Zachary Rizer

Performer and Educator: one low note at a time

Coming from a grandfather who was a bass player and a father who was also a bass player, it was no surprise that Zach gravitated towards the low end of the musical spectrum. Starting at age 13, he approached the bass with intense focus and diligence. His focus remains today, and along the way he found a unique voice, a progressive approach to bass playing, and he also developed a healthy, well-rounded perspective of music as a whole.  


Raised on funk/R&B and growing up in a family with a deep history and connection to jazz, Zach gravitates towards groove-based, improvisational music. With the pocket and feel of the music always as his main focus, at each performance he strives to create a seamless connection between the freedom of these improvisational moments and the meticulous framework of technique, theory, and composition that he has developed over many years. 

Zach is anything but old fashioned when it comes to his bass playing. Whether he is playing his futuristic looking 6 string electric bass or standing behind the classic curves of the upright bass, he always is finding new ideas and sounds to utilize. He manipulates his massive array of pedals and live looping tools as if they were an instrument all by themselves. Whether playing a solo concert, or performing with his original projects, the amount of different sounds coming from his rig are always a pleasant surprise. 

To hear/watch Zach play, click MUSIC/MEDIA

To keep up to date with where you can see Zach play live click here: PERFORMANCES

If you are nerdy about your gear like Zach is, feel free peruse his collection of sonic toys: GEAR



Zach prefers not to teach how to play the bass. But rather he desires to inspire and guide his students to become great musicians.

Finding many schools of thought on teaching music to be very stifling and restrictive, Zach has developed a teaching style that is pragmatic, fun, intuitive, and encouraging. Following one of his mentors and bass heroes, Victor Wooten, he approaches music from the perspective of it being about communication. He always starts from simple and approachable concepts and ideas, building into more complex notions if necessary or desired by his students. His goal is to focus on each and every aspect of music equally, rather than stressing only on the technical and theoretical concepts. 

Along with his passion for helping others learn the joy of playing music and the bass, Zach is continually increasing his own musical understanding and education. Whether that is through his daily practicing routine or a workshop he is involved with, his curiosity and enthusiasm for improvement are just as strong as the first day he picked up the instrument.