Finger Style vs Picking for me

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by MrGotBass, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. MrGotBass


    Jul 28, 2009
    So I've been playing bass for a little over a year now and I'm really starting to notice something that I think is kinda odd: I can't use a pick fast or play finger style slow. Now that is a bit of an exaggeration, but its pretty close to what I mean. When I play with a pick, I can't ever seem to make quick changes across strings sound fluid if I'm playing at a good speed (and since I play alot of metal, that's quite often), and so I play, or attempt to play, even the fastest stuff finger style, especially since I can't do triplets well with a pick. In a similar vain, when I slow it down a bit, I find that it's much easier to play with a pick, as I often break down to the one finger-finger style, even at a decent rock pace (ie "Peace Sells" by Megadeth) because I find it hard to keep a steady pace with two fingers, but easy with a pick.

    So TB, does anyone else have a situation like this? And is there a specific practice method that can help make me a more balanced player?
  2. queevil


    Aug 6, 2009
    I used to play with a pick when I first started playing bass 10 years ago mostly because I hadn't yet developed enough speed using my fingers. I came from guitar, metal at that, so I knew how to weild a pick. However, one thing was different. I would tend to put my whole shoulder into it and would start to feel an ache in my shoulder after about 10 minutes. I had to conciously rest my palm on the bridge and pivot from the wrist, whereas on the guitar it was second nature. Try it if you don't already. Or let your plucking hand kind of float over the bridge area if the design of the bridge makes it difficult to rest the palm of your hand on. I eventually quit playing with a pick altogether after about six months of playing because I began to develop my speed and fingers just felt more natural to me. But this technique helped me when I did. Pick or fingers, it tends to be easier to pluck fast passages over the bridge since the string tension is higher and therefore has less rebound after being plucked. I hope this helps.
  3. I play rhythm guitar in one band and bass in another. On the rhythm guitar I will change picks for certain songs, i.e. Folsom Prison, Elvira, etc. need a different strum than the normal run of the mill songs so I change from my normal thumb pick to the plectrum 3.0mm for them.

    Till you work this out try using which one works best for the song and change back and forth.

    Us old 6 string guys seem to have a hard time leaving our picks at home. I have switched to just my thumb and a palm mute when on the bass, not sure I will ever move all the way to just fingers.