Fingers or Pick

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by d_squad54, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. d_squad54


    Dec 2, 2005
    Does anyone in here only use a pick and not your fingers. Is there anyone who is "well known" who only uses a pick and no fingers at all? Personally i like the sound my fingers put off. Just my thoughts. Anyone have anything to say?
  2. 4x4Given


    Jul 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Started on pick, switched to fingers (and thumb). Now when I need a pick style rythym I use my thumb and middle finger to grasp my index finger and the last joint and use it as a pick.
  3. It's basically all about preference, and sometimes the right sound can only be truly produced using a pick, and vice versa. But as I see it, why would one limit him/herself by not becoming familiar with both? Personally I love using my fingers as opposed to a pick.. even though I am deeply involved with metal.

    I started with a pick when I first got my bass at 13.. oh man I was so styling with my Blink-182 phat beats.
  4. Most players use one or the other. The rarity is someone who uses both (not at the same time, of course).
  5. I don't see why this is such a big question. I know everyone wants to do it the "right" way, but you don't see guitarists worrying over which they use. It's not like it's even a big decision. Just learn both and use whatever you feel like at the moment.
  6. SullyB


    Nov 22, 2005
    Steve Swallow started out as an upright bassist and switched to electric bass played with a copper pick employing upstrokes exclusively. Crazy. If it sounds wierd, just check out the latest John Scofield live album that Swallow plays on. Wow.:cool: I'm gonna buy some copper picks!:D

    Also, check out Mike Gordon, Chris Squire, Anthony Jackson (He uses both, but you will be able to pick out where he uses a pick.), Carol Kaye, Scott Thunes, and the great Sir Paul.

    BTW, +1000 in regards to everyone who said try both and choose which one is right for you. It helps to be well versed in both techniques.
  7. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Both are great to know. Some examples of players who play with both: John Paul Jones(led zeppelin), Tina Weymouth (talking heads), and Oteil Burbridge (too many to name).

    It is all about the difference of tones. A pick can be in your face like The Killers bass player, and REAL puchy with flatwound strings or a mute. Fingers usually sound mellow, but can be dialed bright like Geddy Lee (rush) or Tom Commeford (Rage and Audioslave).

    Both have a very different attack though. I don't care how much someone claims they can get each tone with the opposite technique. The attack is physically different and this is key to the tone. Honestly knowing pick and fingers is like knowing bow and pizzicatto on upright. Both have a tone and place.
  8. ....coming from the opposite side as you...10 years fingers and thumb religiously, now 2 years w/ was like learning to play bass guitar all over again....
  9. I play both but more with fingers..
    pick sounds different, but I find fingers more precise so that's why I use mostly them
  10. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    im just getting into pick playing now, i like it with palm muting (which im also just getting into). im sure its useful to know both.

    well known? Jason Newsted and Dave Ellefson and maybe the dude from tool picked. I think most pick players play metal/new rock, check out the 80's metal and 90's (good) rock and metal.

    the other thing i found is that when picking i get a ton of various kinds of buzz, and i need a setup (i think). you may need one as well if your noticing this.

    oh, and consider yourself lucky for having had no one yell at you to search yet