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Can I play these songs with fingers?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by martyman5000, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. I'm really enjoying learning songs lately by the band The Strokes but I find that it's really hard to get two fingers pumping fast enough to make a clean sound like a pick. Will I have to bread down and learn to play the bass with a pick to get a clean sound?
  2. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Somehow I doubt it. There are plenty of people who play really fast without using a pick. You may need to switch to a 3 finger technique, which lets you get a little more speed easier. There are plenty of threads here on how to get more speed using either 2 or 3 fingers. It really just takes a metronome and a lot of practice.
  3. Ya, I figured I was going to have to learn to use the pick, I was just trying to avoid it...my fingering is pretty fast but by the fifth song they start to cramp up.
  4. bonscottvocals


    Feb 10, 2005
    Upstate NY
    Geddy Lee to name one. There's nothing wrong with using a pick as long as it serves the song. People who think that there's only one way to play aren't thinking broadly. Not everyone plays with the same techniques, and no one way is right for everyone.

    As Fleetwood Mac says, you "go your own way".
  5. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    There's plenty of times I'll use a pick, but it's never a speed issue...just a tone issue. Also, it's easier for a lot of styles to get the right "attitude" with a pick. You'll get more attack at the expense of low end, although you can compensate a bit by picking closer to the neck ala Chris Squire. Like bonscottvocals said, whatever serves the song. I won't hesitate to use a pick if I think it works for that tune.
  6. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    The short answer is that with two fingers you can generally pump out notes about as quickly as with a pick. Keep practicing, and you'll be able to get different fingerstyle tones from your bass even at high tempo, so I wouldn't give up on fingerstyle on the basis that it isn't as clean or fast a style as picking. On the other hand, if the pick sound ends up being what you're really after, play with a pick when you're feeling it.
  7. Which songs in particular? I play Reptilia with my fingers with no problem at all.
  8. reptilia is fine with my fingers

    Soma/Is this it/hard to explain I play with one finger
  9. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    Using a pick is good for two things IMO.

    1.Getting a certain tone - when you'll play with a pick you'll get more high frequencies when you hit the string then when you do it with your fingers, it depends on what is the atmosphere of the song and what style of bass sound you wanna' give it.

    2.playing a constant roll without many rhythmic variations (like some bass rolls in metal music) is better to play with a pick because your hands will get tired slower.

    on the other hand i think that some basslines are hard to play with a pick and some are impossible to play with a pick (bassline that includes rake for example).

    Eventually it's a good think if you know to play a pick as well as playing with your fingers and then you can choose for each song what is best for you to play it easily and for the bass guitar timbre in the song.

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