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Bon Jovi pick or fingers

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bredian, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Bredian


    Apr 22, 2011
    Bon Jovi tune Living on a Prayer - I often watch the vid's to learn the tunes while pulling down tabs or chords. Not that it really matters, but at 1:51 on the video, he's using fingers, cutaway, at 1:56 he's using a pick. Sure it was just multiple takes on the filming, but begs the question.

    Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer - YouTube

    I'll let you know after playing though this a few times with the band...
  2. FuManChu


    Mar 3, 2005
    Our band plays this tune EVERY gig and I have always used fingers, but then again I only use a pick on about 4 of 45 songs per gig.
  3. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Never trust a music video to honestly recreate the technique/gear used to make the record. Just try it both ways and trust your ears since you will be the only one at the gig who can tell the difference.
  4. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    Hugh McDonald played a stock mid 60s P-Bass with roundwound strings with his fingers on the track. Sounds like it too!!

    (edit: see Bass Player Magazine [October 2005, Paul McCartney on cover] for full article/interview and transcription of "Living on a Prayer")
  5. I'd say fingers.
  6. Bredian


    Apr 22, 2011
    O so serious, but helpful. I'm 10-20% pick user depending on the speed, style and genre of the piece, but I don't foresee a need to pick this one.

    I use picks on some old McCartney, Cream, etc. Doobies, although he stopped using picks later.

    I guess McDonald played the recording? But is it Such in the video?
  7. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    we play it every gig ....i use my fingers ...now that you mention it it does have a sharp pick like attack though

    listened to the recording again ..i think it's fingers...
  8. I play both Bon Jovi songs that my band covers with fingers.
  9. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    A big truth. The video for Rush's "Tom Sawyer" shows Geddy playing his Ric, but he recorded that track with his Jazz Bass.

    As for the pick/fingers question, I only try to use a pick on basslines in which the pick attack and character is very noticeable: Yes music is the first example that comes to mind. The bass break from The Beatles' "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey" is something that MUST be played with a pick if you are trying to make it sound as in the recording (someone might say that playing fingerstyle with long nails produces the same effect. I can't comment on that since I've never tried it).

    But, for instance, I've never played a Kiss bassline with a pick in spite of the fact that Gene Simmons is a pick player, since I don't feel the pick nuances are a key component of his tone. In the case of Bon Jovi material, I'd definitely play it fingerstyle (I've actually played it that way in the past), no matter if it was recorded using a pick or fingers.

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