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! :)

Fingerplaying question (vs. pick)

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Steve Harris Is, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Steve Harris Is

    Steve Harris Is

    Jul 4, 2005
    I have a question about playing fingerstyle (I have played for 5 weeks and I use a pick now)...

    I don't seem to have any real trouble when I try playing with fingers but the biggest thing I notice is that the notes, when played fingerstyle, kinda sound like quick bursts that don't ring where when I use a pick they sound better and not as deadened at the end. Is it just something I am doing wrong with my fingers you think?
  2. well as the string leaves the finger, it kinda rolls a bit over the flesh, so you get a bit muted sound there, as opposed to pick where you have an edge and there is no contact once strings leaves the pick.

    Following that logic, it would seem that you have to try to minimize the contact with the string when you pick it with fingers on release, maybe like picking with fingertips and releasing just close to the nail or something.
  3. Playing with a pick and fingerstyle differs the sound. I believe it's better to practice both and use the one that fits the song. If you are switching from pick to fingerstlye and back again, it will be a good idea to use a processor to balance the sound when switching between styles (in general playing with a pick produce higher volume than the fingerstyle, at least for me).

    Also when playing fingerstyle if you pluck nearer the bridge, you can get closer sound to pick style.

    You should check your attack as well, I mean how hard you hit your fingers to the strings. And if the notes goes dead, I'd look my fretting hand as well. If you let loose your fretting fingers the notes will fade soon.

    hope it helps :hyper:
  4. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    If you're going to learn songs which requires fast changes between tapping, slapping and your picking style you'll will probably need to play fingerstyle, if you'r not fast to drop your pick and pick it up.
  5. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    IMO Fingerstyle playing is THE WAY it should be done... However, there are MANY Great bassists who do use a pick.
    To open your eyes to this way of playing, try the following and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

    Background on what i did:
    I am a lefty... Learned guitar righty. Figured i would suck either hand, so mind as well go with the majority. Playing was hard for me in the picking deptartment. I could never get it. My best buddies asked me to play bass in their band. Sold all my guitar stuff and went to bass in a couple days... I played with a pick for A WEEK. With this lesson you will be able to make th move in a flash!

    1. Get a metronome and practice to that (when you get the technique down)
    2. Think of walking with your fingers (pedaling i guess you could say. Twittle your fingers)
    3.) Stay relaxed. Let your fingers do all the work
    4.) Start on the A string or anything higher... hit the string with your pointer finger and FOLLOW THROUGH until you hit the string above it. Dont make it so that string gets hit and makes a sound, instead use it as a stoppiing point and hold your finger there so it rests on the string above. Do the same thing with your middle finger and let that do the same. Meanwhile pedal and get back to your pointer finger. Just fluctuate and get the meat of your finger tips to hit the string you want and let them follow throught to the string above. For the E string at the top, do the same but use your thumb as the stopping point (the thumb should be resting comfortably on the neck pickup)
    5.) Learn scales / modes and run through them with your finger picking.
    6.) KEEP YOUR PEDALING AND ATTACK EVEN AND CONSISTANT. Try playing it ALL mellow and quiet and light, MOVE YOUR WAY UP until you are hitting them constantly Hard and alternate in between the modes. Make the first note on each string an attack and do the rest light etc... This builds memorization, comfortability and versitility.
    Do 1 finger per note and only use the pointer finger. Think simple blues bass lines.

    Do 1 finger per note and ALTERNATE your fingers so you use thepointer AND middle finger.

    Do 2 fingers per note and run through the modes that way. Then make up stuff and run through those. Run up and down EACH STRING and go through the alternating paddle technique. You wil lknow hwat sounds good.
    I used to watch TV and even eat and talk on the phone with my bass in my hand and using JUST My right hand, go through the finger style alternating strings and fingers.
    I made it subconscious and kept at it. This is something that catches on fairly quickly.
    Best part is that there is no problem with my picking. My fingers do the work so it doesnt matter what hand i am. Think piano.

    Hope this lesson helps, it did for me.
  6. Steve Harris Is

    Steve Harris Is

    Jul 4, 2005
    Thanks for all the info! I think for now I am going to keep going with the pick but incorporate a lot of finger exercises into my practice so I feel comfy both ways and will eventually be able to make a solid choice based on feel.

    Thanks again.