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Anyone just play with a pick??

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by BASSBOOST, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. I'm still new to all this, but I find I can play with a pick way better than I can with my fingers.So I was wondering if anyone plays with just a pick?, excluding slapping of course.Just wanted to know If I'm weird or what.Everyone tells me a different way to play bass, but the pick is the most comfortable to me.Anyways, Thanks in advance.... Nik.
  2. Play whatever is the most comfortable

    I used fingers for most of the time, but then the music needed to be played with more attack, which you get from a pick, so i started learning to play with a pick about april time this year, and ive stuck to it for most things :)
  3. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    in my present band I play only with a pick, because that's what the music demands.. and my technique is more developed than my fingerstyle just due to the hours i've put in with the pick

    I think it's good if you can whip out slap, pick or fingerstyle whenever it's required but there's no shame in having one technique that you prefer...

    you're a chef, and your techniques are part of your ingredients... you don't have to have every possible ingredient sat there in your cupboard in order to make some great meals, but it's good to have well-stocked shelves just in case :)
  4. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    I've been primarily a Pick player for 25 years. I'll play fingerstyle also from time to time, but I simply prefer the varied sounds I can get by using different types of picks for different styles of music. ;)

    The best thing to do, imho, is to learn all styles over time. But there's nothing wrong with focusing on a particular style until you're comfortable with it and than moving on to learning another. It's all good! :)

    Have Fun!! :bassist:
  5. tiredman9


    Aug 15, 2005
    New York
    many a bass player (including myself sometimes...sorry :ninja: ) will look down on a bass player who cant use his fingers. Part of the difficulty of bass is being able to have your fingers on both hands work quickly in different ways so a pick is often viewed as a cheap way out. But many famous bass players have played with only a pick for example Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe but thats only because he plays with it near the bridge to get that bright sound with a fast attack. I do it for certain types of metal too but i play a lot of other things and i highly recommend learning to use your fingers too
  6. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    Playing with a pick also enables you to mute the strings with the meaty part of the outside heel of your hand so they don't ring out. Some tunes call for this (think The Cars). However, I have to agree that part of the beauty of playing the bass is the coordination of moving the fingers of both hands in concert with one another. Finger style is my primary style, but I will use a pick when called for (as well as slap and pop, too).
  7. Lewi_wilko


    Mar 24, 2004
    you should learn to play with a pick and your finger's, than you have a big advantage.
  8. OrderingEntropy


    Jun 17, 2005
    It's not so much an advantage, as just maitaining status quo.
  9. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Technique should know no limits.

    I picked for 30 years. I play almost all fingerstyle now.
    Different band, different sound.

    After watching the recent Led Zepp DVD, I wish I didn't get rid of my last bow. Watching Page slap with the bow was

    It's all good. Don't let people tell you to limit yourself to one style.
  10. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    I've played fingerstyle for so long. I like the sound of a pick, but my problem is string muting. Whats your technique for muting notes with a pick in your hands? Sadly it is very awkward for me.
  11. conrad_comrad


    Jun 8, 2004
    I play so much better without a pick. Infact, I never really learnt to use one in the first place, and I can play a lot faster with my fingers.
  12. IMO, using a pick has only bad results. It just limits you. You can do a lot more with your fingers then with a pick, but if thats what you like then go for it. A friend of mine plays bass in a metal band (a REALLY REALLY GOOD metal band) and he uses a pick. He plays just fine, damn good if you ask me. I just prefer fingers, but if your good with a pick then use one.
  13. I palm mute a lot when I pick. Almost always on the strings below the one I'm playing, and sometimes the one I'm playing on. The ability to palm mute is one of my favorite things about pick playing. I don't get do do enough of it since picks make snappy noises on my bass (I think I need some frets).
  14. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I used to play mainly with a pick, now I am finding I have improved my fingerstyle speed and can now play a lot of songs I could previously only play with a pick. But the band I play with, about 60% of the songs require using a pick to get the attack and speed I need. The other 40% I play fingerstyle.
  15. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    Ahhh... Ignorance is bliss...

    Any other falsehoods you'd care to throw about? ROFL :eyebrow:
  16. Futurebass


    Jun 22, 2005
    :rollno: :rollno: :rollno:
  17. the only part I disagree with is the "do alot more" part.

    other than that, as a well rounded player, yes it does limit you to only use a pick. Some styles you simply cannot do with a pick, so not a total false.

  18. Futurebass


    Jun 22, 2005
    That just depends on your philosophy. Some great bassists, let's use Chris Squire as one example, do everything with a pick. He has had a great career and is instantly recognizable.

    Then there are a lot of guys who play in cover bands and who do a fair approximation of Jaco with fingers, Green Day with a pick, and so on but will never have their own sound.

    Some top players do both, but most of the BEST players strongly emphasise either pick or fingers (or thumb) and stick with it because that's what they think the bass is supposed to sound like.

    I guess what I'm saying is, why is it necessary to try to do everything? Some of the best photographers use only black and white. Some of the best painters do nothing but still life.
  19. Oh, in my case, this was never about one's ability to sustain a long career off one playing style.

    "why is it necessary to try to do everything"

    It certainly isn't necessary. And believe me, I'm a pick playing advocate. BUT, you and I live in the same world, and realistically speaking, if a bandleader wants you to use only your fingers, or only a pick, and you cannot switch readily, you aren't getting the job. This is in keeping with the thread's premise of only playing one style (or being able to only play one style)

    From MY perspective, play any way that you can and choose to, and I give "props" to you FOR being ABLE to play, period. But as long as there are those out there that are fueled / blinded by the stigma of "there's only one way to play a bass guitar", if you're a gig-seeking bassist who falls into the "pick only" or "fingers only" heading in terms of ability, you're going to be limited by that.
  20. Bassosaurus


    Aug 27, 2005
    Yep! I actually started w/ a pick because I was moving over from guitar. I later learned fingerstyle and, for a while then, i never would play my bass w/ a pick.

    Now I do both depending on the sound I want. All good indeed!