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when someone asks you to try playing with a pick....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by hernameisrio, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. hernameisrio

    hernameisrio

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    ...for ALL THE SONGS for the whole project...

    and you're not getting paid for it...

    but the band has a decent amount of press, possible tour dates lined up, and seems relatively promising...

    what would you do?

    I said sure and agreed that it would provide the sort of tone they're hoping for. However, I'm just not as good with a pick as I am with my fingers and it honestly makes me kinda apprehensive to completely switch my technique for an entire band. Obviously the solution to this is to practice, which I will, but I feel a little imposed upon and am not sure if this is the sort of thing where I should stand my ground or be flexible.

    Furthermore, even if I were just as strong with a pick as I were with my fingers, I still wouldn't favor the pick. I just don't like it. It just doesn't feel good to me and I think there is plenty of variety of tone to be had without it. That's me and I know everyone's different. I don't expect anyone to agree.

    But is this a battle worth fighting or should I just give it a shot and let them dictate something like this?
  2. rashbeep

    rashbeep

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    grow your fingernails?

    :meh:
  3. Neek

    Neek Supporting Member

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    It doesn't hurt to learn a new technique. It's better to have the skills and not use them than to not have the skills when you need them.
  4. ddhm

    ddhm Supporting Member

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    Tell then that "if they wanted a pick player, they should have hired one".
  5. hernameisrio

    hernameisrio

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    I just realized that the only people who have ever asked me to play with a pick, are...not bass players.

    Growing nails: hmm. I don't know, not really practical for my job.

    I mean, I'll try the pick. I'm not opposed to trying new things. What I am opposed to is when people who aren't PAYING me to try new things, try to get me to try new things.
  6. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

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    I used to be a fingerstyle only type of player. And I was dogmatic about it. Eventually I heard someone playing with a pick (and some generous palm muting) and things turned for me. I wanted to become a better pick player because I came to realize that pick playing wasn't all about chugging 8th notes in lockstep with a rhythm guitar player. It took a good deal of practice, but I got better.

    As for this scenario? It depends. Some bandleaders / songwriters have a very specific vision for the total band sound. And some of those visionaries may be great. Others are just control freaks. If you can figure out which of the two your bandleader is, you might bristle less at the suggestion.

    In my last project, I was playing about half of the material fingerstyle, and half of it with a pick. And that judgement was based on what the songs called for. Try going into this with an open mind. But if you think a part would be stronger played fingerstyle? Then feel free to say so.
  7. nojj

    nojj Guest

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    when someone asks you to try playing with a pick....

    I just show it to 'em. Then ask about what *kind* of pick they want to hear.
    Been a pick player since I first started on bass.
    Usually I'll curl it under my pointer finger when not using,
    and switch back and forth throughout the set.

    But all things considered,
    if someone feels a specific picker or slapper or a tapper or a fretless/6string etc player is that important to the Scheme of Things,
    they should go out and find one.
  8. maxgrant

    maxgrant Supporting Member

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    I'd say "I'm much better at fingerstyle. If you want a sharper attack, I'll turn up the treble."

    And: "If you think it's that easy, go for it." Very few players would try to take the bass out of my hands, however.
  9. gregmon79

    gregmon79 We've come to kill gods...... Supporting Member

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    Just give it a shot. Or grow s couple of longer fingernails. I know I will play with a pick at very seldom times but I play a lot better with my fingers. But if they would like you to play with a pick just try it. I believe that the more styles you know how to play, the better. It will open up avenues in your mind. I know when I play with a pick Im more inclined to write different material than with mu fingers. Its cool. Same as in playing with my thumb as a pick .
  10. Marial

    Marial Proud Papa-to-be Supporting Member

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    Bingo.
  11. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor, Lakland
    If this is a potential pro tour situation, then you need be a pro about it and do what is best for the music.

    Saying you are much better at fingerstyle is nice on the ego, but that is an easy way to get fired. Versatility is the secret to getting the good gigs.
  12. IncX

    IncX

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    if i really like them, i'd learn how to play with a pick ... but if they are just so-so, and i'm not getting paid, i'd probably ditch the band because it wont be as fun.

    i wonder why they got you instead of a pick playing bassist though...
  13. hernameisrio

    hernameisrio

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    The bass lines are really busy too. This could be a recipe for fun. Or carpal tunnel syndrome.
  14. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

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    Maybe, but how many projects have you been in where there was another bassist already on board?

    I would bite the bullet and take it as an opportunity to build a new skill. To tell the truth, I've been doing the same thing - just going over songs I already play fingerstyle with a pick to get more comfortable and accurate with my pick technique.
  15. ShoeManiac

    ShoeManiac Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't worry about how busy the lines are too much. With practice you'll get to be just as fast with the pick as you are fingerstyle.

    But the key is getting comfortable enough with the pick that you can relax your right hand. When I started playing with the pick, I had a death grip on it! It put a lot of undue strain on my pick hand and wrist. And it was all because I was nervous about using the pick.
  16. hernameisrio

    hernameisrio

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    Also, I didn't realize "pick player" was a thing....? :/

    The guitarist was the one who asked me this, by the way. He wrote the bass lines. The bass lines are cool but they sound like lead guitar parts on bass, at least to me. I got the standard, "Paul McCartney played with a pick" thing. Which is like, cool story bro...but the Beatles bass lines were not as busy as this!

    So I don't know. I get what you guys are saying, but I think it's always a different story when the band is not fully developed and you're not getting paid. Thankfully, the guitarist seems to "get" this and made it clear that it's just a suggestion. So I guess I'll just see what happens. I have enough to worry about...a little piece of plastic is not gonna destroy my life.
  17. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

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    ^Yup! I'm with this not my style and for no pay? Please!
  18. hernameisrio

    hernameisrio

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    I'll find a way to make it fun. I mean, I started out on guitar so it's not like a totally new concept...I'm just not used to it on bass. It does provide a different tone...guess I might as well get familiar and just see how things go. I certainly don't want to be the type of player who "refuses" to do things that are actually pretty reasonable requests. This is important to me and I want to do well.

    The styles the guitarist referenced for me are bands like Weezer, Green Day, Letters To Cleo. Power pop. So I guess I'll start finding players who are in that vein (who play with a pick), and listen to them for ideas.
  19. GlennW

    GlennW Supporting Member

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    What do you need ideas for?

    The guitarist writes your parts.

    And now he's suggesting how you should play them.

    The guitarist has the ideas, and one of them is finding someone who lets him call the shots. He wants you to be his bass machine.

    And all this for no money?

    That's a tough call. :D
  20. Demon_Hunter

    Demon_Hunter

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    Do you just not want to play with a pick because of that stupid old saying, "Real bass players don't use picks" and you're actually more worried about what other bass players think of you? :bag:


    and no money?? what....?

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