Featured Student: Grant Rudd

Grant Rudd

“I was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. I lived there for 20 years before coming to Boston to attend Berklee. My parents always appreciated music and I grew up exposed to a fairly diverse selection of music. My dad played classical guitar and bass, but I didn’t take an interest in stringed instruments until my teenage years. When I was six-years-old, my parents signed me up and I played piano for a few years, but it never really captured my interest. In the fifth grade, I started playing the baritone horn for the concert band. I went through middle school and high school playing trombone and tuba in both jazz band and concert band.”

“When I was 16, I decided to pick up my dad’s bass. His Squier P Bass was the first instrument that really kept my attention. I played for hours, something I had never done with any instrument before. At first, I started playing rock songs from my instruction book like 'Hey Joe' by Jimi Hendrix and 'Come Together' by the Beatles. My dad exposed me to players like Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, and John Patitucci. These players helped me to see that there was so much you could do with the bass and fueled my desire to explore the instrument further.”

“My decision to come to Berklee came in my second year of studying physics at the University of Colorado. While I enjoyed the material, I was not happy with how the classes were structured. School took a back seat and I spent my time either working or playing music. What drew me to Berklee over other music schools was the diversity of the bass faculty. I was very impressed with all the different styles and experience represented in the bass faculty. Berklee also takes a more contemporary approach to teaching music, emphasizing skills that will make you employable as a musician today. At first, I came to Berklee to study jazz and develop my soloing chops. Within the first few weeks of coming here, I realized that my bass playing was actually pretty bad, and my education became centered on digging deeper into the pocket and learning the supporting role of the bass. I entered Berklee wanting to become a great technical player, but now, in my last semester, I hope that I will leave with a deeper sense of time and groove, as well as familiarity with many different musical styles.”

“I have found that meeting, hanging, and playing with my classmates and teachers has been the most rewarding part of Berklee. The classroom education at Berklee has provided me with an enormous amount of knowledge, probably more than I will ever be able to master in my lifetime. Playing and talking about music with my fellow students and teachers has been key in putting what I have learned at school into my playing. My friends and teachers have always been there to provide inspiration, encouragement, or a kick in the butt to keep me going.”

“I would like to be involved with pretty much anything related to bass! I came to Berklee with the intention of becoming a professional bass player. In the coming years, I would like to gain as much experience playing in different settings as I can. During my time at Berklee, I found out that I enjoy teaching as well. I probably learn as much from teaching my students as they do from me, and I find that it is very rewarding work. I have also had some ideas about building basses. I built my main bass, and there have been a few inquiries about building them for friends, but that is just a thought in the back of my head right now. Still, my main ambition is to be a professional player.”

Listen to music from Grant Rudd here or watch a clip from his senior recital here.