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drummer wants me to use a pick

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Shimmi, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. Shimmi


    Jan 28, 2015
    So our drummer keeps pushing me to use a pick. Implying I'll be better if I use a pick. I keep telling him it has nothing to do with skill level and I always preferred using fingers... His reasoning is when he plays bass he uses a pick and he "sounds better than me" so I should use a pick.... Any way I can dumb it down for him?
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    You can pick your drummer and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your drummer's nose. :p

    Seriously, I'd tell him to mind his own business or I'd start giving him advice on what sticks to use (might get the message).
  3. Shimmi


    Jan 28, 2015
    He keeps saying he only wants me to "level up" he's a lot better at music in general . Phenominal guitar player and drummer, we just keep bumping heads and I don't understand his persistence... Because a lot of outlandishly good bass players use fingers, and a lot use picks, so I don't see why he prefers I use a pick. Enspecailly since they'll be a learning curve since I've been using fingers since I started. I used a pick back when I was in a metal band but now I can play fast enough to not need to use a pick.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    He just prefers the sound of the pick, apparently. Doesn't make it better or worse, just a preference, he shouldn't be trying to force it on you. Uncool.
  5. jdthebassman


    Jul 11, 2010
    I would tell him to play with his hands
    Ellery, BMGecko, Mister Boh and 42 others like this.
  6. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    Sounds like your drummer is missing hearing some definition in your sound. Have you tried using a pick on one song to see if it helps? Maybe choose an easy one to try?
  7. I mainly use fingers, but if someone asked to try a pick, I wouldn't hesitate.
    Jeff Bonny, baSfo, IamGroot and 3 others like this.
  8. Torrente Cro

    Torrente Cro

    Sep 5, 2013
    My keyboard player sometimes asks me to use a pick, and he is usually right - some songs call for it. Also, it's nice to know that someone cares about my sound other than me ;-)
  9. start telling him what variety of drumsticks to use and see how he appreciates that. :p
  10. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    When he plays bass he is playing "a big guitar".
    When you play bass you are playing bass.

    It's a guitarist mentality.

    Maybe he's "better" at music but apparently he isn't very open minded. There are things you can do to give playing with your fingers a more pick-like attack.

    Doesn't if you play metal but regardless this thread had some good tips for hand technique. Stuff to try and compromise for you and the guitarist of a drummer.
  11. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    Many great players primarily use fingers and don't use a pick. Playing with a pick is a whole different skill, it's not something you just decide to do one day unless you already know how from playing guitar; for the rest of us it has to be learned.

    I honestly don't understand why a person would try to tell someone else on a different instrument how to do their job. If he's not hearing your attack, that's a tone issue, not a picking issue. You might try working on your tone to see if you can get more punch in the attack, and then ask him if he can hear you better.
    retslock, dagrev, Spidey2112 and 6 others like this.
  12. Did he taped himself to really know how he sounds? Our brains are so good, that sometimes make us think we are better than we really are. If you don't believe that, try speaking a different language.
    You can actually use your fingers and sound like a pick, takes a lot of practice.
    See example below

  13. TuneSalad666

    TuneSalad666 Banned

    Mar 1, 2018
    Tell him you will start using a pick if he in return drop his drumsticks and start playing his drum set with his hands.

    He has got a point though, playing with a pick does really sound very differently than playing with your fingers, a more punchy tone with more emphasis on the attack of the notes, and I guess he is entitled to like that sound better and suggest you to try it out.

    From your wording it doesn't really sound like the drummer means it as a suggestion though, or as an input in a debate about what sound you collectively should aim for, but rather it sounds like he is convinced that playing with a pick objectively is the better choice and therefor you ought to do as he dictates.

    And if that is in fact what he is doing he has stepped over the line into something that really shouldn't be his business.

    Not sure what there is to do about it though, better knowing jerks meddling in other peoples personal affairs are usually not easy to get to see things from other perspectives than their own.
    mgauge and instrumentalist like this.
  14. Eric Swaim

    Eric Swaim GOD, U.S. MIlitary, Country Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Tell the drummer you want him to play with soft mallets.
    retslock, mgauge and Sixgunn like this.
  15. vindibona1


    Apr 18, 2015
    Ya know... Perhaps the way to approach this is to tell him that you're not comfortable with a pick... but would appreciate what specifically within the sound and musical inflection he is unhappy with so you can work on it. I see that as a diplomatic way to tell him to bugger off and perhaps get a real critique for you to analyze.

    You may also want to send him the following link with "loving" message attached...[BTW... are they really playing that fast or is that a Final Cut slight-of-hand?]

  16. TBLuthier


    Oct 10, 2013
    Derry, PA.
    Easy answer. Play with a pick. Do it in such a way that he insists that you stop playing with a pick and go back to using your fingers again. :-D
  17. brett adams

    brett adams Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    only if he agrees to play with these.
  18. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    in the words of Scotland's immortal bard...
  19. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Maybe it's because he's right but he likes you and wants to keep you around? If he's that skilled, maybe it might not be a bad idea to listen to him and be hyper critical of yourself in order to get better. Use this as an opportunity to discover what he likes about your pick playing more and get better using fingers.
    Jeff Bonny, gthyni, Mike H and 23 others like this.
  20. popcat


    Jan 7, 2016
    I think he's stepping over the line, tell him you're tired of his picking.
    retslock, mgauge, cchorney and 3 others like this.

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