tecHnique focus major family
Holdsworth’s ‘most useful’ scale is very familiar as related to a Major scale. However it is in fact the ‘least crowded’ way of choosing seven notes from 12 – they are spread out as far as possible (‘maximally even’ is the technical term for such a distribution). Holdsworth tended to name scales from the Minor perspective (seeing this as D Dorian) although it’s important to remember it’s also C Major, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian and B Locrian, so we can think of it as the ‘Dorian family’ as well as the ‘Major family’ (or ‘ Lydian family’ etc). Diagram 1 on page 44 shows all the fretted notes of this scale. I’ve highlighted the root of C for reference, even though Holdsworth didn’t think this way.