1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

crappy sound w/ a pick. help

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fatjbass, May 29, 2004.

  1. fatjbass


    May 29, 2004
    Portland, Oregon

    I used to always play with a pick. I switched to finger a while ago, but I like using both. Now when I play with a pick I get this horrible buzz from the fret board. Maybe I didn't notice it before, but if anyone might know why I'm getting such a crappy sound, please help me out.

  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Try a few things and see if they help

    1. Get a lighter pick, if you are using a 1.0 or a 2.0, then try a .75 or a .50.

    2. Raise the action a little if you don't want to get a lighter pick.

    3. Lighten your picking; when I started to learn to use a pick I played way to aggressively and it sounded horrible.

    4. Alter the controls on the bass or amp to find a good sound. My controls generally stay the same whether I am playing with fingers, pick, or thumb. Sometimes I will boost the neck pickup though.

    Good luck finding your pick tone,
    Adam Barkley
  3. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Just posting to agree with what Abark000 said!

    I've been almost solely with plectrums lately (and I'm into playing jazz and funk). I actually find that heavier plectrums give a more pleasing tone for walking basslines and other single-note playing. I switch to a thin plectrum for chordal playing.

    Few other comments:
    1) Turn the "tone/treble" control on your bass right down.
    2) Play as lightly as is necessary to get an audible sound - use your amp to boost your volume to what you need (rather than playing harder or turning your pickups up to max).
    3) Trying playing over the end of the fingerboard.
  4. krazy_olie


    May 10, 2004
    make sure the pick is parallel to the strings, otherwise you get a scratchy sound, especially if you dont have smooth strings
  5. fatjbass


    May 29, 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    thanks. I bought new strings and I raised the action on the E (which was giving me the most trouble,) but when I was tightening the E it broke. So I have to go buy a new string for my favorite bass I own. Ain't it the breaks?

  6. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Wow, you broke a string just tightening it? I hope it was just a bad string. I have never heard on that before.
  7. rhinestone


    Jan 5, 2004
    Did you clip the string too short or something when you strung it? Because a new string shouldn't break from its first tightening.
  8. fatjbass


    May 29, 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    I hadn't clipped the string at all when I was putting it on. I heard it break and a saw that it was broken up on the tuning bolt, but it was being held together by the winding. It snapped a second or two later. Right now I'm using my back up bass which is the same bass by name, but it doesn't have a jazz pickup and gets a way different sound. This was my first time restringing my bass, so it was in need of it. So now I have to go buy a new one. I just hope that was a freak accident.