Welcome to the Jeff Berlin at All About Jazz

Jeff Berlin

Instrument: Bass | Location: Nashville

Updated: June 10, 2018

Born: January 17, 1953

Jeff Berlin is a legend of the electric bass. Simply put, he is considered by many to be the finest electric bass player in the world. Surprisingly, he is a pioneer of slap bass when he brought this new percussive-style bass playing in 1979 to the second Bill Bruford album, “One of a Kind”, on the tune called 5G. Jeff also pioneered two handed tapping when he performed this style on Motherlode from his 1985 release of his first solo album called “Champion”. When these styles began to catch on with other bass players, Jeff stopped playing these styles.

Jeff is known as a major innovator through his incisive playing through recordings and performances for the last thirty years.  Jaco Pastorius regarded Jeff as a better soloist than he was. Geddy Lee referred to Jeff as the “greatest bass player on the planet”. Marcus Miller told people that he wanted to be the “Black Jeff Berlin”.

The founder of The Players School of Music in Clearwater, Florida, Jeff has also been at the front of music education for almost 30 years. His column in Guitar Player and Bass Player magazines were the most read columns due to their controversial content of music education. He regularly puts down using electronic tuners, metronomes, handgrips, tablature, or any study method that does not include musical content. For this, the music world has polarized in two camps, either for, or against the principles that Jeff believes will make a great player out of a good one.

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