What Does Jeff Berlin Have Against Metronomes?

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

  1. catboyzee


    Jul 20, 2007
    Jeff Berlin is saying in effect, 'Never mind what other instructors have told you...DO IT MY WAY! BWAHAHAHAHA...Dante's inferno erupts.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Eh, Jeff is awesome now. He's always going to be Jeff, but he's really working on mellowing out and presenting himself in a less overbearing way. Has been for a few years now. He still thinks his way is the best way to get fast musical improvement, and there's a lot to be said for a no-BS approach to learning music. But he's mellowing in his um...slightly advanced age, and turns out he's downright likable ;)
  3. I agree. I've spoken to Jeff Berlin a few times by e-mail, commenting on and discussing with him some of his articles in Bass Player magazine, and I quite like him myself. I know he's got strong opinions, and has engendered his share of disagreements with him at times, especially in the past, but he's never been anything but courteous and gracious to me.
  4. I see a lot of myself in Berlin's strong opinions. My constant challenge in life is to remain open-minded and stay calm and not let my emotions get the best of me in an argument or debate. It's nice to see a guy like him change when he already is very successful to begin with.

    I think that's not very easy to accomplish and can be just as hard as previously-earned success, if that makes sense. :)

    (PS - You know, I live less than a mile from Bass Central, and wonder when we are going to run into each other.)
  5. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    Happy Zombie-thread!

    7 years dormant...
  6. conqr


    Feb 16, 2009
    Started by just playing along with recorded music until I played along perfectly. By the time I actually played with others, timing was never the issue, but rather all the other inevitable gaps in knowledge. That is not to say it's a bad idea, I just never bothered.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Well that's why...I'm a good 12 miles away ;)
  8. Plantbrain

    Plantbrain Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Passionate about bass, sick and tired of hearing the same old myths, I think being crotchety is well deserved. I've come to like him, the more I know him.

    I think some come across this way on line, but in person they are quite cool and you all go , "yes! that's so true", but on line, well............things can be misinterpreted. A lot of communication is lost there.
  9. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    The thing which has always puzzled me about Jeff's anti-metronome thing is this:
    How else can you practice sight reading in real time? When you start sight reading with other people playing, the flow of time is not going to bend with you as you figure out what's happening.
    Other than that, I really appreciate his tough, "there are no shortcuts" approach to learning music.
  10. worxforme

    worxforme Self Actualized Bad Speller

    Dec 10, 2009
    LAnsing MI
    Jeff's bad @$$ and is more successful and has contributed more to music than 99% of the people on here AND their instructors...

    My points not to dis anyone rather if you want to be more successful who should you listen to for advise? Someone more successful than yourself.
  11. conqr


    Feb 16, 2009
    Listen to Fieldy - gotcha!:D
  12. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Very true, but when presenting information it has to be correct, reputation or success is not an excuse to mis-lead with wrong information. :)
  13. And YOU are??????

    Couldn't help it. :p
  14. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Why is it so hard for people on here to understand Berlin's emphasis on natural timing development as opposed to using a crutch?

    A metronome, while useful for understanding mechanical time, if used redundantly, becomes a crutch and is a liability to developing your natural sense of time.
  15. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I think the basic concept is to learn the music first and the metronome is a reference later (like using it as a drummer).

    When you are learning to read (words), you do it slowly and out of time until you get it right. After practice, you get better at it and struggle less. As you become fluent, you can read with a constant and smooth rhythm. The same is true for music and most other things that are new.

    You don't need a metronome to have a good sense of time. You don't develop or practice with a metronome in order to get good time. Understanding and being comfortable and familiar the music you are playing will inherently give you a good sense of time as you won't be struggling with it.

    I never learn new music using a metronome. I use it as a reference once I understand what I am doing.
  16. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Of course i am because what i present is quantifiable and proven in use.....unless i state it as "opinion not to be taken as fact". :) :):rollno:

  17. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Well that was not Jeffs statement or his meaning.....or he would have explained that and be done with it years ago, what you state covers the point Jeff now alludes to.
    But it was a none issue to begin with and targeted as a blanket statement to anyone using a metronome or click in Jeffs experience....obviously Electronic Music needs natural timing...those Kraftwerk boys will never make it work. ;)
    So Jeff now talks about metronome use in a responsible way and that has to be appladed as a step in the right direction for him becoming a player and teacher of influence rather than a figure of fun. :)
  18. 64jazzbass


    Sep 5, 2002
    Chicago, Il
  19. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Actually, with the prevalence of click tracks these days in both studio and live work (a trend I absolutely detest unless it's Devo), it's actually necessary to learn to play with a metronome if you want to survive in any situation. But it will absolutely not give you good timing on your own. The good news is you can easily develop a good sense of time without it.
  20. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I think most anything, used too much, can become a crutch in one way or another. So we need to learn to play both with and without our assistive devices if we want to become well rounded musicians overall.

    A person who cannot use a (metronome, tuner, pick, theory, tabs, drum machine, effects etc..) holds no advantage over someone who can. And not everyone that uses those things necessarily NEEDs to use them or should continue to do so once they know how. But BECAUSE we learn them it gives us a chance to look at things a different way and potentially unlock doors of understanding that might otherwise remain closed..

    We are all different people with different skills and learning styles, abilities and preferences for this or that so we should try a bit of everything to see what clicks with us.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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