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#1
Trying it to see if it gets more action than it does in the Jazz thread.

Anyways, great fusion guitarist, basically laid the foundation for the playing of every other guitarist in this sub-forum.

Road Games is one of my favorite songs by him. The cheesy vocals add so much to the music.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MqzFN5-5jk

Discuss.
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#2
He has some of the best signature guitars ever made, too.
Quote by satchgear
I tried it out in store.

Great neck, nice n light, good tuning stability. Overall a good guitar. I didn't but it cause I generally only buy guitars over a grand now.
#3
ah someone took the hint

anyway, my fave holdsworth is his work on jean-luc ponty's record; Enigmatic Ocean.
the playoffs between jean-luc and allan holdsworth are absolutely phenomenal.

on a side note, does anyone have the backwards hammer (the technique that allan does) down?
#4
No, I really want to though. Does it apply to every technique, including tapping?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTI2s4svE2s&feature=PlayList&p=C3ED369FA305713E&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=43
It sets a good basework, but not much more. Harrison is cool, but a ****e teacher.
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#5
I have Metal Fatigue. Pretty badass album.
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#6
Quote by MRavioli
No, I really want to though. Does it apply to every technique, including tapping?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTI2s4svE2s&feature=PlayList&p=C3ED369FA305713E&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=43
It sets a good basework, but not much more. Harrison is cool, but a ****e teacher.


I can do it on the first four strings, but the high b and e are mother****ers to do it on.
One idea I got off harrison is to play sequenced scales up and PURELY with hammer ons. I also dont apply it to tapping at all, as I reckon that tapping sounds BETTER with pulloffs.

also, marshall harrison -although a good guitarist- is a total douche.
#7
When I get back into Electric (On hiatus, playing purely classical guitar for january) I think I'm going to do a lot of backwards hammering.
Quote by satchgear
I tried it out in store.

Great neck, nice n light, good tuning stability. Overall a good guitar. I didn't but it cause I generally only buy guitars over a grand now.
#8
I've been trying to do the reverse hammer for a while now. I'm slowly getting there, but having such a high action (I've been forcing myself to play with 2mm for over two years) makes it a bit tricky even with high gain - and obviously there's the noise to contend with.

I won't quit, though. The idea, for me, is to get rid of the pull-off completely and do everything (except tapping) Holdsworth/Garsed-style with liquid-like reversed hammers.
#9
Quote by WishfulShredder
ah someone took the hint

anyway, my fave holdsworth is his work on jean-luc ponty's record; Enigmatic Ocean.
the playoffs between jean-luc and allan holdsworth are absolutely phenomenal.

on a side note, does anyone have the backwards hammer (the technique that allan does) down?


of what i've heard, his work on enigmatic ocean is my favorite. it's such a great album and i love the guitar work on it.

anyone care to elaborate on this backwards hammer? i've never heard of it before.
#10
^ It's exactly what the name suggests, really. Take a pattern like this...

|----------12h14h16h14h12----------|
|-12h14h16----------------16h14h12-|


... but think of those backwards hammers going back down as literally just hammers, not your standard pulls going sideways with the index barring. Lift those fingers and drop 'em back on like a hammer, y'know? No barring to be seen or heard. Only one finger should ever be on the board at a time.

At least that's how I've always thought it was done. Goodness knows I've been doing it for long enough to not ever want to go back to normal pulls. It's perfect for the all-legato style of Holdsworth.
Last edited by DaFjory at Sep 28, 2009,
#11
Quote by DaFjory
^ It's exactly what the name suggests, really. Take a pattern like this...

|----------12h14h16h14h12----------|
|-12h14h16----------------16h14h12-|


... but think of those backwards hammers going back down as literally just hammers, not your standard pulls going sideways with the index barring. Lift those fingers and drop 'em back on like a hammer, y'know? No barring to be seen or heard. Only one finger should ever be on the board at a time.

