So what’s the secret behind Allan Holdsworth?

Ed DeGenaro

Silver Supporting Member
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Something insightful that AH said in an interview has always stayed with me - that he is repelled by the idea of “strumming” because that relegates the guitar to being an even more percussive instrument than it already is which is something that he never wanted to express himself with.

A flawed observation about AH “not being able to play guitar” perhaps might be formed if he was asked to hack out Wagon Wheel at a happy hour but graciously declined to participate. That’s the only scenario where a party unfamiliar with his life’s work might arrive at such a notion.

He did play in the usual covers bands when he was starting out so I’d say he’s probably on par with 99% of TGP’ers in the guitar playing stakes at that level.
Well he was also in the touring line up for Level 42....
 

ned7flat5

Member
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4,894
Well he was also in the touring line up for Level 42....

If I’m thinking right, he followed the late Alan Murphy who was himself AH influenced in his own soloing style. I guess he wasn’t burdened with any expection to play stuff just like the last bloke used to.
 
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The late Mikio Fujioka playing “Roado Games” provides an excellent close up of some AH techniques and parts.



58tweo.jpg
 

jads57

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Even John McGlaughlin once said he didn't understand Alan's approach harmonically, LOL!
 

jeffh

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There was a time when he used to shred staccato-style too. This is from 1974, it blew my mind when I first saw it:


Thanks for posting that. I recently stumbled upon Soft Machine and have had "Bundles" on repeat for the last while. I was looking for some video of "Hazard Profile" but never found it, guess I was searching for the wrong thing.

We have been jamming "Hazard Profile Part 1" a bit, the riff and structure is really straightforward. Holdsworth's playing of course is not
 

hippietim

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6,869
Anyone that rags on Allan Holdsworth is a fool or a tool.

And what's with the deletion of posts? If you won't stand behind the mindless drivel that you write, then why bother posting at all?
 
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tribalfusion

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Allan was just an absolute giant and fearlessly individual player and thinker. There are now many resources for easily getting at least some insight into what he did in books, magazines and videos and many players who have adapted some of it as well.

I'd like to suggest though that while it's great to see all this interest in Allan, it's a little unfortunate that there seems to be so little interest around TGP in jazz and fusion more generally. The genre(s) never stopped and there are plenty of other great players still going and plenty of younger players coming out these days whom you might enjoy if you gave them a chance.

This thread on jazz and fusion has been ongoing for years and if you like Allan, you might enjoy other players you might not have heard as well:

 
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mentoneman

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Allan with Gordon Beck is valuable insight into how amazingly precise he was as a legato player on an acoustic guitar. Those guys weren’t holding back on this one....

 

Devin

guitar enjoyer
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A guitar player's guitar player who disliked the way guitars sound.
 

GT3

Member
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2,430
Allan was just an absolute giant and fearlessly individual player and thinker. There are now many resources for easily getting at least some insight into what he did in books, magazines and videos and many players who have adapted some of it as well.

I'd like to suggest though that while it's great to see all this interest in Allan, it's a little unfortunate that there seems to be so little interest around TGP in jazz and fusion more generally. The genre(s) never stopped and there are plenty of other great players still going and plenty of younger players coming out these days whom you might enjoy if you gave them a chance.

This thread on jazz and fusion has been ongoing for years and if you like Allan, you might enjoy other players you might not have heard as well:


I'm big time into jazz and especially fusion, but I don't really think of Allan as fitting into either of those boxes, as normally understood. To me, Allan was kind of his own genre.
 




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