Wisdom Lives in Words

Memorable Quotes by Allan Holdsworth

I love music - really a lot. That's why I do it. But mine just never makes it, to me. There's always something wrong with it, something I want to change. But I like that, because at least it keeps me looking, trying to find ways I can improve, which obviously are a lot.
Allan Holdsworth
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It falls in all the cracks, from classical music to jazz,. Anywhere there's a hole in the floor, my music falls through it. But that's OK.
Allan Holdsworth
You wait all your life to be signed by a major label, and then when they sign you, they don't want you to do what you want to do.
Allan Holdsworth
The more you learn, the more you learn you don't know.
Allan Holdsworth
In essence, I feel I'm more jazz guitar player because I write vehicles geared for improvisation.
Allan Holdsworth
I'm pretty selfish, I think. I'm probably a terrible dad. I don't do too much with my kids. Obviously I love them and everything, but I just stay here in the studio all day.
Allan Holdsworth
I started out in rock, but I didn't want to stay there, and haven't.
Allan Holdsworth
As soon as I figured out I didn't know anything about music, I was OK. It's when I thought I could learn something that I was in trouble.
Allan Holdsworth
To most people, jazz-fusion means this dreadful synthetic jazz-rock thing, this jazz-Muzak, which I detest. They also think of jazz as a specific form of music, while to me it's just the opposite.
Allan Holdsworth
I went through a bad period where I was just not writing; I couldn't create anything. I was out of ideas. But when I started playing on other people's music, I realized how lucky I was to be doing this.
Allan Holdsworth
I'm trying to play tunes in a new way, using all the same scales, harmonies, structures, but twist everything a little bit so that it comes out sounding different.
Allan Holdsworth
I don't get a big recording budget or much promotion, but I have creative freedom.
Allan Holdsworth
It's obviously flattering when somebody likes something one is doing. But at the same time, I get embarrassed about it. It's the 'I'm not worthy syndrome.'
Allan Holdsworth
I was working with another major label after Warner Bros, and they were telling me who to hire as musicians, what kind of music to play, what producer to use. I mean, what's the point of putting me on the record?
Allan Holdsworth
It's not my personality to brag in any way or be pretentious. It's just not my nature.
Allan Holdsworth
I think the guy who tells you he knows about music is really dumb, or he's lying to himself.
Allan Holdsworth
Bike riding is great for your thinking. I can't say I've written an entire tune while cycling, but riding has definitely inspired songwriting ideas.
Allan Holdsworth
That's why I like the Steinberger guitars. They're easy to travel with... and they don't get messed up by the airlines.
Allan Holdsworth
I never use pull-offs because I don't like the sort of 'meow' sound they make with the string being deflected sideways.
Allan Holdsworth
When I first started playing, I plunked away just like everyone else. During the Sixties I played in a blues band for a few years, and I liked it. It wasn't until I was playing for a while that I made the decision to change my style from a percussive to more of a legato approach. I just wanted a different sound.
Allan Holdsworth
Jazz is something that's constantly changing. Its sole purpose is to let people improvise, to let them solo differently each time they play. And that's always been what I like best.
Allan Holdsworth
If the whole idea, in the original bebop days, was to get to soloing, then that's all it should be about.
Allan Holdsworth
Record companies tell me to play something more commercial, but I don't want to do anything else.
Allan Holdsworth
I'm a very tough critic of my guitar-playing. Sometimes I don't even want to do it anymore.
Allan Holdsworth
I knew if I wanted to improvise over chord changes, I'd have to figure out all the scales that went with all those chords.
Allan Holdsworth
I'd get another job before I would play music I don't enjoy. But then, I'm really not qualified to do anything else.
Allan Holdsworth
The problem we have is that, some people call it 'too rock' to play on a jazz station, and it's 'too jazz' to play on a rock station. So it's difficult. It's difficult to make it playing this kind of music.
Allan Holdsworth
If you fall in love with a woman, there's this unknown thing that gives you a force and energy, and music is like that, too. If I lived to be 2000, I'd never know anything about music. And that's great.
Allan Holdsworth
Music moves forward so quickly; music is an accumulation of knowledge, and musicians keep getting better and better.
Allan Holdsworth
Standing and playing next to Tony Williams was pretty amazing. One of the things I learned about being a band leader from Tony was that he would never, ever tell me what to play or do.
Allan Holdsworth
I wanted to be a music fan who just listens to music. I never wanted to be musician. I didn't gravitate toward playing.
Allan Holdsworth
I like lyrics a lot.
Allan Holdsworth
As the chord changes go by, I don't so much think about a static chord voicing changing. I just see the notes on the neck change.
Allan Holdsworth
The SynthAxe enables you to achieve a whole world of sonic textures that you cannot get with a guitar. There was nothing like it before and nothing like it since.
Allan Holdsworth
Perhaps since I have been using the Synthaxe, it might have made it easier for people to listen to me, in a funny kind of way it takes for things to happen.
Allan Holdsworth
Whenever I watch a movie I like to imagine what sort of music I might compose for a scene, to create a particular kind of atmosphere, because when I see something I hear something.
Allan Holdsworth
I don't mind categories, but it's so hard to find one that fits.
Allan Holdsworth
You never really get to be good at anything.
Allan Holdsworth
There are good people in radio and the record companies, but there are others who are completely in the wrong job and holding music up in the process.
Allan Holdsworth
We used to work with a promoter in Italy who used to book for shows with nine hour drives in between, so we got a new promoter.
Allan Holdsworth
For me, the only thing that makes one scale different from another is not the starting note; it's the separation of the intervals.
Allan Holdsworth
The electric guitar's a pretty cheesy thing when you think about it, still working on those bits of wire and magnets for its sound. It's all of the things that are wrong with it that have made it the unique instrument it is.
Allan Holdsworth
My dad was a fine pianist and he had a lot of great records and beautiful music.
Allan Holdsworth
I didn't decide to play guitar, but that was the instrument which I was offered. I've always been interested in horn-type instruments, such as a saxophone; but those instruments are very expensive, so my dad bought me a guitar instead. I didn't like the guitar at first, but after noodling on it for several months, I developed a feel for it.
Allan Holdsworth
I don't like playing to guitar players, actually. I'd rather just play to ordinary people.
Allan Holdsworth
Most of the musicians I play with - aside from the form and structure of the music - the interpretation is up to them.
Allan Holdsworth
I grew up listening to Ravel, Debussy, Bartok and jazz like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Christian and Django Reinhart. It was incredibly inspiring! And I was given a guitar and I said 'What the hell is this?!'
Allan Holdsworth
When I hear 'fusion,' I think of Tricky-Dick stuff - really hairy melodies played in unison. It's like, 'Why?'
Allan Holdsworth
To me, I don't see any difference between a synthesizer and an acoustic instrument. It's what's done on it that counts.
Allan Holdsworth
When I practise scales I will play four notes on one string. If I'm playing a C major scale, starting on F, I'll play the F, G, A, and B on one string and the C will be on the A string, etc, etc. Because I found not only was it good for my hands but it was really good for interconnecting things.
Allan Holdsworth
In a way, I think the whole business is pretty corrupt. It's like anything else where people make a lot of money - it's really hard for the little guy.
Allan Holdsworth
My music is written with one goal in mind: to improvise. It's like explaining a great story in words, but without words, much faster than you could with words. It's like a direct line of instantaneous communication where you don't have to wait for the end.
Allan Holdsworth
I had always wanted to compose music for movies, but had never been given the opportunity.
Allan Holdsworth