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Anybody use a pick AND fingers during the same song?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by catcauphonic, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Just curious how common this may be ... to start playing the song with your digits, and at some point in the tune whip out the plectrum, or vice versa??
    If so, I would think it would be of benefit to have some type of pedal with at least two amp presets, unless your technique is really refined, no? :bassist:

    Any popular (or not) songs I might hear some bassist doing so? I'm sure it's been done, and I probably already have heard it before ... I'm just drawing a blank and it's got me curious.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I do it maybe once a night, but I almost always do either or. Saw Kasim Sulton with Blue Oyster Cult a year ago and he would do it a few times during their set. My buddy Jauqo III-X always keeps a pick tucked into his hand so he can bust it out when he wants.
  3. I do, which made me invest in a "thumbpick", which I just realized I misplaced it somewhere. Oh well, back to holding a pick like normal, and plucking with my 2nd and 3rd fingers when needed. Anyways, I do it just to expand on different sounds.

    For example, I do it when covering "Locked Out of Heaven." Muted-pick sounds for the verses, and finger-plucking during chorus.
  4. newyorkiddo

    newyorkiddo I'm actually a cat. Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2013
    Houston, Texas
    I pretty much play most of my songs with a pick. Sometimes I play with my middle and ring fingers or do some one-figure tapping while still holding on to my pick. I just feel weird not holding a pick in my hand!
  5. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I've done it, but not often.

    I mostly use my first two fingers, and sometimes my thumb, and then a pick for certain songs.
  6. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Yes, I do. I'm generally fingers all the way, but I play pick on a few songs that really call for it. One such song has an extended breakdown where I vamp on kind of a "Peace Sells" style riff that just sounds wrong played without a pick. The rest of the song before and after is fingerstyle. I keep the pick in my back pocket or in my mouth for the first half of the song, then let it drop to the ground after the breakdown is over.

    The only thing I change during that section is to turn the OD off. Also, my usual playing position is right over the neck pickup; if I'm really feeling it and hitting hard, I might move off center from that spot one or the other for the pick stuff.
  7. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I play the Allman Brothers classic "Whipping Post" with one band, and the bass intro really needs to be played with a pick. However, once we get into the solos I switch to fingers because I'm much more adept with them, and the feel is much better.
    I switch back to a pick when the vocals come back in at the end. ("Sometimes I feel...")
    I've never been good at palming a pick, so I hold it between my teeth. Haven't choked yet. (Don't try this at home, kids.)
  8. Mikhail1


    Apr 8, 2008
    John Deacon was famous for doing it as well. Seemed to always have one if not two picks tucked behind the pickguard of his Precision.
  9. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    For some 30 years I was a fingers only player, but I have good pick technique from being a guitarist for more than 30 years, so I broke out the pick in my last band to make the 3-hour rehearsals more palatable. If I wanted to switch, I just played a triple-stop, walked over to my rig, and grabbed the pick, or vice versa.
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Anybody use a pick AND fingers during the same song?


    Yes ...
  11. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    I play in a Sabbath tribute band. I will often switch back and forth. For example, the intro for children if the sea I will use my fingers then grab the pick when it kicks in. For die young I use the pick up until the middle part where I use fingers. I do it for the mellower parts. With Ozzy songs I use fingers most of the time.
  12. Alembic83

    Alembic83 Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2005
    Salem, Oregon
    I know Billy Gould used both fingers and a pick in the Faith No More song "Surprise! You're Dead". He used fingers for most of the song and then a pick during the bridge.
  13. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    I will often use a chorus pedal ( mxr zakk wylde) for finger style stuff on the high strings and frets.
  14. tom32


    Oct 24, 2013
    I do, specifically at church. I'll play finger style on the verse sections and pick on the chorus. I tend to make a mess of picks on the ground because I just drop them when i need to switch so I don't miss notes. It drives my fiancée crazy...
  15. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I have a couple of songs that I start playing with a pick, then go to fingers and back to a pick.
  16. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    There are two songs on my band's soon to come out debut that feature both finger style and pick playing. In both cases, I switch to the pick for a bridge section I guess you'd call it. Live, I'm able to grab the pick in time with the way things are structured, so it was no problem at our first show. I then just drop it as we go out of the bridge.

    I do not use any different settings or EQ between the pick and fingerstyle. The rest of the songs are about 50/50 between pick and fingerstyle. I just go with whatever seems natural for the song.
  17. OEW3


    Nov 6, 2011
    One song in our set I play with fingers and a pick at the same time. Holding/striking the pick as normal and plucking an octave with my ring finger simultaneously. Sounds cool.
  18. Hues


    Nov 27, 2012
    see Burn Notice
    I noticed this a couple of months ago while watching a Wilco concert. I think it was Austin City Limits.

    Wilco bassist John Stirratt was constantly switching during each song, with the pick stored away by the last two fingers...Though the whole show.
  19. ngh


    Feb 6, 2013
    brooklyn, ny
    a year or so ago i tried using a thumb pick so that i could do this really easily. I found myself just using either or all the time though. at the time i felt like i had invented the wheel though!
  20. My band has one song that I play with both fingers and a pick - fingers for the first half, where it's pretty mellow, then I do a really fast picking riff where the song gets big, and I keep the pick for the rest of the song. I cover a 3 and a half octave range just on that song!

    That's the only song I ever play with a pick, btw.