Jeff Berlin plays Larry Graham

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Jul 30, 2018.


  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis


    I will give you guys a break, but as you can tell, I like Jeff Berlin’s channel.
     
  2. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I haven't watched the video yet but I'm calling this first: I've got $10 that says Jeff doesn't play it the way Larry does.
     
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  3. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    Virginia
    I'm with you, Doc. I know he's not loved around here and I understand why. I'm cool with that. But he spent time with me in a long email exchange about 7 years ago when he really did not have to. He really seemed to be interested in helping me improve my playing and he got nothing out of the time he spent explaining concepts to me.

    I respect the man for that and for his talent. And yes, his advice helped a great deal.
     
  4. I think that would be true for anyone other than Larry Graham.
     
  5. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    While I don't disagree, my point was more about how antipodal Berlin and Graham can be in their execution. I dig that Jeff appreciates Larry's work, but I suspect he just can't bring himself to play that way, because so much of what makes Larry's funk funky is an almost inherent casualness-bordering-on-sloppiness. The low open E in the "Thank You" line comes out of Larry as if it's almost an accident, or an afterthought...it kind of slips out of his hands rather than getting deliberately struck. Jeff just plays it like it's another note in the line...because Jeff is all about intention.
     
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  6. toprekoms

    toprekoms Inactive

    Aug 22, 2010
    Colorado
    Why is he not loved around here? He is one of the best who ever lived. And don't forget, he's in his seventies.
     
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  7. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    His musical skill isn't the issue.
     
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    65
     
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    He is 67 this year.
     
  10. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Ya I'm not sure what age has to do with it. My downstairs neighbor is 103 and he's a a-hole.
     
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  11. toprekoms

    toprekoms Inactive

    Aug 22, 2010
    Colorado
    Then what is the issue?
     
  12. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Ive admired his playing since i started playing bass in 1981. Guys like him kept me home to practice when all my idiot friends were getting drunk at high school parties
     
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  13. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It's the opinion of many people that he's arrogant, condescending, rude, dismissive, endlessly self promoting, not nearly as amazing at teaching or playing bass as he thinks he is, and generally unpleasant
     
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  14. 4001

    4001 Inactive

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    And, since those types will outnumber someone like you, their ignorant opinions will too and a big bully like JB, to them, is a BUZZ-KILL because all they want to do is sell beer in bar bands playing music that doesn't require JB's advice.
     
  15. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    That is the most antiseptic take on that song I've ever heard. There's just nothing funky about JB playing it. Some fancy riffing and solid time keeping throughout, yes, but he misses the heart and warmth that LG puts into it. The swagger of Graham's playing cannot be replaced with metronomic time-keeping.
     
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  16. AaronVonRock

    AaronVonRock

    Feb 22, 2013
    Bangkok
    You nailed it. This is why I don't like most guitar and bass shredders or most of the guys that appear on covers of guitar/bass magazines. They've got the technical chops to play anything, but it sounds soulless, mechanical, and over-rehearsed to me. And none of these guys can come up with a song like "Thank You" to save their lives. They would ruin it with unnecessary riffs, runs, and notes that kill the groove and soul (just like the video in the OP).

    However, I did enjoy his analysis of the song. That was spot on.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
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  17. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    You say that like it's a bad thing.:)
     
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  18. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Berlin just played the lick a few times, and then he analyzed the song. It was not a serious cover.
     
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  20. AaronVonRock

    AaronVonRock

    Feb 22, 2013
    Bangkok
    The video is not available in my country. Was it soulless and overly technical?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
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