Allan Holdsworth

Born and bred in Yorkshire, Allan Holdsworth was an extraordinary guitar player, respected by some of the biggest names in the business including Frank Zappa and Eddie Van Halen. One of the quiet men of the rock industry, Holdsworth is barely known outside musician's circles and yet he played with artists such as Bill Bruford, Stanley Clarke, Level 42 and Jack Bruce as well as releasing twelve solo albums. The reason for Holdsworth's low profile is possibly because his guitar playing was so avant garde and advanced it could make for uncomfortable listening to many and not surprisingly commercial success evaded him. His style was built around a deep knowledge of the structure of music and combined complex scales, strange chord progressions and intricate solos often steeped in electronic effects. During his playing career Holdsworth was on a relentless quest to perfect his unique sound, something he felt he never really achieved. It led to him using a vast array of exotic guitars including a Synthaxe, a fretted MIDI instrument which Holdsworth first used on his 1986 album 'Atavachron'. For a number of years the Synthaxe became Holdsworth's signature instrument and he became closely associated with the brand helping to develop and promote it. He relocated to California in the late '80s where he lived until his death in 2017 from a suspected heart attack.

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