Allan Holdsworth – Chord Scales

Tab: Found this video online and can’t seem to find it on youtube. Seeing Allan Holdsworth’s lessons online is a rarity, even with the fact that the whole world is able to upload videos online. Basically, Allan is talking about using diatonic chords of a key, in other words, harmonizing the scale. Theory: The reason Allan picked the key E major after he introduced the E major 7 chord is because the Emaj7 is the tonic of the “E major” scale.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

25 thoughts on “Allan Holdsworth – Chord Scales

  1. Allans most useful scales.
    10: Symmetrical – 2half steps – 1 whole step
    9: A min +7 add -6
    8:B min add+7
    7:C domi 7 add+7
    6:Bb Major add-6
    5:Ab Dimi
    4:A min +7 +4
    3:A min +7 +6(A harmonic)
    2:D min +7 (D melodic)
    1:C major/D min/G7

    Good luck buddies! 🙂

  2. Exactly. That’s probably why he hates making videos. The man is full of paradigm shifts. I remember in a interview, he said I used to hate the guitar now I LOVE the guitar.

  3. Firstly, this is roughly 20 years old or similar. I’m pretty sure that you said stuff that was way more stupid than Allan Holdsworth mentioning his dislike for a chord form.

    Socondly, Allan is extremely critic of whatever he does. In interviews, he tells that he never listens to his own records or live recordings, because it would surely make him want to put down the guitar, so with little doubt, he has regretted everything he says and plays in this video already.

  4. I can see what he’s saying.
    When I first started playing guitar and learning the basic
    blues scales, I said to myself “this is boring” and
    wanted to try other things and sounds.
    Of course the “blues scale” is not boring when
    George Benson is playing.
    There is no rules to guitar playing, everyone
    has their own ideas about it.

  5. Dude, it’s like this – #1 Allan’s ear is just way more sophisticated than most of ours. #2 He’s not an asshole because he has an opinion, and #3 Allan Holdsworth has raised the bar for all of us that are complacent with our current musical vocabulary.

    So he finds Emaj7 boring or whatever. Maybe he’s just trying to get guitar players to reach for the uncommon chord… 🙂

  6. ye he’s certainly a bit condescending but lots of people who’ve been playing for ages are like that.They’ve taken time and studied lots in order to master the guitar but they’ve forgotten about how it used to hurt their fingers just pressing the strings down and bend their minds getting their fists round one chord modulating to another.

  7. I really think AH isn’t following any rules besides choosing what’s pleasant to his ears, and even though I find some of the intervaks he chooses quite difficult to listen to I have to agree that it is one choice to make things more interesting and unique sounding.
    With his concept of inversions etc. me and my harmony teacher took “Every breath you take” and made it an alien fusion song from hell.

  8. agreeed!! allan kicks ass. He’s def the furthest thing from an asshole. You’re an asshole for saying he’s an asshole. And i agree with allan That voicing of Emaj 7 isn’t that pleasant.

  9. Yeah well, That’s my problem with jazzy guitarist, they believe they can “improve” any song by changing chord voicings, as if they could improve “here comes the sun” or any other inmortal song, just by adding notes or tensions. For me is just about options, they are not good or bad. Allan is a technical genius, but I wouldn’t say the same about him as a composer. Guys with a third of his talent have made inmortal songs, not giving a s*** about the “rules of musical criteria” this guy is pointi

  10. I agree with Allan there are much better voicings, that the one he plays first. And it is one you probably encounter earlier in your guitar life. He just means that there are better chord voicings…

  11. Exactly my friend, it’s like food, however, What would you think about a Chef telling the class “so, If you haven’t been cooking for too long you may like this disgusting and horrible salmon, however I use this other one that is much better”…

    What I mean is that a wise man doesn’t speak that way about other one’s choices.


  12. What is wrong with saying that? Everyone hear things differently. It’s like food. Some people like cake some don’t.

  13. AAAAAND….no matter how great player he may be, he is still an asshole saying things like “this disgusting E Maj 7 you may play if you haven’t been playing for too long”…come on Allan, who do you think you are? the Karl Lagerfeld of the guitarrist?

  14. Now I can see why he sometimes plays such huge or hard to play chords, it’s because he basses them off scales

  15. Yeah he just isn’t the best at explaining things i think. haha he sounds like me with the uhh well this is a flat 5… or sharp four.

  16. Proud to say I shook this man’s hand and got his autograph at the nearby Carvin by my house. This guy, Frank Gambale, Shawn Lane, Guthrie Govan…all great guitarists that know more than 99% of guitarists out there, about the guitar and music itself

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