Ever since my first guitar teacher introduced me to the music of Allan Holdsworth in the late 90s, it has been an ongoing apprenticeship. I became fascinated, not only with his music, but with his approach to music itself, and the way he thinks about chords, scales and improvisation.
Allan’s REH video was a blessing for me as I was able to glean enough insight into his playing to understand the way the great man thinks, and more importantly to begin to apply those concepts to my own playing. I struggled with music theory and orthodox approaches, so when Allan’s beautifully simple way of thinking about chords and scales clicked for me, I knew I had found something that finally made sense. I must admit, I couldn’t play you a single Allan Holdsworth lick, and I wouldn’t want to as the thought of dissecting his music in that way was always unappealing to me. What I wanted to do was get inside his head, grasp his way of thinking about music, and find out exactly how he was able to come up with such intricate yet outrageous lines and compositions. And that is precisely what this book is about.
Allan’s playing looks incredibly complicated, and then some, to the innocent bystander, but the approach behind it is incredibly simple and easy to grasp. It’s so straightforward in fact that most players who have attempted to describe what he does completely miss the point. Once you do understand his approach, however, you’ll have a new appreciation for how far he’s taken it, and how far it can go.
This book is not for the faint-hearted, but you shouldn’t be put off by thinking that you’ll be getting to grips with a lot of tricky concepts, because you won’t; Allan’s way of thinking is almost childlike in its simplicity, and when you glimpse it I can assure you that you'll be intrigued.