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The tension between Jeff Berlin and Wooten & Bailey?!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by soong, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. soong


    May 10, 2007

    Check out these homepages and read the rants made by Jeff Berlin against Victor and Steve's teaching methods...just outright slamming their methods!

    I'm so so sorry if this is old news, i only saw this now and didnt know how to go about searching for old topics.

    I'm so curious for Wooten and Steve's responses...The articles do not state a date so im not sure how old this is.

    Have you guys read this?
  2. Rebop


    Jul 9, 2008
    La Honda, CA
    I sort of agree with Jeff Berlin on a lot of things; he's a major douche and can come on a little strong, but I agree.

    On a side note, all three of their websites are designed so horribly that can't even browse them for more than a few seconds. I bet they all do the graphics themselves and host with geocities. LOL :D
    J_Bass likes this.
  3. "Notes, harmony, reading, transcription, ear training, writing parts, absolutely anything to do with written music, even simple music is better than the entire tablature or technique motivated educational programs that are smelling up the music educational system here in the U.S. The Germans, the French, the Venezuelans, the Chinese are killing us in regards to musical education and they are producing way better players than we have here in the States. Why? Because they have a work ethic and they study music." -Berlin from VW website

    To say that music is lost and technique motivated music programs are smelling up the music business may be true but you have to see it from the past. When did they start cutting funds for art programs in elementary schools, middle school and high schools? This is a huge part of the reason why we aren't producing scholar musicians, not because of an individuals aspiration to introduce music into the heart of young people's minds through a different method.

    To Jeff; although I respect your playing and your knowledge of music I think you should rethink what you are saying and take a look at our nations educational system. It is the drastic drop in funds to keep the music and art departments in schools alive that have America this way. I recall as a young chap in high school trying to go to music and art college but had no direction due to lack of music/art education. I later joined the military because of this and it was a great decision. In a few months I'll be auditioning for the Navy Band so I did find the outlet, it just took struggling through life, enlisting and a connection. To say we are not studying hard or do not have work ethic is complete slander IMO. Talk to an average American and say that to them and try not to get punched when they are working 3+ jobs just feed their kids and put a roof over their heads.
    (I got a little off topic but when you compare other countries and our, it seems like an unpatriotic thing to say about your fellow brothers)

    I was motivated enough to forget all that is bass and serve my country and finally get back to where I wanted to be after almost 6 years. We do try and we are motivated and there are many that keep trying. The reason why we focus on everything else but music is the governments outlook on trying to be as advanced in technology as possible and producing amazing athletes and be advanced in medical care or other areas of more importance (according to them).

    There are great musicians out there it's just that they aren't found or they are in either military bands, orchestra's or just hobbyist. Not everyone is a star nor can they be but only within the comforts of their own walls. And to include, it seems like you are dissappoined with Americans inability to study and learn music. There are people that are wanting to learn, it's just really difficult and we rely on you guys as our mentors. Now to see these mentors fighting is not a good example. You all are our mentors and teachers and we learn. I think this whole burning each other should stop and everyone should stop getting butt hurt about it.
  4. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones

    Perhaps coincidentally, I am generally more moved by Steve and Victor's playing than I am by Jeff. I am impressed by Jeff's technique and harmonic knowledge, and respect him for being able to do what he does, but I don't dig it.

    And although I don't really want to play anything like Victor either (that's his voice, not mine) I'd be glad to go to his camp. Reading "The Music Lesson" really gave me a lot to add to my playing.

    Scales and harmony are words and phrases. You can have a great vocabulary without having anything interesting to say...

    But I've known a lot of people with very interesting things to say, even with a limited vocabulary.
  5. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Internet drama... ;)

    Steve and/or Wooten should just post "LOL JEFF HOW UR STEREO CHORUS!???!??!111oneone" under those quotes from Jeff Berlin.

    Anyway, more seriously, Jeff Berlin makes some points I agree with, but man, he does seem to like to ruffle some feathers.
  6. The point he makes might be valid to some degree since we as Americans do not have discipline like other countries do but it doesn't make it right to put us down. We produce great musicians and though some of them aren't DiPiazzas or Feraud, Lagrene ect. why does it matter. Music is evolving and if you listen closely to his playing it's very good but nothing new IMHO. Either way everyone learns differently and plays differently, that's why it's called a voice. I agree with KEB that this is internet drama and how he is ruffling feathers I just do not agree with Jeff's point of view on some things and believe it's not necessary to act the way he did.
  7. bassist15


    Mar 6, 2006
    Since when has there been a race against other countries to produce the next great music star? Where is the tally for that? How stupid is that. Someone made a good point when they talked about music and arts being cut in schools...thats the biggest problem.
  8. Marksb_2000


    Jun 2, 2006
    Atlanta, Ga
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Jeff is a great player, but he seems to get more publicity from criticizing others than from the music he makes himself. Something Jeff knows all too well.

