How did Rhonda Smith get her gig as the bassist for Prince? What touring tips did she learn on the road with Jeff Beck?
Rhonda Smith is a bassist, vocalist, songwriter and clinician, critically acclaimed for her musical abilities in various genres, including smooth jazz/funk to electrified funk/rock. Smith, toured throughout Canada with several high-profile Canadian artists, including Claude Dubois, Daniel Lavoie and Joanne Blouin. She is the recipient of a Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy) for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for her work with Jim Hillman and The Merlin Factor.
In addition to her long tenure as bassist and vocalist for Prince, Rhonda has also performed with Chaka Khan, Beyonce, T.I., Erykah Badu, Patti Austin, Patrice Rushen, Larry Graham & GCS, Rachel Farrell, Sheila E, Najee, Candy Dulfer, Jonathan Butler, George Clinton, Little Richard, Brian Wilson and many others.
Rhonda has been featured in numerous music videos, graced the covers of Bass Player, Bass Frontiers and Bassics magazines and done stints with the Martin Short Show and the Wayne Brady Show. She has released two CDs as a leader, Intellipop and RS2. Rhonda is currently touring with Jeff Beck.
Her brother brought a bass home and told her not to touch it, so she did
Age 15, in high school she only wanted to do bass
Working with Prince allowed her to travel back and forth
Got the Prince gig through Sheila E.
Prince´s bass player for 13 years
Three years ago became a dual citizenship
Solo vs. playing for others
Third album in the work
Dublin gig with Jeff Beck
Book coming out
SLAP BASS TIPS
Hand in an upright position
Thumb towards the ceilings
Youtube is great
First song she learned: Smoke on the water
Guilty pleasure: eating chocolate (especially with almonds, all organic)
Favorite wine: Cabernet
Respect the music first, know your part and take responsibility for your part. Don´t over embellish!
Be on time and get along with people
Don´t try to juggle!
Get Travel Insurance
Don´t drink too much
Get lots of sleep
Get proper nutrition
Drink a lot of water
SONG OF THE SHOW
“Sunshine” by Rhonda Smith
Rhonda Smith Solo with Jeff Beck