At least that's how I've always thought it was done. Goodness knows I've been doing it for long enough to not ever want to go back to normal pulls. It's perfect for the all-legato style of Holdsworth.


well... I wouldnt say it's ONLY one finger on the fingerboard at the time. I mean, Im sure thats how holdsworth does it, but he has godfingers and an awesome guitar with an awesome neck. whereas I have average sized fingers and a les paul.

personally, when ascending on a single string, I tend to keep all my fingers down until needed... which if youre doing holdsworth or shawn lane licks... isnt very long

on another note: what are you guyses favourite songs from "Secrets"?
#12
Quote by WishfulShredder
well... I wouldnt say it's ONLY one finger on the fingerboard at the time. I mean, Im sure thats how holdsworth does it, but he has godfingers and an awesome guitar with an awesome neck. whereas I have average sized fingers and a les paul.


I suppose. And you're right, the neck/action/relief is definitely an important part of it... but the concept as a whole has stuck with me as being one that is either very rigidly adhered to, or shunned completely - as in, if I find myself deviating from doing purely reversed hammers, I end up pissing myself off. Like Holdsworth, I don't actually want to do normal pulls where the string gets dragged quickly sideways. I've always loathed doing that in any situation besides tapping.

Quote by WishfulShredder
personally, when ascending on a single string, I tend to keep all my fingers down until needed... which if youre doing holdsworth or shawn lane licks... isnt very long


I think one of us may be getting things mixed up here. You're talking about ascending, but the whole idea of reversed hammers is primarily when descending - hence, one finger at a time with no index barring (so something like 16p14p12 becomes 16h14h12). When it comes to ascending, it seems as though either one finger at a time or all plonked on sequentially is fine. That's not really the important part of the technique.

Quote by WishfulShredder
what are you guyses favourite songs from "Secrets"?


I always find myself giggling at Peril Premonition, where Holdsy says " 'Ello! Is thut the frunt desk?!" in the thickest of Bradfordian accents.

And obviously, 54 Duncan Terrace is a timeless classic of his.
Last edited by DaFjory at Jan 5, 2011,
#13
Honestly, if I were to teach another person to play guitar, I would never teach him pull-offs outside of the concept of tapping. Sure, I would technically 'screw' his technique up, and he would never understand what the tab says with 'p', but I'd tell him to read sheet music anyways.
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#14
Quote by DaFjory
I suppose. And you're right, the neck/action/relief is definitely an important part of it... but the concept as a whole has stuck with me as being one that is either very rigidly adhered to, or shunned completely - as in, if I find myself deviating from doing purely reversed hammers, I end up pissing myself off. Like Holdsworth, I don't actually want to do normal pulls where the string gets dragged quickly sideways. I've always loathed doing that in any situation besides tapping.


I think one of us may be getting things mixed up here. You're talking about ascending, but the whole idea of reversed hammers is primarily when descending - hence, one finger at a time with no index barring (so something like 16p14p12 becomes 16h14h12). When it comes to ascending, it seems as though either one finger at a time or all plonked on sequentially is fine. That's not really the important part of the technique.


I always find myself giggling at Peril Premonition, where Holdsy says " 'Ello! Is thut the frunt desk?!" in the thickest of Bradfordian accents.

And obviously, 54 Duncan Terrance is a timeless classic of his.


Yeah peril premonition's bass line is fecking SWEET.

but yeah I didnt realize you were talking primarily about pulloffs, in whichcase, I wholeheartedly agree with you.
although, I think that the pulloff definitely has its place in the world, say if you were soloing to... smoke on the water. the rock context calls for that "miaowing" sound that holdsy hates so much, imo.
one thing else Ive always wondered: how does allan do trills?

Edit:
at MRavioli
but you sort of NEED to know how to do pulloffs to understand backwardshammers.
Last edited by WishfulShredder at Sep 29, 2009,
#15
Those backwards hammers are hard as crap, so I just don't really bother. They don't sound smooth to me at all, because you're pausing so you can lift off your third finger (for example) to hammer down your first.
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#16
I kinda feel hes a little overrated. Yes, he has an awesome legato technique and is a really smooth player, but is he really THAT good? I find players like Guthrie Govan, who plays just as technical stuff, much more listenable to, more melodic.

Maybe I haven't listened to enough of his songs, but it all just seems like soulless random playing.

Just my opinion *puts flame shield up*
#17
Quote by Timothongz
I kinda feel hes a little overrated. Yes, he has an awesome legato technique and is a really smooth player, but is he really THAT good? I find players like Guthrie Govan, who plays just as technical stuff, much more listenable to, more melodic.

