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Cool facts about Frank Zappa


Being a famous rock star in the 1970s was no easy task, especially since everyone was envying singers and bands for having an insane lavish lifestyle full of outrageous parties. But this was not actually the case of Frank Zappa, one of the most prolific composers, and a guitarist, producer, and movie director.

In a career that lasted more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, electronic music, orchestra music, as well as music influenced by other genres.

So, if you’re not familiar with the importance of Zappa in the history of music, here are some of the coolest facts about his life and career to trigger your interest.



Man of the arts

As I previously stated, Zappa was not only a composer and a talented guitarist, but also a true man of the arts. His interests were extremely diverse but they all had to do with arts and free expression. Apart from creating music of various genres, he directed long movies, music videos, and designed plenty of album covers.

Zappa produced almost all his 60 released music albums from 1966 until 1993, the year he died. Nevertheless, after he passed away, he left an enormous amount of unpublished records and songs, so that other 15 music albums were released post-mortem. His latest is entitled “Greasy Love Songs” and was released in April 2010.

Since the death of Zappa, his family released 38 posthumous albums, reaching a total of 100 albums.


His name will live forever

Due to his great global success, Zappa will remain in the history not only as a phenomenal musician, but also because different fish, jellyfish, and even a fossilized snail were named after him. How many people can say that about their impact on this planet?


A self-learner

Like many other artists worldwide, Zappa also made his musical debut at a young age. More specifically, he starred in a school band in San Diego as a drummer, when he was just 11 years old. Only four years later he learned to play the guitar on his own and since then has perfected his technique.

Known for his “colorful language”

Just like a true rocker, the language often used in his lyrics was colorful and sexually-oriented.

He was so popular for the type of lyrics he used in his songs that even his Grammy-winning album, “Jazz from Hell”, required “Parental Advisory” even though it doesn’t contain any lyrics at all, as it is a mere collection of instrumental songs.

Because he was often criticized by the media for his lyrics, he even went to former U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, to protest against America’s strict laws regarding the song lyrics. He felt like he wasn’t allowed to express himself as he wanted and, because the President didn’t support his protest, his lyrics became even more vulgar in his last years.  


What makes the difference between a synth keyboard and a digital piano?


Although classic pianos deliver an unbeatable sound, digital ones have emerged on the market as a more modern and reliable alternative for those who cannot afford to record their songs using acoustic, expensive pianos.

Digital pianos resemble the classic ones in plenty ways, but their most important feature is that they are more accessible to the wide public. Singers and songwriters often use digital piano sounds to improve their tunes and deliver a unique sound that will hopefully turn the lyrics into a hit.

Nevertheless, working with musical instruments is not an easy task, as, apart from regular digital pianos, there are other options in the same specter. So, if you’re looking for a comparison between the top digital pianos and synthesizers, here are the main differences between these two.


Digital Pianos

They are mainly built to replicate the sounds and the performance of an acoustic piano, to the highest possible extent. Digital pianos aim to deliver a clean and clear sound, as similar as possible to the one delivered by classic, acoustic pianos. One important difference between these two is that the latter costs a lot more than a digital piano.

Apart from the competitive price, digital pianos also differ in size, portability, and features from the regular acoustic pianos. Due to their compact sizes, digital pianos are more portable than regular ones and also feature plenty of connectivity methods which make them more appealing to the younger generation of musicians and sound engineers.

Digital pianos also offer a full set of 88 keys and feature a touch sensitivity comparable with the acoustic pianos. In addition, most digital pianos also come with a built-in music library that allows you to easily learn some of the most popular piano songs and try to replicate them as accurate as possible.


Synthesizer Keyboards

One of the main differences between synth keyboards and digital pianos is represented by the purpose for which they were created. While digital pianos aim to replicate as good as possible all notes and tones of acoustic pianos, keyboards are mainly a more affordable alternative used by newbies and fresh singers to get used to the new wave of music devices.

They are not built to replicate the sound and clarity of an acoustic piano. In fact, their greatest achievement is their portability. They are extremely lightweight and easy to carry around and are mainly chosen because they can also produce a piano tone quite accurately. Keyboards usually weigh below 20 pounds and mainly feature 49 to 61 keys.

There are also significant differences in sound between synths and digital pianos which you will mainly discover once you start playing at both of them.