This time we talk to Hanspeter Kruesi, better known to Guitar Tricks as HP Crazy... so, HP...
How long have you been an instructor at Guitartricks?
I joined guitar tricks in spring 2006
At what age did you start playing guitar?
Well you won’t believe it but I started to play guitar at the age of 20. But I have been playing piano at the age of 7 I think. The time I started to play guitar I already have been a professional pianist and I wanted to learn guitar as fast as possible so I practiced guitar 5-16 hours daily till the age of 30.
Did you have lessons, or are you self-taught?
When I started I was self-taught but after a year of playing I felt that I needed a good teacher. From then on I took lessons and later I have studied music and guitar playing at a university level in Zürich.
Do you play any other instruments, besides guitar?
Piano - actually on a similar professional level.
What was your first guitar?
A fender strat.
What sort of rig do you currently use?
Epiphone Elitist - Twisted Sister
Yahama steelstring guitar
Amalio Burguet - Nylonstring guitar ( without plug or pickup )
Studio : Line 6 POD + Fender Blues Junior with a Hughes and Kettner Tubefactor preamp for distortion sounds
Live : Fender Blues Junior
Studio : Lexicon LXP - 15 , Eventide Ultraharmonizer H3000-SX, Waves software-plugins, Cubase 4.1
Live : Boss DD6, Alesis Midiverb III
Studio : Neumann TL in combination with a TL Audio tube microfon preamp, equilizer and compressor.
Live : Sure SM-57
What's your dream rig?
I’m very happy with my rig.
Who was your biggest influence, both musically and in general?
Oh there were many - I name the most important :
Touch technique : Stanley Jordan
Rock : Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, Garry Moore, Steve Vai, Eddie van Halen
Blues : Garry Moore, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, B.B. King, Robben Ford, Johnny Guitar Watson, Ry Cooder,
Others : Paco de Lucia, Carlos Santana, Al di Meola, George Benson, Pat Matheny, Joe Pass
Musicians : Miles Davis, Keith Jarett, Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau, Nicolo Pagannini, J.S. Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
What musician do you most admire and why?
Miles Davis : His way of thinking music in time and space gave me the most important influence
Keith Jarett : His soloperformaces are extraordinaire for me. The whole concept and emotianal intention
Brad Mehldau : His soloperformaces opened up a entire new world for me.
Even that I am a guitarist I got my main inspiration from musician who play other instruments. For me music is universal language which is not only fixed on a instrument. I always tried to go beyond limits on the guitar and therefore to have to look to all kind of music.
What is the best guitar playing lesson you ever learned?
Acutally my last lesson I had during my studies where my teacher told me that sound is created on the fretboard and not through the equipement. He showed me tricks how you can pratice to always have a good sound even on a lousy equipement.
How has your taste in music changed over the time you've been playing, if it has changed at all?
In fact my taste has changed a lot. Not in style but in expression and the way I experience playing and composing. Virtuosity is not in the focus anymore. I still play fast runs but it is now a part of music and is really needed for the music and not just because I am able to play it.
What's the most challenging piece of music for you to play currently?
I only play my originals and therefore every song is challenging because I always want to play perfect and as we know perfection never can be reached because we are only human….
You can check out HP's instructor bio and lessons here