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Fingerstyle snob?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Humblerumble, Jul 21, 2004.


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  1. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

    Feb 22, 2004
    VA.
    I have to admit that I tend to be less impressed when I see a bass player using a pick. I can play with a pick, I just don't. I guess if I was playing speed metal or something I probably would, but for my usual gigs no pick is needed. Anyway, I got the Gov't Mule DVD the Deep End that was recommended here at TB. The first time I watched it when a bass player came out using a pick I was kinda turned off and honestly didn't pay much attention. I decided to watch it again today, and have an open mind and not be a bass snob and I have to say that all the guys have some tasty grooves. Mike Gordon played with a pick but had a real nice groove to his playing and it was a nice dose of bass reality for me. Fingers, slap, pick whatever, a good bass groove is a good bass groove. Sorry, I just had to confess and repent of bass snobbish :D Anyone else ever fall in to that kind of trap?
     
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    No. :D But admitting that you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

    I can't care if the bassist is playing with a pitch fork, if it sounds good and he can groove with it then he has accomplished what a bassist should be able to do.
     
  3. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Repent ye wretched sinner...er...snob :D I'm a pick guy most of the time. I love the tone I get from a pick for punk and metal basslines. If I want to just groove though, the warmth of the old fingers just can't be beat, IMO. I'm a snob though too, slapping, eck! :bag: Just kidding...sorta :D
     
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I think Technique may get this more reply... it's not really "Bassist" focused.
     
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Billy Sheehan has been known to use a Makita drill to play his bass. Once his hair got caught in the drill and that may have been the end of such an unorthodox manner of playing bass.
     
  6. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Yeah, that wasn't a real high point for Billy.
     
  7. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

    Feb 22, 2004
    VA.
    Actually I didn't put this in Technique because I was talking about watching bassists using picks and not the technique itself. I watched the Gov't Mule DVD (which is great by the way) and really watched Wooten and the other fingerstyle players kind of ignoring the pick players. When I watched it again I paid special attention to the pick players and came away impressed by the groove those guys got as well. :bassist:
     
  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    that's cool... I just thought it might be better served here.

    I'm 80% fingerstyle - 15% slap - 5% pick...

    I've battled the pick hate for years... the fact I love Chris Squire's tone & lines has definately helped :bassist:
     
  9. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Let's see...

    I use a pick for:
    the main part of Cheap Sunglasses (til the slowdown end-part), most surf songs, MeatPuppets tunes (oops - not Roof with a Hole), ahh.. there MUST be a COUPLE more.

    Otherwise fingers! I used to play all pick (trying fingers was always very frustrating to me), but finally 'the snobs' got me thinking "Why isn't there such thing as 'pick snobs'? I wonder if there's something to that finger thing?". Yup, there is.

    Since then, I've been much more interested in technique, and technique got me much more interested in modes and scales and such. Now I think there's a chance that I could become an extraordinary bass player, even in middle-age.

    Joe
     
  10. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I too used to be of that opinion. I think before I knew much about bassists in general, the only pick player I dug was Cliff Burton (he did use a pick right? lol). Seeing Rising Low also brought to my attention how many great bass players do use picks. I came to the same realization as you, if they groove, who cares how they do it :)
     
  11. I hope that's sarcasm. I have the "Cliff 'em All" DVD, and not once have I seen him use a pick. Even during tunes like "Anaesthesia (Pulling Teeth)", which I have to use a pick to play.

    Jason Newsted did use a pick though...
     
  12. Kavorka

    Kavorka

    Mar 28, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    Humblerumble,

    I had the same prejudice for a while. I think it was because I came from playing guitar and wanted to distance myself from that instrument. However, as I started listening to bassists who use picks well and tried to get a good, clean sound, I found it much different than picking the guitar. Now I respect the technique, though I'm still a fingerstyle guy.
     
  13. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

    Feb 22, 2004
    VA.
    James Hart said
    :p Cracked me up!
     
  14. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Not sarcasm, ignorance hehe. I must have confused the two.
     
  15. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    I used to play 100% with a pick when I switched from 6-string guitar...like 35 years ago when I was 14 years old. Now I only use it for a few surf-type songs. I don't have any prejudice against full-time pickers, but lately I have seen TWO bass players with working bar bands who play only with their right thumbs. TRUE! What's up with that? I can't believe you can get anything faster than quarter notes using that technique. So I guess for now I'm prejudiced against that technique, until someone blows me away using just their thumb...which I can't imagine would be possible.
     
  16. Neeto

    Neeto

    Jul 21, 2004
    This post rules!! lol They should fret with just one finger, and pluck with one thumb! What a genius technique we are seeing form right before us!
     
  17. *ToNeS*

    *ToNeS*

    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    What, you've never seen Larry Graham play?
     
  18. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Hmm...I did some research and stubled upon an interview with Stanley Clarke concerning Larry Graham and the origin of slapping:

    Stanley: “Larry started it, but he had only one lick. I saw him do it, and I took it from there.”

    Stanley didn't seem to have much admiration for one-thumb-only playing...
     
  19. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    UK
    yep, I did, but it was only because the pick players i'd seen until that point weren't as good as some of the fingerstyle players...

    my ideas were all blown out of the water when I heard Scott Thunes
     
  20. Humblerumble

    Humblerumble

    Feb 22, 2004
    VA.
    The thumb post reminds me of Victor talking about using his thumb like a pick. He has a way of picking up and down with his thumb in a pick like motion, and Geddy lee said he uses his fingers like a flamenco guitarist, going up and down in a pick like fashion. Two techniques that I doubt I will ever master :p
     



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