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Dweezil Zappa Teaches Frank Zappa's Improvisation Techniques and Riffs

(Image credit: Richard E. Aaron/Getty Images)

Frank Zappa is known as one of music’s great improvisers, and it’s a gift that his son Dweezil has as well.

A couple years back, Dweezil sat down with Reverb to share a few of his favorite tricks he learned from his father and some of the logic behind his approach to improvised soloing.

In the interview, Dweezil talks about his father’s remarkable improvisational skills and his ability to play for long periods without ever repeating himself. Dweezil says that was always his goal when playing his father’s music—to build the extensive vocabulary necessary for that level of improvisation—and in this video he shares a few of his father’s techniques that help him do it successfully.

In a related video, also included at bottom, Joe from Reverb looks at three meat-and-potatoes Zappa-esque riffs to give just a brief introduction to his varied style.

You can read more about Frank Zappa’s techniques here, as well as learn about his gear at Reverb.

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Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World, a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.