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Interview with Allan Holdsworth (Jazz Italia 2005)

ALEX: How do you play such wide intervals in "Spokes"? Do you use a particular tuning?

ALLAN: No ... Do you know the EWI that Michael Brecker also uses? With the Synthaxe it is possible to make an octave switch using the pedal ... it's not a secret ... it's simple. I experienced the thing with two tunings with the SynthAxe not applicable on the guitar. I created a tuning in fifths that obviously can not be done with the guitar because after lowering the G string, the C string would be too low and would sound really bad ... but with the SynthAxe, thanks to its control through the synthesizer, you can choose all the fifths you want. Also you can also have an octave up or down. It's nice. If I started now to learn the guitar again I would use another tuning. I would tune it as a bass, C and F instead of B and E. It's crazy ... I do not know why they did it. You spend many years dancing around the string of the B as it is the one that creates problems. But after trying to tune the SynthAxe in that way I could play it for a while and then make some mistakes so I've never experimented so much with different tunings on the guitar ... I use a regular tuning, but if I were young and a beginner, I would tune the guitar with the C and the F. It's logical ... everything is the same ... you do not have to change the fingering. Now it's okay because I have schematized how to do it ... but it would have been more logical. [Machine back translated.]