Basses to be played pickstyle and basses to be played fingerstyle

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dnp41, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. dnp41


    May 10, 2016
    So maybe it's just me, but I think some basses sound better played with a pick and some sound better with fingers.

    For instance I love my P bass with a pick (either rounds or flats) and really only like my J bass with fingers... What do you think?
    murphy likes this.
  2. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I have found that most basses can go either way, depending on the song and the rig.

    Although some specific models don't take well to picks. My Pedulla Rapture J2 5 really only likes to be played finger. It was designed to be warm and smooth. It doesn't do bite or rattle.
  3. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I play everything with a pick, even when I'm trying out basses at Guitar Center, Sam Ash, etc...and there was a time I was trying out between 50 and 60 basses a year.
    I've played far more basses that sounded good then sounded bad, and the bad ones had nothing to do with my playing with a pick.
    Of course, I use a bass pick, not a felt pick and certainly not a guitar pick, so I don't have any idea at all what a nylon, celluloid, wood, or stone pick sounds like.
    Kipp Harrington and Kriegs like this.
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    I really think it’s just you. :)
  5. bench


    Dec 28, 2007
    what is a bass pick??
  6. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Richlands, NC
    Yamaha made some pickups in the older BBs designed for pick players as they marketed it, I had a BB1024X, that was one with those specific pickups. Do I play with a pick, no. Did the bass sound great fingerstyle...yes, growly and gnarly, if I played with a pick would it have made a difference in the tone, sure, the attack is totally different and so is the surface striking the string, plastic versus skin...I digress, whatever. I am sure there is something you can glean out of the gibberish I typed ;-)
    Rock on.
    Clark W likes this.
  7. Bassface65


    May 10, 2019
    lol, I was just asking myself that very question when I read that.
    bobyoung53 and bench like this.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I just grab the bass I think best fits the gig. Then I use up to a dozen styles and positions to get the sound out of it I need for any given song. Pick, fingers, the side of my thumb, slap, tap, by the bridge, over the fretboard, etc.

    I never thought of any of my basses as being pick basses or fingers basses.
  9. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    The special elastomer material nearly eliminates pick noise, leaving you with clean warm tones.
    This pick sounds like your fingers, yet plays like a pick.
    Wedgie rubber picks come in 2 thicknesses and 3 levels of stiffness (Soft, Medium, Hard) so that you can find your perfect sound.
    I use the hard black 5.0 picks.
    They last forever and I've yet to drop one in six years!
  10. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    (Found this online.)
    Bass Picks Vs Guitar Picks

    There is quite a lot of misinformation out there regarding bass picks. You see there is no such thing as a special bass guitar plectrum. Or a special guitar plectrum. But instead, there are simply plectrums. And you can choose which one you would like to use for this application. Having said that there are most certainly better-suited plectrums for the application of bass playing.
    Well, I don't know about "quite a lot of misinformation" but he's certainly entitled to his opinion.

    Other than that, can you use the Wedgie with a guitar?
    Sure, but I think there are better choices.
    Can you use any pick with a bass?
    Again, sure, but I wouldn't.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
    gebass6 likes this.
  11. What if someone marketed a pick in the shape of a finger?
  12. bench


    Dec 28, 2007
    Thanks for the info. As you said in the end, there is no pick esp. for bass or guitar, but i tend to prefer thicker and harder ones for bass. Though you will find a lot of gypsy guitar style players that use picks very similar to yours.
    bobyoung53, Bassface65 and jd56hawk like this.
  13. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    You're welcome.
    My brother used to use a felt pick. It was HUGE and didn't last very long.
    I never knew people used them for ukuleles.
    dcbluesbass likes this.
  14. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    Never really thought of a bass as either fingers or pick
    It could go either way depending on what sound/attack you are going for

    I have heard a lot of people talk about basses that are for slapping and ones that are not for slapping
    So I think this is a fair question
  15. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavy equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    It’s the player not the bass
  16. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    Mostly pickstyle precision, others - finger.
  17. J Gold

    J Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    I’d think string spacing is the issue. Hofners have tight spacing, which may make finger style more difficult, for example.
    Plectrum72 likes this.
  18. red_rhino

    red_rhino Currently on Double Secret Probation Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2001
    Over Macho Grandé
    It depends more on the individual bass than it does on the type of bass. All of my basses can be slapped, plucked, or picked, but each of them tends to do one of those things a little bit better than the others. In particular, I think my jazz bass does happen to sound best when played with fingers. My P bass, believe it or not, sounds great slapped, as well as with fingers. I don't play much with a pick, but I think my P sounds good that way as well. My other basses, not so much.

    Check out Bobby Vega if you want to hear how great a Jazz bass played with a pick can sound.
    djaxup, bobyoung53 and fjbass78 like this.
  19. fjbass78


    Jun 21, 2007
    I'll just say any bass with flat strings sound good with a pick, IMO. Rounds not so much for me. Better with fingers, thumbs.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  20. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Every bass sounds like itself, with both a pick sound and a finger sound. Some have physical characteristics that make it easier to play one way or the other, but IMO they don't lean one way or another due to the sound. Maybe there are some that do and I just don't gravitate towards those basses.
    Resonance129 and Darkshine like this.