    Sad in a way.
  10. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    So far I've given Berlin the benefit of the doubt, but he's on another planet here.

    I can learn scales and stuff from a book - if I was lucky enough to attend Wooten or Bailey's camps I would expect something more enlightning. Such stuff as "groove" may sound dumb, but it's important. How do you teach it? It's difficult, and so sometimes' sounds dumb - obviously Jeff prefer's to teach the easy stuff.

    Seperate hand studies - of course... Given a problem I work on the individual bits, and THEN I put them together. If I find a passage I can't play, I identify my weakness and work on studies which address tat weakness is isolation. If my right hand is weak then I work on it, and then put it back together with my left. This is exactly the formal "european" approach that Jeff aspires to.

    Warm Up? Well Jeff made the analogy of an athelete training his left or right leg. Ask any sports coach if warm up is important.
  11. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    I realize were talking about 2 completely different things here, but if Musicians in America suck so bad how come thats where the majority of monitarily successful musicians come from? I understand it has become a very cookie cutter music business here in america, but we still have it WAAAAY over any other country.

    I strongly dislike Jeff Berlin. He talks badly about some great, well respected players, while himself has some unconventional methods of teaching. Telling people to NOT practice with a metronome????!! Give me a break. Jeff embodies everything that I feel is wrong with bass players. Playing 1000 notes a minute over the top of classy stuff, and completely ruining it in the process does not make a virtuoso. Jeff has very little tact, and does not know the definition of playing in the pocket.
  12. soong


    May 10, 2007
  13. After his criticism of the American musical system, I'd like to mention that it produced him ;)

    It'd be a paradox for him. He'd be stuck between denying his own greatness or reevaluating what he said about the American musical system, making him wrong and therefore less great.

    Maybe he'd pop :p

    No more chorus in jazz!! w00tXX0r5!
  14. Wow, someone has been drinking the Haterade. I'm amazed anyone would post that. Even if most would think it's true, bad pub posting shots like that...unless he's hoping the publicity helps people hear of him.
  15. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    There's a video series on BassPlayer.tv where it's Jeff Berlin & Steve Bailey talking to each other. Check that out to see these 2 talk in person.

    I don't dig a chunk of what Jeff says, but seeing this thread reminded me-i like his version of "Tears in Heaven"-so i think my next transcription project will be to get that down.

    Overall, it seems that he needs to chill. I respect him as a player, would love to take some lessons with him, but eh-with the negativity that he seems to be spreading, I'd rather not. I've got enough negative energy in my life.
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I'd seen the stuff printed on Victor's site but not the stuff on Steve's site before this thread- a lot of the stuff that's printed on Steve's site is pure BS. Most of his analogies don't even correlate to what he's trying to say. Hands are a body part and simply playing the instrument to warm them up will not put them in the positions to stretch and prepare nearly as well as a good warm-up routine. As stated, you don't warm up for running by running.

    Training right vs. left hand is also a common practice when learning drums, piano, etc., and "right eye vs left eye vision practicing" is EXACTLY what eye doctors do if you have an eye that is too dominant over the other.

    Jeff definitely puts the cart way before the horse on a lot of issues, including his idea that you don't need to focus on fretless intonation playing. Just learning to play music until these things become natural ignores the fact that your music is going to sound like crap for a long time when you ignore these issues rather than deal with them.
  17. Riiiiiiiiiiight. Fretless players don't need to worry about intonation. What a chode! :rollno:
  18. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Bad attention is better than no attention at all.

    He gets more attention with his mouth, but it now overshadows his brilliant playing.
  19. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The warmup thing is about the only thing Jeff has said that I agree with. I really don't see a benefit to doing warmup exercises that cause you to stretch. You can stretch your hand in the car on the way to the gig, and then you can play a little on the bass for a few minutes. Never failed to warm me up.
  20. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    The "stretching your hand in the car" is a stretching warm-up exercise :D