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Fingers vs pick

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by tycobb73, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    I prefer the feel of fingers but the sound of a pick. I found the sound in my head with a pick. With my fingers its meh. I think the pick won out. Anyone else go through this?
  2. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Yes, but in reverse. I'm faster and more accurate with a pick, but prefer the sound of fingers.
  3. VitalSigns


    May 8, 2011
    Central NY
    Try using your finger nails.
  4. jabsys


    Mar 30, 2011
    I'm the same, I prefer to play fingerstyle and I'm more comfortable with fingers but they just don't work for the tone I want, so I play with a pick. I've tried with nails and it still doesn't sound right, might have to try the fingerpicks classical guitarist use.
  5. cableguy


    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    maybe use both for whatever feel the music needs.
  6. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    Took the letters right out of my keyboard. Differing positions (close to the bridge or neck), thumbs, picks, finger are all colors. I frankly wish I was better with a pick as the sounds are substantially different. The only "Problem" I would ever foresee is an individual not experimenting.

    In the world of painting there may be 18 different "greens" from one base pigment. It would be a limiting factor to stop at a mid-level green The eyes and ears go so far beyond that mod-level root color.
  7. To each their own style of playing and tones based on whatever method you choose. The fingers or pick debate could go on and on about how real bass players don't use picks blah blah blah.
  8. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Pick = Small learning curve, moderate effectiveness
    Fingers = Very large learning curve, giant effectiveness

    In other words, you can become good with a pick very fast, but you can't do much once you're at the pick's "skill ceiling". Fingerstyle takes decades to perfect, but you can do amazing things once you've mastered it.
  9. Topspin

    Topspin What's my name again?

    Dec 15, 2010
    I played Tom Sawyer with a pick once. Shame on me.
    Love the sounds I can make with both fingerstyle and a pick, but I suck at using a pick.
  10. I am confined to a pick, due to physical limitations. I use old gift cards as my pick, cut up in a manner that my right hand can hold them.
  11. jabsys


    Mar 30, 2011
    Not for me it wasn't, I've always found it very easy to play fingerstyle, playing with a pick feels completely unnatural and took loads of practice to be able to play any where near as well as I can with fingers.
  12. JavierFarias


    Feb 9, 2011
    for me it depends on the music, usually it's like 90% pick 10% fingers .
  13. Jisais


    Jan 1, 2012
    Often it does depend on the music that is being played and even your mood. Personally i love the tone that you get with fingers, but when it comes to playing at 220 BPM my fingers cramp up a little to easily :scowl: have to work on that quad technique. Pick on the other hand also gives you a legit tone, but theres only so much that could be done with a pick!
  14. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Now I finally understand why Chris Squire's bass playing is only moderately effective and why he just can't do much.;)
  15. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Ditto to Macca. :D
  16. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Big +1!
  17. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
  18. Geroi Asfalta

    Geroi Asfalta

    Aug 23, 2011
    i prefer fingerstyle. I can't use a pick to save my life. I can pick a guitar ok, but not a bass.....plus, I almost always have coloured DR's on my fretted basses. I like keeping the colour as much as possible.

    The only time I ever get a pick near my bass is:
    - When I have a little overdrive and my non-coated DR's
    - When I'm messing with my fretless to Pink Floyd

    Otherwise, I sound like somebody killing a goat with a bass when I use a pick

  19. What? Use what you need when you need it.

    Simple, and you won't need any couch time if you don't agonize over it.
  20. I'm still undecided as to which one I prefer. I do love the pick because of the "aggressiveness" and prominence, which is perfect for rock. I'm also getting much faster with a pick.

    But it is always good to play with fingers, due to the feel with the strings and the different sound.
    Edit: I'm also more accurate with fingerpicking.

    I will let you know in a few years when I decide.

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