Funk - With a Pick!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Misterwogan, Jan 29, 2013.


  1. Misterwogan

    Misterwogan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    Heresy, I know. It gets worse...

    I'be been playing around with my GIBSON SG BASS in a funky kind of way with a pick. The root of this, is how easily the right hand falls on the bridge of the SG and so opens up the opportunity for palm muting. I'm a guitarist of 35 years, but relatively new to bass.

    I'm familiar with the dead-note technique using the left hand and have had good results with it myself. What I'm now doing is attempting to achieve the same effect by using the right palm with a pick.

    I'm really happy with results so far, I've tried Chic, Good Times and Wild Cherry, Play That Funky Music and although the method is vastly different to how the originals, the effect really works for me anyway. Plus, with this method I feel that I get more control of the muting effect than I would from the traditional method.

    Has anyone else done this?
  2. bkbirge

    bkbirge Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2000
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    I mute all the time with both hands, with a pick and without, it can be handy for pushing a feel.
  3. Misterwogan

    Misterwogan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    Without a pick and with your palm?
  4. Wookieonbass

    Wookieonbass

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    Enchanted Mitten, USA
    I use palm muting quite often when I use a pick.

    As a side note check out Bobby Vega. That dude has playing funk with a pick dialed in!
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  6. Misterwogan

    Misterwogan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    I have - that's what started me off on this.
  7. jhuss88

    jhuss88

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I like doing this. People don't realize how funky you really can get with a pick. Big second on checking out Bobby Vega. Funk pick machine.
  8. Misterwogan

    Misterwogan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    Absolutely. What funk is doing is being percussive but with pitch. How more percussive can you be, but with a pick and a palm?
  9. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle
    Check out Sly and the Family Stone "I Get High On You"...
  10. Mushroo

    Mushroo

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Can't get much more funky-with-a-pick than some of Anthony Jackson's work... O'Jay's "For the Love of Money" as an example. :)
  11. Spaldo

    Spaldo

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    Ballaarat, Australia
  12. Rev J

    Rev J

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    Berkeley, Ca.
  13. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    London,NewYork,Paris,Braintree
    Funk works great with a pick, the muting, pinch harmonics, chording, stroke variation etc all lend itself to funk.
    I set up a bass recently for funk, what I look for is a slight 'buzz' in the frets on and above the 12 fret.
    So the action is kinda low, but more important is the fact a take a bit of relief out of the neck....so it does not have forward relief to clear those frets, it actually buzzes them.
    But below the 12th fret, and as you close in on the nut, from the 7th fret down it is hardly audible unless you 'dig in'.
    Some video was shot of how and why I done it, the footage gives an insight into how the set-up adds to the sound and feel of not only what I was after, but the effects used with it....and of course the effects that can be gained from the expression of the player and the instrument.
    If I can get a hold of it I will post a link to it, some of the pick stuff was cool. :)
  14. bkbirge

    bkbirge Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2000
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Yes. But in that case I'm using my thumb to pluck. Usually I'll mute with the palm and play with a pick or play with fingers and mute with the fretting hand. Sometimes a combo of both. They all get slightly different sounds and feels.

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