Zappa Teaches Zappa: Dweezil Explores Frank's Improv Techniques

In the midst of his Cease and Desist tour this year, we got a chance to catch up with Dweezil Zappa, Frank Zappa’s eldest son. Dweezil has been on tour playing his father’s music extensively over the past decade under the band name Zappa Plays Zappa.

Recently, however, he was issued a cease and desist letter from the Zappa Family Trust (which is run by his two younger siblings) blocking him from using the name. Now, he simply tours under his own name, still faithfully playing his father’s tunes.

Dweezil talked with us about his father’s incredible improvisation skills and about how he was able play for impressively long periods of time without ever having to repeat himself. That was always the goal for Dweezil in playing his father’s music – to build the extensive vocabulary necessary for that level of improvisation – and he shares with us a few of his father’s techniques that help him do it successfully.


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