Maybe I haven't listened to enough of his songs, but it all just seems like soulless random playing.

Just my opinion *puts flame shield up*


PREPARE TO DIE!!!!


no, I understand what you mean, his playing can be completely out, and completely weird.
Try listening to some of his more chordal stuff instead of the solo-ey stuff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkWKY2H9290
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9xOomYyLI8

and "54 duncan terrace" which doesnt exist on youtube.


also, I heart guthrie govan
#18
Quote by MRavioli
Honestly, if I were to teach another person to play guitar, I would never teach him pull-offs outside of the concept of tapping. Sure, I would technically 'screw' his technique up, and he would never understand what the tab says with 'p', but I'd tell him to read sheet music anyways.


Likewise. I was confused as hell for something like 7 months until finally figuring out how the pull works - and even that was in the context of tapping alone. It felt cool to be able to do them at last, but at the same time I was left thinking "This is it? Jeez, I wish I would've concentrated more on other techniques instead". And so I did. Although as a result, I guess, my pull technique is rather weak... but I compensate for it with pretty decent reverse hammers, as long as I have oodles of gain. It's almost like cheating, but in a good way.

Quote by WishfulShredder
I think that the pulloff definitely has its place in the world, say if you were soloing to... smoke on the water. the rock context calls for that "miaowing" sound that holdsy hates so much, imo.


That I'll agree with. It's an essential technique in rock and metal, and most of the usual shreddy licks we hear through mundane bands like Poison or W.A.S.P. wouldn't sound as cute if normal pulls weren't used. It's the classic shreddy sound of those genres.

Quote by WishfulShredder
one thing else Ive always wondered: how does allan do trills?


He doesn't. The only time I've ever seen him break out into a trill (live) was during an extremely short passage, and he used his tapping finger to do it - kinda like Jeff Beck, but even less frequently. Listening to his albums, I can't think of any trilling which stands out.

Quote by Alter-Bridge
Those backwards hammers are hard as crap, so I just don't really bother.


Everything's hard as crap until you force yourself to keep it doing it relentlessly. There was a time when I thought hammering (i.e. 12h14h16 or 12h14h15h17) was "Bloody impossible, like!", but now it's something I - and most likely everyone - can do in their sleep at warp speed. I haven't got reverse pulls down to said warp speed yet, but there's nothing stopping me from doing so.

Quote by Alter-Bridge
They don't sound smooth to me at all, because you're pausing so you can lift off your third finger (for example) to hammer down your first.


Not unless you're pausing for a veeery short duration. That's the whole idea - it's meant to be like liquid; seamless rolls with a smooth transition. If one hesitates whilst plonking the fingers down, it sounds clunky (kinda like a beginner trying to sweep, with each note being individually smacked). I've only ever heard Garsed, Holdsworth and Lane do it right consistently. Their legato playing seems to be based entirely on the technique.

Quote by Timothongz
I kinda feel hes a little overrated. Yes, he has an awesome legato technique and is a really smooth player, but is he really THAT good? I find players like Guthrie Govan, who plays just as technical stuff, much more listenable to, more melodic.

Maybe I haven't listened to enough of his songs, but it all just seems like soulless random playing.

Just my opinion *puts flame shield up*


Listening to Govan makes me feel cold and bored. His technique is obviously wonderful and he has a nice teaching style, but the music he actually plays just doesn't do anything for me at all. It's just clichéd emptiness. Very predictable playing with lots of "soul" and "emotion" that I've heard from countless 'cool' players before... but so terribly bland and boring.

Old fart Holdsworth, on the other hand, still makes me go "What the fuck did he just do there? How did he do that? What kind of note shift was that?!" I crave that in music - something which makes me jump out of my skin and wonder what just graced my ears. Only Holdsworth has ever managed to achieve that.

Technique-wise he's probably not the best since he all but shuns picking and is very locked into one particular style, but musically he's on a level which nobody can hope to understand or emulate. Lane came very close (with flawless technique to boot), but he still managed to sound like himself as opposed to an outright Holdsworth clone.

