Artist Series – Allan Holdsworth
Nov 04 2014
As one of the most unique and respected guitarists in the world, Allan Holdsworth has influenced countless others, including legendary artists like Frank Zappa, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Alex Lifeson and Steve Vai. In this one-of-a-kind DVD, Allan performs seven electrifying tunes with his band, which features keyboardist Steve Hunt, bassist Skuli Sverrisson, and drummer Chad Wackerman. Allan breaks down his creative use of scales and chord voicings in this video, and offers insightful suggestions as to how to go about creating your own unique sounds and chord voicings based on his simple, yet revolutionary, concept for harmonizing scales in intervals other than traditional 3rds. See incredible close-up shots of Allan s amazing technique here, and enjoy the unique opportunity to learn from one of the all-time greats!
- Allan Holdsworth: Guitar
- Steve Hunt: Keyboards
- Skulli Sverissen: Bass
- Chad Wackerman: Drums
Allan gives some fairly brief explanations about his use of scales and stands next to some diagrams professor style, talking about how useful they are. The reason to watch this video is for the large amount of footage of Allan while he is playing. Most of which with his band. If you’re a fan of his music, then this DVD will go a long way in decoding his chops.
The problem is, is that Holdsworth’s chops are so far beyond most guitarists, his approach to music is so “outside the box” and that he seems to have no idea of how advanced he actually is.
For a healthy part of his solos, his index finger stays close to the 10th fret and his pinky stays around 17-19 and they more-or-less just dance around, creating a dizzying array of wide intervallic melodies that go screaming by. He seems to think that this is normal, that anyone who plays guitar can do this, and that his abilities hardly warrant having an instructional video.
So there’s a lot going on in his brain that just doesn’t seem to occur to him to share or even bother to articulate. So, if you’re the kind of guitarist who can learn a lot just by watching someone play, this video is awesome.
If you’re the kind who needs an explanation beyond some British mumbling about preferring to not have “licks” then there are probably better videos for you.
He doesn’t talk to you like a beginner, he pretty much explains it as if he were talking to John McLaughlin or Steve Vai – it’s just Allan explaining how he sees the fretboard and how he writes songs. There’s no “licks”, or tricks or warm up exercises, etc…he literally “shows” 10 or 15 scales which he uses and how he thinks of them and how he creates parallel moving harmonies. The scales are not nearly as exotic as you’d think, except for the last few. The best part of this are the performances which have almost no connection to the talking parts. He and his band rip through some songs (which are better that the album versions in some cases) and then he talks some more. Allan also comes across as an extremely honest and humble guy, and stresses that you should find your own voice.
He gives you the tools to play like Allan or create your own sound… whereas in an Yngwie video you learn a bunch of Yngwie licks so you can become an Yngwie clone. Bottom line this is a hard video to watch one time and absorb all at once, best to revisit every few years and grasp more each time. Even after learning all the theory stuff, just watching the performances can teach quite alot about solo and group improvisation.
Year: 2007 (1992)
Running time: 01:12:26
Video: MPEG2 720×480 ~7700 kbps NTSC 29.970 fps AR: 4:3
Audio: AC3 2 channels 192 Kbps 48.0 KHz
Booklet: Yes (PDF)
Size: 3.9 Gb