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Funk done.....pickstyle?????

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by GeorgiaHonk, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Although primarily a fingerstyle player, I've been fooling around with trying to learn some slap techniques for a few funk numbers my bandmates and I are learning. The last couple of times out, though, I played the basslines with a heavy gauge pick and thought it sounded pretty darned good. With a sufficiently strong attack I got some nice "zing" to the notes, and the aggressive feel was there as well.

    Anybody else find that picks might not necessarily be so bad for playing funk tunes? And are there any established funk players who use picks?
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Bobby Vega filled in for a spate of Tower Of Power gigs when Rocco was ill... Pick player... Heard he really laid it down...

  3. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I like to use a pick with flats for funk stuff.

    As for famous players, how's about Anthony Jackson on the O'Jays "For the Love of Money?" That's a Jazz Bass played with a pick. :hyper:
  4. I think a bright / fast pick attack could bring out a slap-like tone quite well, although it wouldn't have the same feel to me personally if I were playing it like that. If you can get it to sound good, I see no reason not to do it.
  5. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    The bass player for the violent femmes actually picks and pops. He does the "thumbs" with the pick, and pops with his middle and ring finger. It sounds pretty funky, i must say.
  6. I often use the pick for the funk as it does have a "zing" and you can also throw in a two voice shindig now and again (by double stopping the b7th and b3rd and hammering on and off the fourth, or just a straight accented 5th-8th.)
  7. cactus waltz

    cactus waltz

    Feb 10, 2005
    He also plays an acoustic bass, right? It's such an odd approach, but it really makes the Violent Femmes sound.
  8. NoisemakerD-Lux


    Oct 12, 2004
    Play with your sex organ if it makes you happy, allows you to play what you hear in your head, and it sounds good.

    I get really ticked off at people who put limits on playing an instrument: can't play it like that... that's an "incorrect" form... that style is for guitar... that one is for the piano....... Just shut up, already. If we all played the same way and never ventured into unknown territories, we'd all play like double-bass players and be playing nothing but walking basslines. We would never learn/invent anything new and the instrument would be basically "stuck" in one place with no progress.

    Wanna play Funk with a pick? God bless you, man. ;)
  9. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Yeah, definitely an ABG. Kind of an intresting sound. Not something i would consider doing in MY band, but it works great with that off-kilter croon and strange melodies.

    I think their drummer usually plays ONLY a snare drum, as well.

    Just went and listened to the live album i have of theres, and man, Brian Ritchie can play. Kinda sloppy, but its an interesting bass style, for sure.
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Other funky pick players:

    Wilton Felder (Crusaders, Jackson 5)
    Carol Kaye
  11. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Don't forget Leon Sylvers III: The Whispers 'And the Beat Goes On'; Shalamar etc.

    I've been working on jazz and funk stuff using a thumbpick and my fingers together for a while - you can get some interesting things happening.
  12. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    Tom Fowler dishes out some funky bassplaying on Zappa's "Over-Night Sensation" and "Roxy and Elsewhere", for example.
    He played a 60's Fender jazz with a pick.