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Famous bassists: their picks and picking technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Yamarc, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Yamarc

    Yamarc Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    I am new to the picking side of things and I have to play with one on several tunes for an upcoming gig...so, I am buffing up on picks and pickstyle playing. I have read what many have posted on the boards, but I am now interested in what some of the pros think or have said.

    Does anyone know what type of picks the following use?

    1. Anthony Jackson
    2. Mike Gordon
    3. Oteil Burbridge
    4. Bobby Vega
    5. Adam Clayton
    6. Carol King

    Also, maybe you can tell me any advice these guys give for technique when playing pickstyle (eg- all downstrokes, muting, bridge or neck, etc)?

  2. Not sure of the picks they use...I use Clayton triangle 1.26mm picks because they get the sound and feel I like, which is what really matters most..

    If I were you, I'd just buy an assortment of different picks, and try different ones unti you get what feels right..

    My point is that every player's technique may be slightly different, and what works for them may not work for you...I used to try and find clips of my favorite bassists playing, or even just looking at their hand position in pictures..

    ...however, the best experience for me was watching a band that mine opened up for at our first gig ever; their bass player was great...I never really realized I was missing out on this technique before, and actually didn't gravitate to a pick until months later, but watching their bassist up close really gave me a good idea of the right technique...

    Hope that helps...
  3. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    When you mentioned "Carol King", I think you might have meant "Carol Kaye" (?). I got to know her (sort of) - she has or had a web site and a forum. I'm pretty sure she suggested to never use open notes - always fret the note. That makes sense because the note won't have different characteristics than the fretted notes, but of course, nothing should be absolute.

  4. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Oh, and of course, the reason I posted - she said to always use heavy picks.
  5. Yamarc

    Yamarc Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    Thanks, I did mean Carol Kaye! I wouldn't think Carol King to be a superb pickstyle bass player, but you never know...
  6. new_west


    Dec 28, 2005
    San Diego

    Go down to find pictures of Carol Kaye's picking technique. It really helped me yesterday when I found it.. my picking already is much stronger and has heavier tone thanks to reading that little tid-bit :-D
  7. BenKrishman


    Feb 15, 2006
    As for Mike Gordon I've heard that he uses graphite picks, the same ones used by Jerry Garcia and Lesh, though I don't know the brand/model.
  8. I've always been a fan of the Jim Dunlop nylon .88 and 1mm nylon picks.

    For the past 5 years or so I've been a convert to the Herco Flex .75, as used by John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page. I go through the bin and find the stiffest ones.:smug:

    I also really dig the 1mm Brain "cat's tongue" pics, but damn, they're expensive.
  9. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    I've always used Dunlop Tortex picks. I've been using the .88mm green ones.
  10. Adam uses Blue Herdim Picks,they are nylon mediums in blue.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Not only that, but you'll never get any hand pains when you use Carol's technique. She literally prevented me from giving up the pick on bass. I don't use one often, but it's nice to know that my hand won't ache badly after a minute.
  12. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Carol is the BADDEST.

    And she cusses like a sailor.

    Let's please not get into the debate about her claims regarding Motown tracks.

  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You're just baiting us! Can we talk about how angry she is to her forum victi...er...members?
  14. mikehulme


    Sep 14, 2006
    Herndon, VA
    You should add Joe Osborn to your list - maybe someone knows what kind of pick he used.
  15. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I normally play fingers but some tunes are just flatpick tunes and some pups just beg for flatpick - so I play my share of flatpick.

    Different picks (diameter/material/whatever) have different tones not to mention you can get a variety of tones from a given pick depending on the attack.

    Interesting how players (including Kaye from what I gathered) basically use one particular pick. I just grab the pick that gets me the tone I want at the time - could be any of a variety.