posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 12:30 PM
sorry for yet another zappa thread but now that i know there are quite a few musicians/guitarists here, i thought we could talk it out.
i have been reading through ALL the books, interviews, magazine scans i have about zappa, looking for some sort of timeline on how he got so good, and
i can not come up with anything.
let me use 3 examples of the 'typical' schedule of a 'virtuoso' type musician.
all of them are pretty much known for their 12 hour a day practice schedules.
zaak has stated he would sleep all day in school, then practice all night and repeat the next day. short variations with vai and EVH but it was 12
hour practice schedules or so for YEARS.
now, i have been trying to establish where/when/how frank got his skill.
the general consensus is(and i wanted to get your inputs on this) is that he was just a 'natural'...whatever 'it' was, he had 'it'.
now, that is not to say he never practiced anything BUT, he did not start on guitar untill he was 18. so, he got into guitar in 58, after dabbling in
the drums. after hughschool, he took ONE SEMESTER of music at a junior college. around this time, he rented his first jazzmaster. now, accorsing to
him, this ONE semester gave him a foundation.
ok, se between the ages of 18-25, frank got INSANELY good. what i want to know is how.when.
in his life, he composed 471 original songs of all generas. he started composing in 53. in other words, he was writing music before he could even hear
what it sounded like.
he has stated in several interviews and his real frank zappa book that he didn't really practice. in that 7 year period, he said he put the guitar
away for almost a year and didn't touch it at all.
he said that the only time he 'practices' is when they are rehearsing for the road. other than that, he is composing(either using the guitar or
piano)...he was known to work 20 or so hours a day for his entire adult life.
freak out came out in 65 and from there, we got 1-2 albums a year on average, some being boxed sets for the rest of his life.
WHEN did he have time to get this good?
this is also not to mention that he was a multi instrumentalist.
he played drums, bass(on several of his compositions), bouziki, piano, vibes, marimba, etc...
when i talk to certain people the concensus is, he is just 'one of those' people. he could sit down at virtually any instrument and play it.
he used methods that people before him never used. effects on certain wind instruments and such.
i know that most guitarists think of themselves as a guitarist but he always said he was a composer. he likened it to creating air sculptures and
moving air molecules around.
weather you are a fan or not, i don't think it can be denied by anyone that he was hot doodoo when it came to the guitar. he discovered many a
musician that has gone onto virtuosity. his fellow musicians(and musicians alive today) know what is up when it comes to the complexity of his
how does a person with 1 semester of community college and roughly 7 years of unknown guitar practice, get so good? how does this person write music
that is even too hard for conservatory trained musicians? how does this person compose 471 originals over a 30 year period?
i can't wrap my head around it...
what do you think?
do some people just have 'it'?