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fingers or pick?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by emissary, Jan 22, 2005.

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  1. emissary


    Jan 22, 2005
    i've just started playing bass but i've been playing guitar for about 2 years....should i use my fingers or pick...and what's the deal with this whole free stroke and rest stroke thing?...
  2. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Well, To answer the question of Finger's or Pick, Thats up to whats comfortable to you, BUT if you ask me.... There is NO choice but Fingerstyle.

    A Rest Stroke is when you Finger pick the G string then rest it on the D string or plucking any string and resting on the string below. If you have something small on your desk, put your finger on the endge of it, then pushe down to where your finger would slip off and land on the actual Desk... Think of that is your finger going from one string and resting/Muting another and thats about it.
  3. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    learn to play with ur fingers and with a pick, i switch between to two depending on the sound i want, theres nothing wrong with having an extra picking technique under ur belt
  4. I completely agree with the above statement, though I will only endorse fingerstyle with my own experiences. There is only one thing that I know that the pick can do better, and no, it is NOT speed. As stated above, it is to get a particular sound that only it can get. With fingers, you can go faster, unleash a wider variety of sounds, not have to worry about a pick, and be able to play several notes at once or many spread-out pitch-wise notes very close together in time.
  5. DaemonBass


    Mar 29, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    As far as the speed issue goes, I think it's irrelevant whether you choose to use a pick or fingers; it's a matter of how well you can develop your own technique using one or the other. No one can say picks are faster than fingers or fingers are faster than picks, because there will always be someone who can show you otherwise. Additionally, I think that considering speed a factor in choosing between the two is a mistake. Furthermore, I think you could reasonably develop both styles and then make a personal decision based on which style you prefer. With fingerstyle you can more easily switch between a normal finger plucking style and a thumb-slap, finger-pop style. In the end it's just two different sounds and a normal audience isn't gonna be critizing you for your choice of plectrums or fingers, it's the end result that counts.
  6. Its a matter of your own comfort. for me, its fingerstyle only - i can get every sound i want, even plectrum, from my fingers. If your gonna play fingerstyle, work out how long to grow your nails, then you can play with a bit of "bite" with your fingers.
  7. I don't subscribe to the "fingers only" club - I have been known to judiciously use a pick for different things. Another sound, another colour on the instrument, that's all it is. People who ignore the pick are ignoring a whole style of playing that could make them a more complete bassist and give them access to sounds they can't get otherwise - I don't care how long your fingernails are or how good your double-thump technique is - some sounds and types of articulation cannot be achieved without a pick. (Having said that, I play about 70% fingerstyle)

    BUT... I do think new bassists should learn fingerstyle first. You seem to connect better with the instrument in the early days that way. Plus, it is the most versatile technique at a bassist's disposal. So, learn fingerstyle first. Then learn slap, picking, tapping, double-thumping, etc, etc. Learn it all! :)

    Russ :bassist:
  8. emissary


    Jan 22, 2005
    thanks guys...picking's not a problem...after playing guitar for 2 years i can pick rather good. I was curious as to when i should use picks and fingers....well...off to practicing with the ole' fingers....
  9. .357


    Jan 16, 2005
    I'm in the same boat: guitarist for a few years, now playing bass, too. Using a pick is easy and natural and gives a really crisp, loud attack. But I've already learned I can do some things a bit easier with my fingers (like string skipping--the wide spacing throws me, coming from guitar land). My fingerstyle tone sucks, though, at this point--too soft and indistinct :(
  10. I hear toes are the way to go. Get to it. :smug:
  11. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I use my fingers...to hold my pick.
  12. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    I'm also in the fingers-only club. I have tried numerous times to learn pick-style but my speed and accuracy with my fingers keeps me from trying to get proficient with a pick.

    I would reccomend learning both, and since you already know pick style I would start learning finger style and practice your attack with a pick since it is different from guitar to get a good tone.
  13. Learn both simultaneously. That way you develop both techniques rather than trying out one later and struggling. Both styles in my opinion have their advantages. Fingerstyle gives a warmer sound, while playing with a pick is more edgy. Pickstyle is also generally faster, though some people have blazing fingers :)
  14. All_¥our_Bass


    Dec 26, 2004
    I play with a pick almost all the time. The only time that I don't is when I'm just occasional messing around with my bass while it's unplugged. But when I'm actually PLAYING I use a pick, the finger plucked sound is a too qiet and "soft" for my liking, but people like what they like. But if oyu can use the pick AND fingers-more power to ya!!

    but all you pick players, keep your picks in a familiar spot so oyur like: :bassist:

    and not like :rollno:

  15. I do all three. But mostly fingerstyle and slap. I like to occaisionally play with a pick. Brings a cool new style and dynamic to the tone.
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Search "fingers or pick" in this forum. We've done this one to death.

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