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QRD #57 - Guitarist Interview Series Part VII
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Guitarist Interviews with:
Francesco Candura
Justin O’Connor
C Joynes
Brandon W Pittman
Killick Hinds
Kyle Arthur Miller
Mark Wol
Dan West
Olaf Rupp
Lorne Hind
Mark Nelsen
Jordan Ferreira
Willy B
Andrè Erbyeah
Shane Handal
Interview Series Updates:
Andras Fekete
Martin Newman
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Olaf Rupp
Olaf Rupp
Olaf Rupp
Olaf Rupp
Olaf Rupp
Olaf Rupp
Olaf Rupp
Olaf Rupp
Guitarist Interview with Olaf Rupp
January 2013
Olaf Rupp
Name: Olaf Rupp
Bands: Olaf Rupp
Websites: www.audiosemantics.de

QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?

Olaf – A Framus acoustic steel string I found in the attic when I was 12.

QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?

Olaf – Guitar > Kemper Profiler > RCF TT08

QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?

Olaf – Guitar & amp.

QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?

Olaf – Kemper Profiler. Being able to control the volume with a foot pedal without loosing the sweet spot of the saturation is crucial for improvised music.

QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?

Olaf – My new Warmoth Strat with a wider fingerboard (almost like a classical) & a 2Tec bridge.

QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?

Olaf – My new Warmoth Strat with a wider fingerboard (almost like a classical) & a 2Tec bridge.

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

Olaf – 6.

QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?

Olaf – In their cases.

QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?

Olaf – Wish my Hiscox case had a waterproof rim profile.

QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?

Olaf – Tone.

QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?

Olaf – That’s the fine thing with Stratocasters, that you can change things so easily.

QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?

Olaf – A lot.

QRD – Do you change your rig around often?

Olaf – Every time I play.

QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?

Olaf – I look for the same tone on all equipment.

QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?

Olaf – Do you have a Ramirez Auditorio for me?

QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?

Olaf – Acoustic (classical) should have a good string action & good & fresh strings for beginners.  Electric guitar beginners should have a good tube amp (Fender Champ or so) or a modeling amp so that they can set the amp to the sweet spot where the whole resonance is totally different.

QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?

Olaf – Best: Kemper Profiler.  Worst: TS-808.

QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?

Olaf – I like Fender amps because they have a well-defined sweet spot to turn from clean to crunch.

QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?

Olaf – Open strings to tune it.

QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?

Olaf – 12.

QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?

Olaf – 12.

QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?

Olaf – It is polyphonic & yet it is portable. & you can form the tone much more than on a piano.

QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?

Olaf – Why not?

QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?

Olaf – It is my vessel.

QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?

Olaf – Evan Parker & Paul Lovens.

QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?

Olaf – Never.

QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?

Olaf – Rasgueados, tremolos & very, very, very slow attack exercises for tone development. Also very slow yoga exercises for the left hand over the fretboard.

QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?

Olaf – 21.  35.

QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?

Olaf – Fingernails both on acoustic & electric.

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

Olaf – Acoustic: Hanabach High Tension  >  good resonance into the wood.  Electric: 0.12 > good tone, more fundamentals.

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Olaf – Before every gig.

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Olaf – Never, I change them before they break.

QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?

Olaf – Both are equally important. The left hand is very often neglected, that’s a big mistake!

QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?

Olaf – I fix it myself when I can. I like that & that way I can do it as I want it.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

Olaf – Only E-A-D-G-B-E.  I am too stupid to learn other tunings.

QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?

Olaf – I am an improviser, so I hardly ever write. If I do, then it’s sheet music.

QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?

Olaf – No strap.

QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?

Olaf – Any other instrument can widen your horizon. Preferably wind or bowed instruments because their long tones help to think in long tones on the guitar too.

QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?

Olaf – Guitar.

QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?

Olaf – Picados.

QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?

Olaf – No.

QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?

Olaf – I like to hear them on others, but for me they don’t work.

QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?

Olaf – Hardly ever.

QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?

Olaf – No.

QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?

Olaf – Solo, live.

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