Felt Bass Guitar Picks

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jackajesusfreak, Mar 11, 2009.


  1. jackajesusfreak

    jackajesusfreak

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Any of you bass pick users ever use a felt pick? I'm trying to decide which pick to use and the felt seems a good option. Good grip and has more of that 'finger' sound.
  2. Number27

    Number27

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Framingham, Massachusetts
    if you want finger sound then use your fingers :p

    no but seriously, if you're looking to get something without the classically annoying pick clack that plastic gives you i'd look into wood or rubber as alteratives if a felt pick can't be had. i've never tried felt myself, but i make my own wooden picks and get none of that clack.
  3. jackajesusfreak

    jackajesusfreak

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    thanks number 27
  4. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I keep a couple in each case ... just "in case" ... :rolleyes:

    They work ok for some styles, not ideal for fast playing (eg, a rock and roll walking/running bass line). They eliminate the plastic pick "clacking". I also use plastic picks, just my fingers, or my thumb, or all of the above at times.
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  6. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio/West Virginia
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Gravity Picks
    Way too thick for me. I use very thin picks compared to most people though, at just 0.50 mm, very small compared to usual IIRC.

    I got a few felts for Christmas when I got my Dean Playmate, which I sold, and loved the sound of them on the acoustic, but hated the sound of them on my Peavey and Fender.

    I say buy some Stubbies, about the same thickness but hard, with a crisp sound.
  7. Lichtaffen

    Lichtaffen Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    I bought one from GC a year ago, but it was too thin. A friend gave me one over 15 years ago that was the perfect thickness/rigidity but the tip has gotten worn over the years and it's unusable now. I have no idea who made that particular pick. It was softer than the one I got from GC and I always felt like it had the sound of the felt hammers hitting a piano string.
  8. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process... Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    I never felt the need to try them....

    :bag:
  9. fretlessguy

    fretlessguy

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Location:
    West Memphis/Marion area, AR.
    I do not use any picks as a general rule, but really liked felt ones. When I first started getting arthritis I used felt ones because they did sound like fingers and were easier to play with. Since changing my technique and taking medicine before I play, I have not had that problem too much. I did like them better than the big rubber one I tried.
    The only time I use picks are with my octave mandolin and Irish bouzouki.
  10. BZadlo

    BZadlo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I used to use them when I first started playing because I couldn't get a relaxed sound with my fingers. At this point, I would just play with my fingers if I wanted that sound and use a regular pick if I want a pick sound.
    Some brands are harder than others and all of them tend to get softer as you use them.
    I remember that they didn't last very long and cover your bass in lint.
  11. Wayne8

    Wayne8

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Jackson, Mississippi
    The only time I ever used a felt pick I wound up with felt dust all over my bass and I didn't like that so I quit using it. 'Course, it was a real fast, hard song so the results might've been different than with normal use. I read where someone the other day said that they used leather. Got me to thinking about trying picks cut from say a stiff leather belt.

    I've thought of using rubber picks but the reviews said that they, too, would deteriorate and leave 'dust' on your bass. Hard picks have too much 'clack' for me.
  12. jtc_hunter

    jtc_hunter

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    I play with a pick all the time, but I hate felt picks. They desintegrate all over your bass and make a mess. Go to a music store and look for a fairly thick plastic pick with beveled edges. Dunlop makes a 20mm one that is good. The beveled edge makes it mostly silent but is much better than felt. You may have to adjust your EQ to taste. I like to take a small nail and put it in a set of vise-grips,heat it up with a torch, and put tiny hloes in the "finger" side of the plastic picks. Kind of a grip improvement, so my hands dont get tired after 45+ songs.
  13. hieronymous

    hieronymous

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Location:
    Northern CA
    I like the Wedgie rubber picks. Personally, I favor a pick made from woolly mammoth tusk these days, with flats.
  14. randbguy

    randbguy

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Rockwood Ontario, Canada
    I liked the felt picks when I first started playing bass. They were Ukelely picks I think, white and fairly firm. I find I get a good tone from an 80-100 mm plastic pick using the rounded part rather than the pointed part, when I use a pick now.
  15. ErebusBass

    ErebusBass

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Never tried felt, but I love the tone of nylon picks. They still have a little bit of clack, but it sounds more musical that hard plastic.
  16. EduardoK

    EduardoK Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Though I mostly go fingerstyle, I always keep an assortment of picks on my wallet going from bronze to felt and many in between. I like felts when a very soft attack is needed and I like them. You have to find the "right" felp pick though, one that is fairly thick and resistant. The ones I use do wear off rather fast but they certainly never desintegrate on my bass !!!! ;)
  17. Xierion

    Xierion

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Today I had a thought about cutting the pick shape I use out of a cheap mousemat from work. After testing, to me it sounds the same as finger plucking, but with the feel of an albeit thicker pick.

    Its a cheaper option as you could cut a fair few pick shapes out of a $1.50 mousepad with the fabric pulled off
  18. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    Minnesota - Twin Cities
    Jack too bad I could have sent you one to test.

    Rubber is a less mess alternative.

    For bass you may end up making your own
  19. SVincent

    SVincent

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
  20. Kawai-chang

    Kawai-chang

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I use the small red Jim Dunlop Jazz III picks. similar to how Chris Squire explains with his picking technique, I have a bit of my thumb hitting the string after the tip of the pick does. It seems to take a little of the "clack" away. I used felt picks before and do like the tone. I've always thought about the leather pick option.
  21. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    I used to play with a pick, exclusively. Today, I play mostly with fingers. Occasionally with a pick. I have never, ever, played with a pick that was not made of felt.

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