Frank Zappa Was Not Your Average Guitar Hero

Most people know Frank Zappa for his sardonic songs and genre-busting compositions. But what many don't fully appreciate is his guitar mastery.

FZ wasn't your typical guitar hero. Rather than burning through the typical pentatonic scales, Zappa's solos featured the best kind of improvisation: they told stories and were often surprising.

Call him the anti-guitar hero.


Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar is the Zappa record that best showcases his fleet-fingered fretboard finesse. It's an all-instrumental 3-disc set that captures all the wild variety of his playing.


What you might not know is that the solos on Shut Up 'n Play were often taken from live recordings on other songs, and then set to new music. Cool, right? 

If you haven't heard this record, click on this link to check it out!

Leave A Comment

Now it's your turn. What's your favorite Frank Zappa record? What do you like the most about FZ?

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8 comments

  • Brian
    Brian Crooks sd
    Been playing hot rats everyday for two weeks can't get enough

    Been playing hot rats everyday for two weeks can't get enough

  • Mark Alexander
    Mark Alexander Garden Grove Ca.
    Zappa will be thought of as a 20th century

    Zappa will be thought of as a 20th century

  • Chalie welch
    Chalie welch philadelphia
    over night sensation was my favorite album a very hard choice

    over night sensation was my favorite album a very hard choice

  • Brian Langley
    Brian Langley Action, Ohio!
    I used to Have this set, but lost it in a house fire! One of my fave riffs was " Why Johnny Can't Read"!

    I used to Have this set, but lost it in a house fire! One of my fave riffs was " Why Johnny Can't Read"!

  • Shelley
    Shelley Pgh, Pa
    My favorite Frank Zappa album is "Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention Fillmore East 1971". It was the first Zappa album I ever heard and introduced me to so many other classics...Sheik Yerbouti, Joe's Garage, You Are What You Is, Weasels Ripped My Flesh...so many

    My favorite Frank Zappa album is
    "Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention Fillmore East 1971". It was the first Zappa album I ever heard and introduced me to so many other classics...Sheik Yerbouti, Joe's Garage, You Are What You Is, Weasels Ripped My Flesh...so many

  • Nigel
    Nigel Bethlehem, PA
    Apostrophe might be my favorite. Really tough choice to make. Overnight Sensation close second.

    Apostrophe might be my favorite. Really tough choice to make. Overnight Sensation close second.

  • George
    George Upstate, NY
    My favorite during our college years! GREAT TALENT and inspiration... I am now a dental floss tycoon!

    My favorite during our college years! GREAT TALENT and inspiration... I am now a dental floss tycoon!

  • Shelley
    Shelley Pittsburgh, Pa
    Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention Live at the Fillmore

    Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention Live at the Fillmore

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