Click for an article/video summary
2 minutes 30 seconds
Artist website: therealallanholdsworth.com (website appears to be offline - I'll make it a clickable link when the site is back online again.)
What makes this video great and what can you learn from it?
- close-up of Allan's solo
- fluid, effortless legato playing
- wide stretches/intervals
- use of whammy bar for intonation shaping
What can you learn from the article?
- what other great guitarists have said about Allan Holdsworth
- how staying true to yourself can lead to an impressive musical reputation
- which bands/musicians he has performed with
Takeaway: Regardless of whether you "like" a certain style of music or a guitarist's playing, there's always something to learn and to emulate. And when many famous guitar players have outed themselves as a fan, it's definitely a good idea to check deeper into it.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 28 seconds
The Guitarist's Guitarist
To many listeners Allan Holdsworth's music might sound too technical, too outside, too different.
And that's ok. Fortunately, taste is subjective and people are allowed to like what they like. However, when you play guitar (as a visitor of this site this is highly likely 🙂 ) you should definitely check deeper into Allan Holdsworth's playing.
There are lots of great things to discover.
Allan might not have reached the mainstream. However his long career has been influential. Here are just some of the artists and bands he's played with:
- Soft Machine
- Jean-Luc Ponty
- Bill Bruford
- Tony Williams
- Billy Cobham
- Frank Gambale
- Planet X
And he's developed quite the reputation amongst other musicians. Just read what other guitarists had to say about Allan...
His influence is just that he's such a drastic unyielding individual. You know, I'm going to do my thing and I'm going to do it the best I can.
One of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet is Allan Holdsworth. I really respect his playing.
I saw Allan Holdsworth when I was about 14 in 1978. I never dreamed a guitar could be played like that and that really changed my whole life.
If I hadn't had seen Holdsworth I may have just continued to play some blues and rock music and might have even given it up later or something, but when I saw him at 14, that really inspired me to try to play guitar in my own way at another level.
You know, I should say at the beginning, a big difference between me and Allan is that I built on stuff that Allan pioneered, and in a small way I tried to assimilate a lot of what he did on the guitar technically. So it's very different.
His musicianship was so far ahead of mine when I was starting out, looking at books and picking out scales and stuff; Allan was in a stage where he was constantly reinventing guitar, and I was a fan in the audience, you know what I mean?
So I'd have to say in all honesty, I've taken from Allan Holdsworth, and tried to figure out, "How can I use what this guy has done to further what I'm trying to say?"
I totally agree that Allan is one of the greatest guitarists ever - his work on the mid-70's Tony Williams records was revolutionary and changed everything for guitarists everywhere. It is a real mystery to me why he is not a household name. But it really doesn't matter, his contribution is large and I think all musicians know it.
Holdsworth is the best in my book. He's fantastic. I love him.
High praise. What's interesting to see is that Allan's "fans" cover a broad range of styles. Hopefully, this at least provides you with enough motivation to check out Allan's music. There's a lot to discover.
What's Your Favorite Holdsworth Track Or Album?
Out of curiosity...
Which track or album by Allan do you like the most? Please leave a comment below.