Subjectiveness.
Last edited by DaFjory at Sep 30, 2009,
#19
I was procrastinating on YouTube and stumbled upon this video of Holdsworth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA5uCGHjUWM

1. If that's Holdsworth's voice, he should try singing
2. He looks like Geddy Lee
3. His soloing is a bit less random here than on his solo works.
4. Choice guitar
5. Imagine Jaco with Holdsworth.
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#20
Quote by DaFjory
Listening to Govan makes me feel cold and bored. His technique is obviously wonderful and he has a nice teaching style, but the music he actually plays just doesn't do anything for me at all. It's just clichéd emptiness. Very predictable playing with lots of "soul" and "emotion" that I've heard from countless 'cool' players before... but so terribly bland and boring.


yes. Thank heavens for someone who actually agrees with me on this.

on a side note - there are some electric guitar players who I think are "untouchable". Holdsworth IS one of them. Satch himself said so.
#21
Quote by MRavioli
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA5uCGHjUWM

If that's Holdsworth's voice, he should try singing


He has indeed sung before, on At The Edge (from the rather bland, drumless The Things You See album). It's too bad he had to go all experimental on his '80s albums, with those ghastly female vox by Rowanne Mark (and Naomi Starr on Wardenclyffe Tower). That awful caterwauling damn near ruins some of the songs.

And I'm probably blaspheming by saying this, but... I've never really dug '70s Holdsworth. He hadn't yet crafted his crazy style and tone by then, and the bands he played with (having listened to some of their albums) have never captured my attention. I would say the moment I.O.U. was released, the real Holdsworth was born. Thank goodness for that day, and the fact that he's never really changed up.

... Kinda like Malmsteen, but in a good way. In all honesty, there's absolutely nothing about Holdsworth's albums or playing that I'd change! More frequent releases would be about it.

Quote by Axegrinder#9
yes. Thank heavens for someone who actually agrees with me on this.


Wow, a non-Govan fan on UG? I didn't think such a breed existed.
Last edited by DaFjory at Sep 29, 2009,
#22
Quote by WishfulShredder
PREPARE TO DIE!!!!
and "54 duncan terrace" which doesnt exist on youtube.


This is quite possibly my favorite AH song next to City Nights. Pretty much all of Secrets is amazing actually.
And you can't spell funeral
without fun
hope you had a good time
cuz now your life is done
#23
So, any fellow diehard advocates of Hard Hat Area? I've gone on and on about it before in other threads around here, but it needs a mention now that we're actually engaging in proper discussion about the great man.

Yeah, I just love that CD to death. It's Holdsworth at his best IMO - tonally, musically, technique-wise, album structure, album length; the works.
#24
I'm a diehard advocate of Road Games and Metal Fatigue. The first album I got was Secrets, but I was just freaked out about Holdsworth because the music was so insane. I decided to try again and fell in love with Metal Fatigue. I got Secrets again, though.
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#25
those are the only two holdsworth albums i have listened to. metal fatigue is my favorite of the two, but they are both so awesome. i have been meaning to check out IOU and hard hat area, but i always forget. i actually believe DaFjory was the one to recommend me those two albums a while back.
#27
Quote by Timothongz
I kinda feel hes a little overrated. Yes, he has an awesome legato technique and is a really smooth player, but is he really THAT good? I find players like Guthrie Govan, who plays just as technical stuff, much more listenable to, more melodic.

Maybe I haven't listened to enough of his songs, but it all just seems like soulless random playing.

Just my opinion *puts flame shield up*


I can see why you might say that, but 'overrated' is totally the wrong choice of word. Think about it. Overrated amongst WHO? I had to post this in a different sub-forum just for this artist to get more discussion.

It sounds fairly soulless because there are no bends in his soloing, as is most jazz. I found it kind of hard to see emotion in Coltrane's Giant Steps.
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#28
Quote by lobster624
those are the only two holdsworth albums i have listened to. metal fatigue is my favorite of the two, but they are both so awesome. i have been meaning to check out IOU and hard hat area, but i always forget. i actually believe DaFjory was the one to recommend me those two albums a while back.


One really can't go wrong with that pairing - although they're hugely different, with I.O.U. having a lot of crappy vox ('courtesy' of Paul Williams) and raw production, whilst Hard Hat Area is entirely instrumental and crystal clear in terms of sound quality.

If anyone were to want to particularly hear his most insane and ferocious playing, I'd say Hard Hat Area and Heavy Machinery (with Jens and Anders Johansson) are the best places to look. He absolutely rips it up.

