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anyone pick with fingernails?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by supersnake52, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. supersnake52


    Jul 22, 2007
    Theford, UK
    i don't do it all the time but sometimes i just bust into plucking as if i had a plectrum with my nails.
  2. I hate the sound of my bass when my fingernails hit the strings., so I keep them filed down.
  3. corradoc


    Dec 20, 2007
    New York City
    Used to keep my nails just long enough to curl my fingers over and "click" with them. Good trick for a dif sound. But nails tend to break if you hit too hard.....ouch
  4. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Yes, anytime I need a "picked" sound. I carry a few picks just in case, but I don't really like them... I use a classical-style technique (thumb & first three fingers), and I keep my nails longer on my right hand for this purpose.
  5. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    I use my nails to strum ala les claypool who got it from flamenco style guitar methinks.

    I sometimes pretend one of my fingers is a pick... usually it is the thumb or index finger, I actually have held the top of my index finger as if it were a pick... lol
  6. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    Absolutely I do. Both on guitar and bass. It just feels more natural to use my finger nail than it does to use a pick. Cheaper, too. So I tend to keep my finger nails a little long. But then I use them for other applications, too, such as opening stuff.

    The only disadvantage I find is something when I finger the string, my nail hits it. I know Geddy Lee used to do that, and I think it's fine, but when I have the bass up and the treble cut and I'm wanting to get a nice dubby sound, it sorta ruins it for me. Oh well.
  7. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Yeah, I do this on guitar, also (classical technique, thumb + 3 fingers, no pick). It just depends on what type of playing you do - if you play up & down one string, it seems to make more sense to use a pick; if you play more across strings (like classical music tends to do), it makes more sense to use your fingers. I also like Dave Weiner et al's approach: a pick between the thumb & first finger, and using the other THREE fingers classically, but I don't practice that enough to be good at it.

    It is nice to be able to open stuff, etc, but I find that having nails on my right hand causing a picked sound when fingering a string is not the ONLY disadvantage. I can't talk about it on a family-friendly forum, but think about it for a second... nails = no-no! ;)
  8. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    I bite my nails to almost bloody stumps.
    When i have to scratch with the callouses on my fingers lol
  9. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    Nose or bass?
  10. Death_Bastard


    Mar 27, 2008
    I only really use my fingernails to finger the bass, I like the trebble sound I get out of it and I got pretty sturdy nails so I've never had any problems. Only trouble is that they tend to wear away when you strum hard chords on the lower strings.
    Defintaely recomend it for noise-rock or anything with tempo and movement over the strings.
  11. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    Given the way I keep my fingernails, I never get the kind of complaints you're referring to. :p

    I keep my nails so short I'm completely unable to peel a sticker off off something and even picking up a coin off the floor can be tough. If I want that kind of sharper attack I just use a pick and I'll use different picks to get the type of sound I want.
  12. Tehdude


    Nov 14, 2006
    Sometimes when I'm messing around and just kind of strumming chords above the 12th fret I do, but not part of my main technique. It's fun to mess around with, though.

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