Friday, 20 September 2013 12:11

Dweezil Zappa Lets You Rock with a Rock Star

Written by  Dwayne Hoover
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Dweezil Zappa Guitar Masterclass
The Intersection's Stache Lounge, Grand Rapids
Oct. 12, 3 p.m.
$75, (616) 451-8232

Forty years ago, Frank Zappa and the Mothers recorded what was to become one of the band's most iconic albums, Roxy & Elsewhere. In honor of that anniversary, Gibson released the Frank Zappa "Roxy" SG, an exact replica of the guitar Frank used in those recordings.

Frank's own son, Dweezil, celebrates the anniversary as he takes Zappa Plays Zappa on the road to perform the music of his father's historic record.

"The album itself has always been a fan favorite," Dweezil said. "There's a lot of material that's complex and diverse, but it's also very groovy and fun to listen to."

On this visit to West Michigan, guitar enthusiasts can learn some of Frank's very own techniques at the Dweezil Zappa Guitar Masterclass prior to the show.

"I've been doing a thing called Dweezilla for the last four years. It's a music school," Dweezil said. "But in the past three years the format for it was the whole band giving lessons. This year, I turned it into a comprehensive guitar course."

With the motto "Learn and Destroy," the class aims to tear down the idea that musical creativity has boundaries.

"Any 12 tones can be used in any order you want, you just have to get your ear used to hearing things that may be more dissonant than the more traditional ways to operate," Dweezil said. "The theme is to best learn fundamentals and tweak from there, instead of being closed-minded to just certain combinations. My dad's music is a classic example of that."

The course is open to musicians of any level, and will cover concepts specific to the proficiency and interests of each individual class.

"It depends on if there's four people and they're all kind of the same skill level, or if there's 20 people of all different skill levels," Dweezil said. "I'm happy to answer questions that relate to people's abilities."

Guitar lessons with the son of Frank Zappa are subject to a time limit, so you might not be able to walk away from class with the know-how to tackle a song like "Be-Bop Tango."

"That piece of music has some baffling rhythm and note combinations," Dweezil said. "The best way to describe it in terms of learning it is like learning the phone book out of sequence."

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