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Finger It Out or Take Your Pick?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by rickreyn, Jul 31, 2000.

  1. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I seem to be at a crossroads. The fingers almost cut it and sound better and smoother, but the pick increases my speed and note count. As a result, there are some songs that I cannot play with my fingers, but I can play with the pick. I can switch off, but using both methods requires continual minor EQ adjustments to take out the midrange and some highs (pick) or to increase the midrange boost (fingers). I've focused almost exclusively on developing a fingerstyle over the past years, but the progress is slow and I may have reached my capacity to improve. I get the feeling that outside of heavy metal, pick use is widely scorned. Am I right? Or should I care which method I use as long as the job gets done. Is there a good amp setting to smooth out the sound of a string plucked with a pick? Incidentally, I don't seem to possess the hand rhythm required to slap.
  2. <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rickreyn:
    Or should I care which method I use as long as the job gets done. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    No.. don't care. Do what it takes to get the job done. Pick playing may be, as you said, widely scorned outside metal and hard rock, and I certainly have no use for a pick, but as a musician, you use the tools you need to do the job. As someone once pointed out, our instrument has a two-word name.. bass GUITAR. Some would say using a pick emphasizes the guitar aspect.

  3. SlapDaddy


    Mar 28, 2000
    1.Sometimes I use a pick for sections of a song where the "rapid percussive bite" adds to the music and I love the sound! But, I AM SLAPDADDY....
    2.Put your right hand, palm down, thumb and pinkie spread, on top of a table and start tapping alternatly between the two..now go faster! AhHah! I knew you could do it..

    [This message has been edited by SlapDaddy (edited July 31, 2000).]
  4. Hi

    Don't forget, you can use both.....from my guitar playing days, I can still "palm" my pick while playing with fingers, and use the pick during appropriate moments, like solos or stronger song sections. Then it acts as it's own eq and can cut through the band's music better (IMHO).


  5. As someone who uses both, and have defended my decision to do so many times on this board, I must reinforce the idea that the pick, like all other techniques, is capable of a huge range of tones and articulations. Most of the people that claim otherwise also tend to be the people who have spent very little time practicing their pick technique, and therefore haven't discovered for themselves the great versatility of the pick.

    Many of these same people have it in their heads that their is only "one" pick sound and often claim they can approximate it accurately enough with their fingers. I think this attitude really misses the point that there are many pick tones. Careful practice and experimentation will show you just how much variety there is.

    If you are looking for a smoother, warmer sound from the pick, you may experiment with playing a little closer to the fingerboard for a start. Also experiment with pick angles since, in general, a flatter pick angle gives more definition. Angling your pick a bit will soften the attack.

    If you listen to some of the great pick players like Joe Osborn, you can see just how warm and fluid a picked bass can sound. Of course, the percussive edge is always readily available too.
  6. me


    Apr 29, 2000
    I just whant to coment on the exalent topic name. oh and use what you like when you like it. i myself enjoy the sound from fingering (sqish, slurp ect...)

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