Rudy Sarzo has played bass for a who’s who of hard rock and heavy metal names including Ozzy Osbourne,Yngwie Malmsteen, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Blue Öyster Cult, Dio and many others. While he is no longer playing with many of these acts, Rudy has continued to stay musically active and is a go-to name in bass guitar. In recent years, Rudy has played alongside guitar maestro Michael Angelo Battio, Bassinvaders – the side project of Helloween’s Markus Grosskopf, and many others.
Across a career spanning more than 30 years, Rudy’s recordings with these artists and others have sold more than thirty million copies. Many of the albums Rudy has played on have gone on to make all-time greatest album lists of the decade and of the genre.
While reaching out to him for the How I Play segment of Smart Bass, Rudy was gearing up for a festival run in South Korea with Impellitteri, the solo project of guitarist Chris Impellitteri. Get to know what Rudy is reading in his free time, his latest gear and more in this edition of How I Play.
Where Are You Currently Located?
I’m in Los Angeles, California.
What is Your Current Gig or Project?
I’m a member of various projects including the Russian Ballet/American Rock Band production “Heart of the Storm”.
What is One Word That Describes Your Playing?
Describe Your Current Setup and What is Your Favorite Piece of Gear?
I mainly use Spector and Ovation acoustic basses. I have a Spector and Ovation signature models that will be announced soon. I also have various Fender, Gibson, Peavey, Godin and D’Angelico basses.
My practice/learning space is where ever I happen to be at any time. It could be in a hotel room, a tour bus, or even at home on the couch watching TV with my family. Even if I don’t have a bass in my hands, I take the opportunity to expand my knowledge from YouTube videos in places such as the gym while on the treadmill.
What Album Are You Currently Listening To?
I’m doing a festival show in South Korea with Impellitteri at the end of August, so I’m listening and learning the whole set.