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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by IbanezGSr200, Sep 19, 2005.
what kind of pick should i use? medium? heavy?
that's like asking what your favourite colour should be. Its a personal choice, with one no better that the other. Depends on you. Depends on your playing style. Depends on your strings, your bass, your music.
I use Dunlop tortex .73 mm when I do use a pick. But I only play with a pick on cover songs where a constant downstroke sounds best (GNR, Megadeth, etc). I don't know if they are the best. They work for me.
Picks are cheap. Go the music store, buy about 10 different ones, and give them a try. No one else can pick your pick....or, something.
I used to agree with that. When I needed a pick, I would grab up any old pick I had laying around. Or I'd steal one from the guitar players I'd work with. But about 2 years ago I started getting severe pains in my hand when I played with a pick.
Then I started reading Carol Kaye's website where she describes her pick technique in detail, and she said that if you use her pick technique you will never have hand pains again when you pick. You can go to her website to read about it in detail, but the very first thing she said is to never ever use a thin or medium pick on a bass, and the reason is because thinner picks make your hand have to work too hard to get the note out, and that causes pains and cramping. She claimed that with a heavy or extra heavy pick, you can do a lot less work with your hand to get the note out.
So I dilligently worked on learning her pick technique for about two weeks and grilled her with tons of emails about it. Once I got the entire technique down, I could play all day and night with a pick and not once did I feel any pain whatsoever. Now here's the rub: I tried everything about her pick technique but one time I tried subbing a medium for a heavy, and the hand pains came back as bad as ever within a minute. I put down the medium and picked the heavy back up, and the pains disappeared.
So after this episode, I strongly suggest that you use only heavy or ex-heavy picks. I also strongly suggest that you go to www.carolkaye.com and read what she says about her pick technique. Not only will it keep you pain free, but it will help you play better as well. Carol is a cranky old lady who yells at people over nothing on her forum, but she's a top flight bassist and she stopped me from crippling my hand, so I will always be grateful to her for that.
I agree with the post above. In my eyes, heavy picks are the only way to go for bass. I use a Dunlop Gator 1.14 (blue). Next time I am at the music store, I am going to buy the thickest pick they have a give those a try. It's not like they cost very much, so go buy many, and see if you can find some rubber picks. I forget what those are called, but we don't have them around here(the boonies).
I use a number of picks, all heavy to extra-heavy. Lately, I've switched my main pick from tortex to rubber and use either a 3.1mm or 5.0 mm Hard Wedgie. I still use tortex and celluloid picks too, depending on the tone I want, but I really like these rubber wedgies (somehow, that sounds odd. lol).
Good luck and have fun!!
My style is more "old school" (flats, traditional type basses), so on the tunes I do use a pick rather than fingers, I use Herco mediums like the guys in the old days did. Nice effect.
I have my own custom-made picks
Here's a basic recipe: get an old floppy you don't need, and crack the two plastic halves apart. Then take a soft pencil and draw a shape you want your pick to be on the plastic, and cut it with heavy scissors. After that polish the edges with an old nail-polisher or fine polishing paper or something like that. Then use what you got to make another copy. Use contact glue to glue them together. Again, use some fine polisher to smoothen the edges. You are done!!! It will make you about 2mm think pick, if you want something REALLY heavy, you can just add another layer.
I'm a fan of the heavy fender california clears. I tried all manner of other picks, but to my ears, nothing sounds as good to the heavy click you get from them, or they can be really subtle if i solo the neck pup and play right by the neck it's all warm and nice.
You're 17 years old. You don't need other people to choose a piece of plastic for you. You got a dollar on you, you can get one of each and experiment. Don't try to cut corners on your learning process. It's part of the fun.
did you ask her what gauge pick she used on 'Bernadette' and 'I Was Made To Love Her'?
I always had trouble, I wanted something lighter then a Fender heavy and heavier than a medium.
I use Dunlop Jazz and stubbies in the heaviest gauges on songs where I need a pick:
The rubbers are my favorite right now.
I thought it was better without it.....
Oops, wrong thread.
i use these for when i use a pick (2.0 mm)