Dweezil Zappa was born on September 5, 1969 in Los Angeles—the son of Frank and Gail Zappa. It was inevitable that from the moment of his birth his life would be filled wall-to wall with music (his father having listed his religion as “musician” on Dweezil’s birth certificate). Dweezil’s early years were spent largely away from the spotlight—something of a rarity for the child of a celebrity, but perfect for cultivating a close relationship with his family.
Having watched his father perform concerts from the side of the stage since he was in diapers it was no surprise that he began to show an interest in music early on. At 6 years old he received his first guitar, a Fender Music Master from his dad. It wasn’t until he was 12 that he began to show a serious interest in manipulating the instrument to make music.
Having primarily heard the music his father was working on or listening to at home while growing up, Dweezil soon found himself exposed to some new sounds on the radio. Besides his father’s music he began listening to the Beatles, Queen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. Like many aspiring guitarists of his generation, Dweezil ‘s ear was caught in a stranglehold by the trailblazing guitar styles of Edward Van Halen and Randy Rhoads. He listened to their records for hours on end trying to figure out a way to translate what he was hearing in his head to his fingers at the other end of the guitar. Along the way, he had opportunities to ask his dad for some help. “I remember asking Frank to help me figure out the song ‘Revelation/Mother Earth’ from Blizzard Of Oz. I really didn’t know anything about chords and in that song Randy Rhoads was using classical music elements that were really new to rock guitar at the time. Frank helped me learn the finger picking intro.” To gain more fundamental knowledge of technique and scales Dweezil was fortunate to have some assistance from one of the musicians in his father’s band at that time, Steve Vai. Dweezil became remarkably proficient in a very short amount of time due to his intense practicing sessions.
May 02, 2018
Jazz this week: Erin Bode, Joe Policastro Trio, "Swing Symphony," Peter...
October 12, 2016
Jazz this week: Dweezil Zappa, Lettuce, Marilyn Maye, Project/Object,...
July 02, 2016
Dweezil Zappa Renames His Tour Again After Cease And Desist Order From...
November 01, 2010
George Duke to play with Dweezil Zappa for the first time ever!
February 19, 2010
Dweezil Zappa: Musical Bootcamp
Willing to teach
Intermediate to advanced
Dweezil Zappa’s music camp Dweezilla has a motto “Learn And Destroy.” It refers to destroying the boundaries that confine music creativity. At camp, students are in total immersion for 4 days of music instruction. While on tour with Zappa Plays Zappa, Dweezil will be previewing some of the guitar concepts he teaches at camp in a special event prior to each concert.
“I transformed my guitar technique before starting Zappa Plays Zappa out of necessity to play my dad’s most sophisticated and challenging melodies