Look, this isn't a debate thread, because the Title is like saying, "the sky is blue and the sun is yellow". Most of you aren't familiar with any of his work and even more of you have never heard a single guitar solo by him, so don't even waste the electrons with Eric Clapton this or Jimmy Hendrix that because they're both kindergartners in comparison. In fact, you should know that I don't take anyone's opinion seriously on guitar player unless they can tell me they own "Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar" aka SUNPYG If you had the time and desire to listen and learn I recommend you take the following musical journey. First, here's "Inca Road's" an absolute classic in its own right [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg6X2hsl52E]YouTube - Frank Zappa: Inca Roads[/ame] Particularly amazing is not only Zappa's absurdly beautiful use of the Wah pedal (notice he's not just stomping on it to the beat getting that Waka Jawaka sound), but the guy invented tapping! (Did you like the "Septuplets from hell" on the xylophone?) Yes, starting at 4:24 he's using the pick on the fretboard to invent a technique Eddie Van Halen is unashamed to claim full credit for irrespective of the fact that the biggest gig Eddie had played at that time was the Shornstein's bar mitvah. For the next stop on our musical interlude we go to the phenomenal aforementioned 3 CD set "Shut Up N Play Yer Guitar" [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzE2FCn5nYY]YouTube - Frank Zappa Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar[/ame] Here in the song "Return Of The Son Of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar" is how he approached the solo to, yes Inca Roads, on a different night. See what happens when you have Arthur Barrow on bass and the amazing Vinny Colaiuta on drums? But wait! There's More! I can't locate them on the internet, but "Shut Up N Play Yer Guitar", "Shut Up N Play Yer Guitar Some More" and "Gee, I like your Pants" all from SUNPYG are all the Inca Roads solos on different night with the same amazing band! How can you possibly compare that to anything you've heard on the radio? The solo to the main SUNPYG is over 5 minutes long and there are more original idea in any 4 bar section than most famous guitar players have had over their entire careers. Here's the point: The solos above were instant improvisations based upon whatever the highly trained musicians around Zappa were playing that evening! Once you hear it, the chemistry, the interplay, between Zappa and his musicians especially between Frank and Vinny Colaiuta was as if there was one brain controlling the melody! For example, you can have a guitar player learn a solo note for note (Steve Vai transcribed many of them) but unless the backing musicians, especially the bass and drums are playing the EXACT SAME lines as well, the solo won't work! I know, I've heard it myself. And that's the Genius of it! Each of the solos is a titanic spontaneous, unrehearsed, instant melodic composition taking into account what the musicians around him were doing at that very instant! For the next post, I'll go into "Keep it Greasy" and why the Original Solo to "Outside Now" on the "Guitar" CD is the most beautiful solo ever (not SUNPYG, oh no, this is another 2 CD release of guitar solos (yes, thats 5 whole CD of guitar solos)).