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Animosity against the pick?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Vince S., Nov 17, 2003.

  1. Impudence! Use your fingers!

    25 vote(s)
  2. I only play with a pick dude!

    5 vote(s)
  3. I play both ways. (state which way you usualy play)

    33 vote(s)
  4. Who cares?

    20 vote(s)
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  1. Vince S.

    Vince S. Resident Former Bassist

    Jan 24, 2003
    I've noticed that many bass players don't like to play with a pick, and pick playing seems to have a somewhat negative attitutde about it, at least as I've noticed. Is there a reason that picks aren't used more frequently in bass playing? I play both fingerstyle and pick, but my bass seems to give a better tone when I play with a pick.
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    A lot of the techniques used by a lot of players -- slapping, tapping, raking, etc. can only be used with fingers. I generally feel that I have more control with my fingers, and picks slip and slide in my grip, so I don't use it. Those that have more experience can have many more dynamics in their sound via their fingers, etc.
    The animosity probably stems from that alot of the people who start off with no intention of seriously playing use picks and play root notes for two months and then quit. Could also be from that whole "guitarist who plays bass", rather than a "bassist" thing that pisses a lot of people off.
  3. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I use the pick because there are some tones that I want that I cannot get without my pick... and sometimes, I want a pick to play fast... I have the chops to play fast with my fingers, I just dont like to employ them all the time.
  4. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Well I think the reason has to do with what Govithoy said...I see many bass players that play with picks and jump around like animals onstage and it looks ridiculous. If they want to play that sorta stuff that is cool, but I hope they have no pretensions about actually being skilled musicians.

    I personally think it completely lacks tone of any sort and hate the sound of it.
  5. I don't like playing with a pick.. I feel disconected from the strings.. But I can't deny that there are tones that can only be produced when playing with one. I love the growl of the lower trings EQ-ed with lots of lower midrange and played with a heavy guitar pick..
  6. Contrary to many thoughts plenty of finger style bassists will record with a pick. Names the come to mind...Flea...Geddy Lee.
  7. Yep. I can't count the times that I've found a picked bass to sit better in the mix.

    And yeah, the negative connotations come from so many people who can't really play at all using a pick. Other bassists generally don't care so much if you can actually play with pick and not just screw around like a wannabe guitarist.
  8. blaire


    Jul 15, 2003
    The land of Rice
    I prefer playing with fingers but I can use a pick when I need to. I generally dont like the sound of picks either, too wacky and no roundness at all. Also living in japan all you see is clones of bands playing a fender p-bass with heaps of stickers on it and a guy jumping around. Boring.
  9. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Screw the negative attitude, seriously.

    Playing groovy, funky, and fluid has nothing to do with the presence or absence of a pick....
  10. I've only tried playing with a pic a couple of times, and I get tons of buzz and no tone...I'm probably doing something wrong but I can't figure out what...been playing fingerstyle for 6 yrs
  11. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    I've made it a point to be able to play and get good tones using both finger and pick. I find that some songs just work better with a pick. It's also easier to play faster with one.
  12. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Agreed. :)
  13. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I used to have great animosity towards picks, and looked down upon those who used them. But then I became a little less ignorant and realized that picks have their place. In my cover band, a lot of the songs we play were originally played with a pick, so i try to emulate that by playing with a pick myself.
  14. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have played bass for 28 years now.

    I have used the pick 28 years.

    I have use my fingers 28 years.

    You would never make love to a woman the same
    way twice, so you are gonna drone on musical technique?

    Time to MAN up!
  15. tim4003


    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    There's a lot more people out there using picks than most people realize!
    I'm one of them. I think it's important to be able to do both. Each has it's place.
  16. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I belong to the school of thought that a well rounded bassist can play well both with a pick and fingerstyle. I would never look down on a bassist who happens to be using a pick.
  17. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    There is nothing wrong with not liking the tone a pick produces, but to look down upon playing with a pick is pretty much a sign of immaturity and ignorance.

    First of all, Leo designed the P bass to be played with a pick. He assumed it would be something adopted by guitar players, but because upright players caught on as well, fingerstyle for bass guitar was developed.

    Secondly, some of the most highly thought of EBG players in its history have been pick users.

    John Paul Jones and John Entwistle come to mind off the top of my head. Those guys can/could play a little bit.
  18. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I've seen alot of fingerstule players that "jump around like animals onstage and it looks ridiculous."

    "but I hope they have no pretensions about actually being skilled musicians.
    Huh? What doed playing with a pick have to do with musical ability?
  19. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    I never see pick-users insulting finger players.

    I do often see finger players insult pick-users.

    That always makes me want to learn to use a pick, just out of spite!
    I try it every once in a while, but for the most part I prefer my fingers.
  20. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    When I first started I used a pick and fingerstyle.
    But for the past 14 years I've used fingerstyle techniques.
    My reason is one Pick versus Thumb and Fingers.
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