DWEEZIL ZAPPA Demonstrates Improvisation Techniques, Frank’s Playing Style

Frank Zappa is often underrated as a guitarist by those who don’t know that he’s the greatest of all time (don’t get mad). Much of the reason for this is his legacy is littered with thousands of hours of improvised guitar solos from his concerts. Frank never played the same thing twice, so his music holds this amazing tension between extremely difficult-to-play composed parts, and the improvised solo sections.

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“Improvisation” can be a bit of a black box for people like “mastering,” but in this video below from Reverb, Dweezil explains pretty clearly how he interprets and re-applies his father’s guitar techniques. There’s some cool tricks in here that I bet will help out your playing today:

It’s not really highlighted much in the video, but as Dweezil says, the most important thing to do when starting out is use your ear to guide whatever amount of theory you know and physical instrument knowledge you have.

I definitely recommend learning this particular solo from Frank, an edited version of which was imposed onto the studio cut of “Inca Roads” on One Size Fits All (a really cool tendency Frank had was to never record solos in the studio).

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Max is managing editor of Gear Gods.