Reader Spotlight: Russ Rodgers

Russ Rodgers

Meet Russ Rodgers, an accomplished bassist and teacher with a career spanning more than 30 years. Pretty cool when you can claim Adam Nitti and Todd Smallie as your students, and Russ has also studied under some top notch bassists as well.

Russ is No Treble’s reader in the spotlight for the week of December 16, 2014. Here’s his story…


Russ Rodgers has been playing and teaching bass guitar professionally for over 30 years and has studied with Kevin Bales, Jimmy Haslip of the Yellowjackets, Oteil Burbridge, Anthony Wellington, John Patitucci, Trip Wamsley, Corey Christiansen and Ted Howe.

Russ founded the Bass Program at The Atlanta Institute of Music (AIM) in 1985 and served as Bass Director for its first eight years. After leaving AIM in 1993 because of a busy performance schedule both domestically and internationally, Russ returned to AIM and taught classes and private lessons from 2001 to 2013. During this time Russ taught private lessons at Ken Stanton Music from 2000 to 2014, was director of the Bass Program at The East Cobb Music Academy from 1998 to 2005, and The Atlanta Bass Gallery from 2009 to 2014. From 2006 to 2013, Russ was the house bass player at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Atlanta, GA with jazz vocalist, Theresa Hightower. In 2014 Russ relocated to Washington DC and now has an active performance schedule with some of DC’s finest artist and teaches live online private instruction using Skype with students from all over the world as well as teaching privately at different locations around the Washington DC area.


Washington, DC

Day gig:

Teaching live online Skype bass guitar lessons

Years experience:

35 years

Bands & Gigs:

I am actively freelancing around the Washington DC area, mostly jazz groups right now.


  • 6-string Ken Smith Black Tiger
  • TC Electronic RH-750 Head
  • Two Bergantino CN112 Cabs (I use one or two depending on the gig)
  • TC Electronic BG250-208 Combo for small jazz gigs

Why I play the bass:

I was a trombone player through high school and a good reader, so when I started getting out and listening to bands there were never any trombone players, but they all had bass players. Since I already read bass clef good I bought a bass and taught my self how to read on it and started getting gigs.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I am a excellent bass guitar instructor and have many successful students including Adam Nitti and Todd Smallie. I love to play and talk about bass guitar.

My influences

I would say early on it was Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius. These days there are so many great players of all styles that I listen to, it would be to many to mention.

More on the web:

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  1. The unblinking man gets a reader spotlight… good stuff