Guitar lessons in Edinburgh

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By christcornell, May 9 2017 02:00AM

Find the best guitar lessons Edinburgh has to offer, or even find the

best guitar lessons in the world, study the instrument your entire life

and, chances are, you won't come close to Allan Holdsworth.

Holdsworth (who sadly passed away on April 15) was, without question,

one of the greatest guitarists to have ever lived. To call him

inimitable would be an understatement, he was completely untouchable, as

a guitar teacher in Edinburgh he is the one guitarist I have never

attempted to emulate myself let alone try and pass on to students. He

had such a peerless style, from his sound to his sense of harmony right

down to his technique it seemed as if he'd learned to play music from

another planet, ignoring all our conventional ideas. There have since

been a slew of copycats of course, the Holdsworth 'sound' is usually

characterized by a combination of 'out' harmony, legato and distortion

in a jazz context. However, his style of legato is often misinterpreted

as standard hammer ons and pulls off (and to be honest there's nothing

wrong with that, I personally think the legato sound is usually a good

one even if it's not accurate to what he was doing) when in fact it was

exclusively hammer ons, even when going to a lower finer on the same

string. He achieved this by playing a hammer on 'from nowhere' and

co-ordinating it with his other finger so there was no gap in the

legato. He did this to avoid the kind of plucked sound you get with a

pull off. It's a cool way of playing, but it would require complete

dedication to that style to get good at it; he said himself in an

interview that he worked very hard to achieve varying volumes with every

finger, so he could accent any note. It's worth giving this style of

playing a go even if you don't master it, you'll see that your hammer

ons have to be on point! He also had a unique approach to scales,

harmony and chords, having made up most of his own scales (a few of

which are the same as the standard modes) and chord inversions (which he

talks about in his instructional video). If you're going to learn the

guitar I don't suggest you try to copy Allan Holdworth, but give him a

listen for inspiration! As always if you want to learn more, don't

hesitate to get in touch at www.guitarlessonsinedinburgh.com

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