As one of the most unique and respected guitarists in the world, Allan Holdsworth has influenced countless others, including legendary artists. Based on the Allan Holdsworth REH video. Allan discusses his unique approach to scales, chords and improvising. Beginning with a complete discussion of Allan Holdsworth (6 August – 15 April ) was a British guitarist and composer. .. Videos[edit]. REH Video: Allan Holdsworth (VHS, reissued on DVD in ); Live at the Galaxy Theatre (DVD); Live at Yoshi’s ( DVD).

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Allan Holdsworth 6 August — 15 April [1] was a British guitarist and composer. He released twelve studio albums as a solo artist and played a variety of musical styles in a career spanning more than four decades, but is best known for his work in jazz fusion.

Holdsworth was known for his advanced knowledge of music, through which he incorporated a vast array of complex chord progressions and intricate solos ; the latter comprising myriad scale forms often derived from those such as the diminishedaugmentedwhole tonechromatic and altered scales, among others, resulting in an unpredictable and ” outside ” sound.

His unique legato soloing technique stemmed from his original desire to play the saxophone. Having been unable to afford one, he strove to use the guitar to create similarly smooth lines of notes.

He also became associated with playing an early form of guitar synthesizer called the SynthAxea company he endorsed in the s. I don’t think anyone can do as much with the guitar as Allan Holdsworth can. Holdsworth was born in Bradfordwhere he was raised by his maternal grandparents, Sam and Elsie Holdsworth. His professional career began when he joined the Glen South Band, which performed on the Mecca club circuit across Northern England.

They played live but would never release any recorded material.

The Anthologya Tempest compilation album. There has been an urban myth, propagated in part by the singer Donovanthat Holdsworth played the fuzztone solo on Donovan’s hit ” Hurdy Gurdy Man “; however it has since been established that Alan Parker was the session guitarist responsible. During the middle part of the decade, Holdsworth went on to work with various well-known progressive rock and rej fusion artists. He subsequently often expressed his enjoyment of the experience gained with all of these groups, in particular his time spent with drummer Tony Williams.

This angered Holdsworth, who said decades later that he still loathed the album intensely and wished it were never made public.

Ohldsworth the s wore on, Holdsworth was recruited by drummer and Yes founder Bill Bruford to play on his debut album, Feels Good to Me. Shortly afterwards, Bruford formed the progressive rock supergroup U.

Allan Holdsworth

Despite getting along well with them personally and enjoying the recording of their self-titled albumHoldsworth claims that he “detested” his time spent with the group, [23] and that it was “miserable” due to numerous musical differences whilst on tour, namely Jobson and Wetton’s desire for Holdsworth to play his solos to an organised structure for each show, something to which he vehemently objected.

Their second album, One of a Kindwas released in and featured extensive contributions by Holdsworth, but by this point he wished to pursue his own musical aspirations and soon left the group, albeit with some reluctance. Holdsworth’s first significant collaboration was with jazz pianist Gordon Beck on the latter’s Sunbird album in Their first collaborative release The Things You See followed inand was a largely similar effort but without percussion or bass.

Soon afterwards, Holdsworth joined up with drummer Gary Husband and bassist Paul Carmichael in a trio that became known as False Alarm. This was Holdsworth’s first outing as a bandleader and, after the acquisition of former Tempest singer Paul Williams, the band was renamed I.

Their self-titled debut album was released independently infollowed by a mainstream reissue through Enigma Records in Records executive Mo Ostin. Van Halen had previously enthused about Holdsworth in a issue of Guitar Player magazine, saying “That guy is bad!


He’s fantastic; I love him”, and that Holdsworth was “the best, in my book”. This resulted in the Warner Bros. Holdsworth, however, disliked Road Games because of creative issues with Templeman.

Having relocated permanently to Southern California and acrimoniously parted ways with Warner Bros. Making his last appearance on vocals was Paul Williams, with whom Holdsworth claim to have fallen out due to the selling of live bootlegs by the former.

The Atavachron album in was a landmark release in that it was the first to feature Holdsworth’s work with a brand new instrument named the SynthAxe. This unusually designed MIDI controller [28] different from a guitar synthesizer would become a staple of Holdsworth’s playing for the rest of his recording career, during which he would effectively become the public face of the instrument. The next year saw the release of a fourth album, Sandwhich featured no vocals and showcased further SynthAxe experimentation.

In the late s, Holdsworth set up his own recording studio named The Brewery in North County, San Diegowhich would become one of the main recording locations for all of his studio albums beginning with Secrets inand throughout the s.

In a interview, he stated that he no longer owned the studio following his divorce in A collaboration in with fusion guitarist Frank Gambale came about in the form of Truth in Shreddingan ambitious collaborative project put together by Mark Varney brother of Shrapnel Records founder Mike Varney through his Legato Records label.

Holdsworth’s first solo album of the decade was ‘s Wardenclyffe Towerwhich holxsworth to feature the SynthAxe but also displayed his newfound interest in self-designed baritone guitars built by luthier Bill DeLap. A collaboration in with brothers Anders and Jens Johansson resulted in Heavy Machineryan album with more hard-edged playing from Holdsworth than was usual. In the same year, he was once again joined by Gordon Beck on None Too Soonwhich comprised interpretations of some of Holdsworth’s favourite jazz standards.

