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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This is played with all up-strokes. 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. This line ends in measure 25, where the vamp changes to G. Allan ends this phrase in the first beat of measure 16 with a lick from hell! To play these string skipping lines, be sure to practice at a slow tempo where you avoid hitting the string you are not playing.

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. Once again, take care to play these lines in time and with precision. When you start applying this approach, you tend to cover the neck very quickly. 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 — this last line seems to be the tensest line of the solo, capitalizing on the ambiguity of the implied dominant chord. From here it leads into a six-string arpeggio starting on the high E and ending on the low E.


Allan is outlining an 8 note synthetic scale, which includes both b9 and 9 — 1 b2 9 3 4 5 b6 b7. Rather, this was what I took out of his style and approach. Notice the almost Rubato feel the phrases have, always with such a smooth and efficient execution.

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You will notice I incorporate my thumb in this lick also; I do this to enable myself to play longer one-string runs. This time I am going to dive a little deeper into the Octatonic scale. I use the same approach to ascend back up the scale.

Lickss is repeated on the G string, but holddsworth time its only a three-note run with the third note being the start of the arpeggio. While it can be heard as a simple chromatic line, the harmonic ambiguity it sets up seems to have been very much intentional.

Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip. 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 speed and the wide intervalic playing was simply amazing. Notice again how he avoids the downbeat when starting a phrase. Please feel free to join me on YouTube here.

The final run in this lick is similar to the way I start the lick; I finish with a four-note run on the high E string leading into to a full bend on the 22nd fret.

The hooldsworth of this column will be to break down some of those lines, and talk about how they relate to the harmony Allan is approaching. This will clearly demonstrate how much Allan can bring to a rather simple progression with his masterly rhythmic and harmonic vocabulary.

Holdsworth represents everything that is good in the realm of guitar: I want to thank you all for reading my column, and I will hopefully see you next time, until then! In bar 12 Holdsworth concludes the phrase in the D natural minor mode 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7another color to highlight the harmonic ambiguity of the line that preceded it — typical Holdsworth!


For this lick Allan is using very wide intervallic lines via string skips — something very common to his playing. I start this lick with a allwn run on the A string with the fourth note being the start of the three-string arpeggio. Another string skipping idea is used throughout measures where the scales used are: It requires immense concentration and control of your fingerings.

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. This is one of the hardest phrases to play in the solo, but at the same time one of the most rewarding ones. Download the latest version here.

This time Holdswirth would like to talk about a component of guitar playing that has always fascinated me: Francesco is currently part of a Metal band called Hiss of Atrocities, and has also recorded three instrumental solo projects. The second line mm. I want holdswodth show you some of the […].

An Allan Holdsworth-Inspired Pentatonic Run | Guitarworld

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 last fast run mm.

The problem with this is that these techniques are not really suited to the pentatonic. 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!