Before taking up the bass Artie Bernstein played cello, working in dance bands. After abandoning a career in law, he became a professional musician and worked in New York with several noted jazzmen of the early 30s, including Red Nichols and Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. Bernstein played extensively with pick-up bands on recording sessions, both on jazz and pop dates. In mid-1939 he joined Benny Goodman, playing in his big band and sextet, recording and appearing at the band's second, and much less well-known, Carnegie Hall Concert. He left Goodman early in 1941, deciding upon a career as a studio musician in Hollywood. This new career was interrupted by service during World War II when he continued to play, this time with an Army Air Force band. His film and television studio work continued through the late 40s and 50s and until shortly before his death. Bernstein was a strong and technically accomplished musician, and he provided a solid, swinging base to the bands with which he worked virtually every label.