The decade began positively with the release of The Sixteen Men of Tain inbut it turned out to be Holdsworth’s last album recorded at The Brewery. Lalan afterwards, he abruptly slowed his solo output due to events in his personal life. Against the Clockin His eleventh album, Flat Tire: Music for a Non-Existent Moviewas released in In a interview Holdsworth mentioned that a new studio album entitled Snakes and Ladders was slated for release in the same year through guitarist Steve Vai ‘s Favored Nations label, but this did not happen.

Allan Holdsworth – REH Instructional

Further new material with Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Johnson was also said to be in the works. Throughout the latter half of the s he extensively toured both North America and Europe, and played as a guest on albums by numerous artists. Notably, he was featured on keyboardist Derek Sherinian ‘s album Mythology[36] as well as with the latter’s progressive metal supergroup Planet Xon their album Quantum.

In he performed with keyboardist Alan PasquaWackerman and bassist Jimmy Haslip as part of a live tribute act in honour of the late Tony Williams, with whom Holdsworth and Pasqua had played in the mids; a DVD Live at Yoshi’s and double album Blues for Tony of this tour were released in and respectively. InHoldsworth launched a PledgeMusic venture to release new studio material, as part of a collection named Tales from the Vault.

Holdsworth’s solo compositions are primarily instrumentalbut vocals were prominent on all his s albums except Sand. Two of his most recurring singers were Paul Williams featured on I. He felt he was not proficient at acoustic guitar [35] because its percussive tonal quality didn’t accommodate the kind of legato playing he favored. Holdsworth’s playing style combined elements of jazz and progressive rock, and drew upon scale forms often derived from those such as the diminishedaugmentedwhole tonechromatic and altered scales.


The harmonic structure of his pieces can be highly abstruse, with frequently shifting tonal centresand his soloing follows from a self-taught advanced modal framework derived directly from his unusually voiced chords. One of the reasons for his renowned emphasis on legato, as opposed to pickingstemmed from a desire to make the sound between picked and legato notes indistinguishable. Another of his most identifiable traits was the use of rich, fingerpicked chords often awash with delaychorus and other complex effectswhich were articulated and sustained using volume swells to create sounds reminiscent of the horn and saxophone.

Holdsworth was a highly influential guitarist among advanced guitarists and was considered one of the most technically accomplished and most unusual players. However, Holdsworth remained “not well known outside musicians’ circles”, [52] and musically, even by guitarists, he was criticized for not being musical enough and being too technical for the average listener. Holdsworth himself understood that his music did not gel with the majority of people and said “I don’t think everybody would like it, for sure.

Holdsworth worked with many different guitar manufacturers as he developed his sound, which he felt he was never able to perfect throughout his career.

REH Video (Instructional) – a Video release by ALLAN HOLDSWORTH artist / band

These instruments have a semi-hollow body made from basswood with a hollow cavity underneath the pickguardand can be heard on Metal Fatigue and Atavachron. His long association with Steinberger guitars began in He started playing customised headless guitars made by luthier Bill DeLap in the s, which included an extended-range baritone model with a inch scale length.

On AtavachronHoldsworth first recorded with the SynthAxe —a frettedguitar-like MIDI controller with keysstring triggers, and an additional tube-like input device named ‘Masters Touch’ designed by Nyle Steiner, inventor of the EWI [57] which dynamically alters volume and tone using breath velocity. Allan Holdsworth’s experimentation with amplifiers started early: I used holsdworth love going to his place and watch him solder and such.

This got me started in my interest in electronics. Holxsworth the years, Allan Holdsworth used numerous amps, such as the Vox AC30a hholdsworth Marshall with two 4×12 speaker cabinets.

He liked the Marshalls for single-note soloing, but not for chords because of the resulting distortion. He also experimented with a couple of Norlin Lab Series L5, which he found too clean. In his later career he transitioned to Hartley-Thompson amps, which in his opinion had a warm and clean sound. Holdsworth could al,an be seen performing with Yamaha DG80 digital modelling amps that he used in pairs: Each MicroPro Gen 1 12 inch combo drove an extension speaker for aloan 4×12 inch configuration.

These he placed atop an additional pair of Erh Extension cabs, which were driven by a QSC GX7 amplifier for his synthaxe amplification. Holdsworth lived in California from the early s.

Cycling was one of his favourite pastimes. AroundHoldsworth struggled financially and occasionally sold equipment to make ends meet. Holdsworth became a grandfather in December when his daughter Louise gave birth to a girl named Rori.

Holdsworth died on 15 April at his home in Vista, Californiaat the age of Initially no cause of death was officially disclosed, [70] however, holdswkrth media later reported that he died of heart disease.

From Wikipedia, the free holdsworhh. English guitarist and composer. Holdsworth performing with U. Retrieved 17 April Retrieved 30 March Retrieved holdswlrth January Retrieved 04 June Retrieved 14 July Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 13 May Reaching for the Uncommon Chord. Retrieved 3 May Legato interview with Laurie Monk”.

The Allan Holdworth Information Center. Once Upon a Lifetime”. Tales from the Vault”. Archived from the original 14 December