstrate how much Allan can bring to a rather simple progression with his masterly rhythmic and harmonic vocabulary. For this lick Allan is using very wide intervallic lines via string skips — something very common to his playing.

Allan ends this phrase in the first beat of measure 16 with a lick from hell! They are better suited to modal playing, but I always love a challenge, and as you can hear from this lick, it really creates an amazing sound! Holxsworth is one of the hardest phrases to play in the solo, but at the same time one of the most rewarding ones.

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. Traditionally, we are taught to play scales and runs using a combination of two and three notes per string. 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 is repeated on the G string, but this time its only a three-note run with the third note being the start of the arpeggio.


This time I am going to dive a little deeper into the Octatonic scale. This time I would like to talk about a component of guitar playing that has always fascinated me: It requires immense concentration and control of your fingerings.

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. Part 2 Minor Artist Riff: When you start applying this approach, you tend to cover the neck very quickly. Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip. This line ends in measure 25, where the vamp changes to G. This is played with all up-strokes. While it can be heard as a simple chromatic line, the harmonic ambiguity it sets up seems to have been very much intentional.

From here it leads into a six-string arpeggio starting on the high E and ending on the low E. 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. I’m not saying that this the secret to his playing—not by any stretch of the imagination.

Notice the almost Rubato feel the phrases have, always with such a smooth and efficient execution. I use the same approach to ascend back up the scale. The third phrase mm. I start this lick with a four-note run on the A string with the fourth note being the start of the three-string arpeggio.

In bar 12 Holdsworth concludes the phrase in the D natural minor mode 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 aloananother color to highlight the harmonic ambiguity of the line that preceded it — typical Holdsworth!

The phrase ends with a chromatic descending line that resolves on G natural root. He […] Diminished Possibilities: