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Attn. pick users ! Requesting info and opinions.......

Discussion in 'Accessories [BG] - NEW!' started by Brocephus, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. Brocephus


    Sep 18, 2019
    I tried the search feature, but in typical internet forum fashion, I got everything but what I was looking for.
    I'm just beginning to learn the bass, but have played guitar for decades (or what some might call my approximation of guitar playing!), and at this point in life, I'm just not gonna reinvent the wheel, and ditch my picks. I'm comfortable and reasonably proficient with them, and starting from scratch with my fingers would be like trying to learn to play left handed, and it just ain't happening.
    I've long been a fan of the nylon Dunlops, and have a stash of them in 73, 88 and 1.0 mm, and have been using the black 1.0 on the bass. I like the nylon over something like celluloid, but am open to other materials.
    But, if I could pick and choose (ha! see what I did there ! :laugh:), I'd have something a tiny bit stiffer, and a tiny bit larger. I can find stiffer gauges, but not seeing anything similar, that's a tiny bit larger ( but don't want to be manhandling some monster pick that's the size of a silver dollar!)
    So anyway, you get the idea, I was hoping for any info,opinions, experiences,advice, warnings,recommendations, amusing anecdotes, etc. that you guys feel would be relevant and helpful (other than, "ditch the pick, and learn to play with your grubby fingers!" :D)
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Maybe try a triangle pick?

    I really like Clayton picks (although I use several different kinds during a show). Try these. And it's only a three dollar experiment!


    That being said, if you're anywhere near a guitar shop, run in with $5 and snag a fist full of different kinds to try out on bass. You'll be glad you did.

    And Welcome to TalkBass!!!!

    Attached Files:

  3. Brocephus


    Sep 18, 2019
    Thanks, Two Fingers ! The size and shape of those Claytons, look to be 'zactly what I had in mind !
    How are they for grip-ability, and how does that material hold up ? Are they as bulletproof as the nylon Dunlops?
    BTW, love that old quote in your sig-line, but I'd always heard it with an additional line:
    "If you're gonna be stupid, you gotta be tough.....because stupid hurts !!!" :D
  4. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Nothing wrong with a pick. I use one 90% of the time with the balance being fingers because some songs just sound better with fingers. However, even if you use a pick 100% you can still get finger-like tones with wise use of the tone knob on your bass, the eq on your amp, the types of strings you use (think flatwounds) and the type of pick you use (think medium flexibility instead of hard - although I use the hard, std Fender picks and am very happy with the results).

    Happy picking! :bassist:
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Honestly, it depends on how hard you play. Coming from guitar, you likely won't play quite as physical as I do (not that either way is "right" or "wrong"). I play a little hard. So, by default, I'm gonna chew up a pick faster than some.

    My family believes in that quote so much my brother designed a "family crest" around it and had T-shirts made. :D
  6. Brocephus


    Sep 18, 2019
    I was wondering if they (the Claytons) were kinda brittle and prone to cracking like the old classic Fender celluloid picks i used as a kid? Or do they just gradually wear down ?
  7. Celen


    Aug 25, 2018
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    As a long time finger player, trying to improve my picking technique, I have picked (heh!) up that many people on here recommend Carol Kaye’s picking method, as a way to avoid strain and pain from the heavier strings on a bass.

    No sure how much of it is in line with, or in conflict with, standard guitar technique... but it has helped me a lot.
    There’s a summary in #26 and #27 on her Q&A page: The Official Carol Kaye Web Site

    Good luck!
    Rayjay, ErikP.Bass, BEADG63 and 3 others like this.
  8. I've tried many (over 40+ years) and have settled on these... great control and no pick noise.
    Jim Dunlop 208 Jazztone
    Evil_Druid, LessIsLess and Brocephus like this.
  9. Brocephus


    Sep 18, 2019
    Cool, thanks, no pick-noise is a plus, I seem to get a fair bit of "click" with my nylon Dunlops. How would you estimate their size, in comparison to a standard guitar pick? It looks like they may run kinda small?
    Orion1985 likes this.
  10. Cool, worth looking into for pick use.
    Brocephus likes this.
  11. UntitledUser


    Sep 18, 2019
    Dunlop Jazz III Red 1,38mm for me when I pick (modern rock and metal) or fingers (blues and soft/rock)
    Dunyet and Brocephus like this.
  12. Dunlop thumbpicks. I picked (HA!) that up seeing John Wetton play with Asia on the Gravitas tour. The XL are hard to find but grip my thumb, and any fear of dropping a pick is diminished.
    Dunyet, Dabndug and Brocephus like this.
  13. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    B14C096F-9BAE-4C4B-B831-BE323D966555. I use Dunlop Tortex "Triangle" picks, usually the yellow .73 mm ones (or alternatively, the slightly thicker .88 mm green colored ones). As you mentioned, there can be clicking. I tried a felt pick, but they kind of fall apart and leave little shredded bits everywhere, so that didn’t last long for me (sounded good though - similar sound to just using fingers). Anyway, the big triangle ones work for me on bass (I use the regular teardrop-shaped "Standard" tortex ones on guitar), YMMV
    BurnOut, dnp41, Benko and 3 others like this.
  14. 21417150033.MAIN.

    Green or black gators for me, they last long and have just enough attack.

    Outside of that I like to use fingers.
  15. neuman


    Mar 24, 2009
    Denver, CO 'burbs
    I’ve always liked the Dunlop Gator picks. 1.14, 1.5, and sometimes 2.0 mm
  16. What you’re saying is like a bassist moving to guitar and saying he won’t use a pick, because he’s always used his fingers on bass. It’s silly. Learn to use both fingers and a pick. Otherwise you’re really limiting your tone and the styles you’ll be able to play. And picks are cheap; buy a bunch and experiment.
    Admiral Akbar likes this.
  17. MustangWally


    Feb 5, 2019
    Houston TX
    I don't know if this will help, but I have always used picks and my thing is to rotate a standard pick around so that I pick the strings with a rounded edge, not the pointed edge. I find that gives me a much more solid tone. The pointed edge gives a thin wimpy tone IMO, which is why I do it my way. For me, any regular medium pick is fine, just whatever the guitar store is giving away usually works fine. YMMV.

    Pick use.JPG
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  18. FWIW, a few years ago I ditched regular picks and started using these Ultex thumbpicks. I play with fingers and pick, depending on what the song calls for. Nowadays, I find myself able to between fingers and picks mid-song as needed and it works for me. Plus, I have never lost or even dropped one. YMMV.
  19. Brocephus


    Sep 18, 2019
    LOL ! I just had a bit of an epiphany here ! While researching some of the suggestions above, I got to wondering if i really want to go heavier, and recalled that my right hand does get tired muscling my way through scales and riffs with this stiff pick (keeping in mind I'm brand new at this).
    So on a whim, I decided to go the other direction, and try a softer pick, so i grabbed a 73mm and 88mm nylon Dunlop, and started tinkering with my bass, and damned if it didn't take less exertion, and had less click on the strings !
    It sounded to my ear, to be noticeably softer and more finger-like, than my heavier pick, and I actually liked the flexiest 73mm the most. Ain't that weird? I'm in a hurry to head out the door, so I need to mess with it some more before committing to this, but I think I'm onto something.
    As to the above post about learning to use both picks and fingers, that's a fair point, and I am fiddling with finger playing a bit, just like I do with the guitar sometimes, but I'm not going to do it to the exclusion of using a pick.
    As I understand, a lot of great bassists play with picks, and I'm vastly more comfortable and proficient with a pick, even on this new bass. :)
    dfloresjr, Dunyet, dmt and 3 others like this.
  20. Monterey Bay-ss

    Monterey Bay-ss Supporting Member

    If you want to get something approximating a fingerstyle tone while sticking with picks, try Clayton’s Phat-Tones. Try everything you can get your fingers on, really; even pricy picks don’t cost nearly as much as a decent cable!

    Even though I started with a strong preference for fingers and still make sure I play that way at least a bit every day, I have really come to favor picks. Sometimes I want the tone of one with the technical benefit of the other; Phat-Tone picks get finger-ish tones, and a bit of fingernail gets pick-ish tones.

    I generally use the Dunlop tortex in the standard shape, and over the years of playing both bass and guitar, my preferred gauges have nearly met in the middle: .88 for bass, .73 for guitar. I do still use the .96 gator grips quite a bit on bass, too.

    Welcome to TalkBass, and more importantly, welcome to B A S S !
    Dunyet and Brocephus like this.

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