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The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever – Allan Holdsworth

“The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever,” Allan Holdsworth, was born in Bradford, England on the 6th of August, 1946. His desire to play the horn (and his inability to purchase one) resulted in his one-of-a-kind legato style: “I always wanted to play a horn or a violin or something where you could shape a note, as opposed to the guitar which is basically a percussion instrument. And I always tried to get the guitar to sound like it wasn’t a percussion instrument,” he said. He later continued to work towards this goal by endorsing SynthAxe. So Holdsworth’s end goal was never about reaching commercial success. Instead of complying with the generic sounds, he became a pioneer in progressive rock and jazz fusion. His career blossomed in the Canterbury Scene, and he started to push the limits of both genres while working with Soft Machine, Tony Williams’ Lifetime, Jean-Luc Ponty, and various other bands; as well as during his solo career in California. Holdsworth influenced many (including Alex Lifeson, Eddie Van Halen, and Joe Satriani) with his multifaceted improv solos and his usage of various intricate chord progressions. He fit countless albums and EPs into his 48-year long career and continued to create until he passed away on the 15th of April, 2017. We respectfully commemorate him.

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