From the '90s, Wardenclyffe Tower and The Sixteen Men Of Tain are also very good. They, too, contain some undeniable classics of his. Other stuff I wouldn't exactly recommend, but would merely suggest for the curious...

- Flat Tire (completely SynthAxe-dominated experimental stuff)
- Sand (all-instrumental, a bit boring in parts, but has some classic cuts)
- Velvet Darkness (the infamous, unspectacular, 'unofficial' debut album which he hates so vehemently).

Quote by MRavioli
It sounds fairly soulless because there are no bends in his soloing


Well damn, you're right. I hadn't realised that until now. The most he ever does in terms of vibrato is subtle whammying, and that gargling thing where you tug back the bar really hard and let it go. Otherwise it's all just straight-up notes and chords all over the place.
Last edited by DaFjory at Sep 29, 2009,
#29
Yeah. The whammy bar thing is 'fluttering' I think.

Why does Holdsworth hate Velvet Darkness?

I don't think I found Wardenclyffe Tower on the internet, though.
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#31
Quote by WishfulShredder
i downloaded Velvet darkness and thought it was crap.


I don't know if you're aware of it - but that album was basically a pretty rough jam session that the record label released without Holdsworth's consent. Holdsworth was never fond of the material, and he really comes down hard on the record company for screwing around like that..
#32
Quote by Axegrinder#9
I don't know if you're aware of it - but that album was basically a pretty rough jam session that the record label released without Holdsworth's consent. Holdsworth was never fond of the material, and he really comes down hard on the record company for screwing around like that..


I was not aware of that, actually, I was only aware that he hated it.
stupid record companies trying to get undeserved money.
tut tut tut.
#33
Quote by WishfulShredder
i downloaded Velvet darkness and thought it was crap.

also, MRavioli, forgive my ego but, didnt I get you into jaco?


Well, Weather Report, specifically. And I'm damn happy that you did.

I probably won't dld Velvet Darkness. I would hate for my image of an immaculate Holdsworth to be tarnished.
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#34
Quote by MRavioli
I probably won't dld Velvet Darkness. I would hate for my image of an immaculate Holdsworth to be tarnished.


It's not horrendous by any means... the quality just isn't up to the usual standard set by him (obviously, since by his own account it was nothing more than a rehearsal session), and overall it's very boring fusion with too much acoustic shit thrown in. It is what it is.

I downloaded it out of curiosity, and ended up buying it just for completeness - sorry, Allan!
#36
Quote by DaFjory
It's not horrendous by any means... the quality just isn't up to the usual standard set by him (obviously, since by his own account it was nothing more than a rehearsal session), and overall it's very boring fusion with too much acoustic shit thrown in. It is what it is.

I downloaded it out of curiosity, and ended up buying it just for completeness - sorry, Allan!

I forgive you.
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#38
Leave Them On should be a song on Snakes And Ladders (the new album which should've come out last year, according to the man himself when I spoke to him in late '07).
#39
Oh, wow that's really short hair.

you spoke to Holdsworth? Tell us, did you have to remove your sandals when he spoke?

he still records?
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#40
Quote by MRavioli
you spoke to Holdsworth? Tell us, did you have to remove your sandals when he spoke?

he still records?


More like I had to control my shaking, like a true little fanboy. I was waiting around for a bit at the stage area after him the band had finished their set, upon which I whirled around and saw him standing right in front of me - "ALLAN! Oh my god... Please sign my Hard Hat Area CD! Oh man... Thanks so much. You're the greatest!" And yeah, he's bloody tall (I'd say about 6' 2" or thereabouts) and has those famously mahoosive hands. When you see him up close doing his thing, he makes a guitar look like a toy whilst playing.

Besides that, I asked him if he had anything new in the works and he said there'd be a new album "next year" (2008). According to an interview, that album should indeed have been released last year... Too bad Vai can't give him a kick up the arse and tell him to hurry it along. It's been much too long since Flat Tire.

At least the main thing is that he's active. I guess he may be holding out from releasing anything because his main income is that of touring. Since he's had so many bad experiences with labels in the past, he's probably wary to cling on for dear life to any material he's recorded for fear of getting shafted yet again. I remember reading somewhere that Favored Nations is actually a crap label for which to be signed...