What Does Jeff Berlin Have Against Metronomes?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jasper383, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. The time is quite off on those albums. Perhaps Jeff should've used one.

    I've enjoyed many albums with Mr Berlin but I don't understand how he became such an authority. He's just another player.

    As someone said above, Jeff Berlin says a lot of things. Didn't he say fretless players were all Jaco wannabes? It's funny coz long before I learned about his controversies, I thought he had the most Jaco wannabish sound.
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Wow!! Which tracks are you referring to? I've always thought that "One Of A Kind", "Gradually Going Tornado" have some of the tightest rhythm section work I've ever heard!! The live album "The Bruford Tapes" has the odd glitch, but - er - it's live.

    Not sure what you mean when you say Jeff's "just another player". If you mean he's not very good, then I'm afraid you're totally wrong in my book; he's one of the best bassists I've ever been fortunate enough to see play.
  3. Berlin can stand by his recordings. He is perhaps the most amazing technician ever to play the bass in a soloist concept. His chordal work is also amazing.
    I agree on his raves about Tab for example. But both is fine.
    The metronome thing is one of degree. Of subtle degrees. Jeff is all about learning solos but that is not all there is for most of us. Its about playing a groove. I personally think a drum machine can be productive. But if you want to nail a lick a metronome is fine.
  4. I mean he's good among many other good players, but he doesn't stand out. Good for you if you like him, I do as well but I wouldn't call myself a fan.

    As for which tracks... I don't have any of them anymore and the ones I had where tapes with no titles (we stole music back then too). Belzeebub is one (I know it's not 4/4) and some other on that album that I can't remember. Overall, it sounds stiffled. Bruford isn't the tightest drummer either. I like their compositions but their playing is so-so. That's in my book, sold at amazon.
  5. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I'm listening to Beelzebub as I type. If that's so-so playing, I'd love to hear some of your recommendations for real virtuosos.

    A nomination for a tighter drummer than Bill Bruford would be an interesting start.
    31HZ likes this.
  6. So-so is a relative term. They're good players but IMO, not the tightest and certainly not the grooviest. Bruford soud like a classical musician. Beelzebub is a great tune. I picked it because it's the only title I remember. No need to get your panties in a bunch.

    If you want names, just go over the bassists forum, there are plenty.
  7. I think that Jeff became well known early on as a music educator in addition to being a really good bass player. He used to write articles for Guitar Player magazine in the later 1980's.

    I don't remember him being controversial in those days. I always liked his articles. He did a two-part article about playing Bach's Prelude in C minor from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I.

    - Dave
  8. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    So any name in the bassists forum will do as an example of a better player than Jeff Berlin. Right, really useful, thanks. :rolleyes:

    I can see you've already upgraded them from so-so to good, I'm sure they'll be delighted and inspired to work on their grooviness a bit more.

    Sorry if I seemed to get my panties in a bunch before, I think it's just one of the effects I suffer from when exposed to this sort of post.

  9. I just won't get into some stupid comparaison with other bassists argument. I've already said in my first post that he was good, but nothing special. That's so-so for you. Do you really think I think he's an incompetent? I didn't say that. How old are you? :rollno:

    I remember his forum too and I don't understand how such a close-minded person can become a authority on bass education.

    Happy birthday.
  10. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Oh, come on, who's got their panties in a bunch now?

    You've already said that his timing is off, he's "so-so" or "nothing special" and "not the grooviest". This is all in reference to someone who's widely and rightly regarded as a great player by many others. Who the hell are you to even suggest that he's not that good? That's what the tone of your posting implies.

    For your information (although I'm struggling to see the relevance), I'm 44. I first saw Jeff Berlin play in 1979. The reason he's so respected and an authority on education is simple - he's a brilliant musician. He may be close-minded and you may even consider him incorrect in some of his opinions (I don't agree with everything he says), but that's nothing to do with his talent, which IS something pretty special despite what you seem to think.

    I confess to getting annoyed when I see what I perceive as a lack of respect for a great player from somebody who wouldn't even come close to their level of talent. If I'm misjudging you here and you're actually a much better player than Jeff is, I apologise. If that is the case, you must be amazing.

    Sorry for calling you out on this, but really - what do you expect when you make such crass remarks? Applause?
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    Let's see.
    Doesn't use yard long pedalboards.
    Doesn't slap with his toes, doesn't tap with his nose.
    Doesn't use 10 grand custom instruments with rotten tops.

    Jeff Berlin is a fantastic musician. He's just not flashy enough to appeal to the hip crowd.
  12. I don't think flashyness is the problem. The problem is attitude. Arrogance rarely plays well with fans.

    - Dave
  13. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Dave, I think you're dead right. He is arrogant - or comes over that way sometimes - and people find it hard to dissociate the negative feelings they have about him for that reason from their evaluations of his playing.

    Jaco would probably arouse the same sorts of controversy if he were still around to do so, and for the same reasons.
  14. I was going to mention Jaco. With Jaco, at least we can blame it on the drugs, alcohol and mental illness.

    - Dave
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Maybe Jeff has a mental illness as well-the incessant ticking of the metronomes drives him mad......
  16. Ty_Boogie

    Ty_Boogie Bass, A way of life

    Sep 6, 2004
    Troy, NY
    What's a metronome? :p

    (naturally funky, I am)
  17. Ok Bill, I can't stand that word but I'll call him overrated.

    Jaco is a whole other subject. He's already in history, recognized not only by bass players but musicians in general. People play Jaco, not the other way around. In a hundred years, people will still be talking about him.
  18. Kristopher


    Mar 13, 2005
    Tempe, AZ
    The answer to the original post is readily available with a google search using the words "jeff berlin metronome" (without the quotes). For those who'd rather just have a link: www.mikevisceglia.com/aug2002.html

    I went to the Players School for a month and had quite a few lessons with Jeff Berlin. I think calling him arrogant is pretty over the top. He's a really nice and very intelligent guy with a lot of opinions that he wholeheartedly believes in, and he was always open to discuss his beliefs and opinions. I personally felt everything he said was thought out and from a standpoint of experience. Read the interview with the guy, I challenge anyone to point out any statement he says that's just flat out false or out of line.

    Maybe people would have more respect for him if he died drunk and penniless a couple of decades ago? :bag:
  19. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    They are kind of like Chinese Water Torture, aren't they.
    :bag: ;)
  20. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Inactive

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    I heard long ago he killed a metronome and burried it under his floorboards, but even now he can still hear it clicking...
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