Fingers vs. Pick?

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by ihatethebeatles, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. ihatethebeatles


    Apr 14, 2004
    I just recently took up bass after years of playing guitar. I'm used to hitting the 6 string with a pick, and that is how I have approached the bass. I find that using my fingers to strike the strings causes alot of cramping. So I have stuck with the pick. Is there any benefit that I am missing out on by playing this way?

  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Pick - Usually Trebly, very distinct
    Fingers - Rounder, softer,

    There is no best technique for playing, but knowing many different styles of playing is a plus. Decide for yourself how versatile of player you want to be. Good luck

    I am trying to get my picking up to speed because I am mainly a fingerstyle player. One technique that I am experimenting with (took this from you Jauqo) is putting a pick in between the knuckles of my middle and ring fingers, so that I can still play slap and add quick pick bursts to it.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Abarkooo what Gauge pick do you use?I use Dunlop Nylon .38mm
  4. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Little bit thicker, .88 Dunlops, all I had laying around

    Still trying to perfect it though :D .
  5. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Personally, I usually play my bass with a watermelon, but that's just me.

    Use whatever the song calls for. If at all possible, be able to play all techniques. Each one is like an extra tool in the toolbox.
  6. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Oh and I'm sure the Beatles hate you.
  7. BustinJustin

    BustinJustin banned

    Sep 12, 2003
    NYC, LI too
    sure do...
  8. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member


    it takes practice to build up the fingers so you gotta give yourself some time. when I went back to pick for some tours w/j mascis + the fog, my hand was cramping up cuz different muscles are used for each way of playing.

    if you do start w/the fingers, don't give up on the pick though - I think it's best to know how to play w/both fingers and a pick. there's things you can do w/each technique that are singular to each. experiment - I know a cat who plays w/both a pick and fingers at the same time!

    on bass, watt

  9. Is this uncommon?
    When I took on the bass after several years of playing guitar, using a pick and my fingers at the same time sort of just came naturally to me.
    I hold the pick in the standard fashion between my thumb and index finger then use my middle and ring finger for additional plucking and popping(my pinky is a weak little thing that I never have been able to get to cooperate).
  10. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I have never seen anybody do it, sounds cool though
  11. I thought I was the only one who did that?! Kewl!
  12. Maybe I am just a mutant......
  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    It's not common, but a guitarist I jam with can do it. I don't know, it doesn't seem that... useful to me. But, whatever works.
  14. ironmaidenisgod


    May 20, 2004
    I switched over from playing guitar too.But plucking comes more naturally to me.
  15. scientist_rock


    Mar 15, 2004
    I guess everyone has their own way of playing which is easy for them.
    Most people have trouble using the pinky on their fretting hand, but I use mine all the time. I use my pinky instead of the finger to the left of my middle finger most of the time, like for creating the power-chord shape and stuff.
    I even find it easier making that shape when strumming power chords on a guitar.
    Everyone always remarks upon how painful it looks and must be, but it feels perfectly natural for me.
    At first it was treally painful but now I find it wasy easier to stretch my hand further down the fretboard.
    I say - if it feels right and it sounds good, then do it!