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Funk - With a Pick!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Misterwogan, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Heresy, I know. It gets worse...

    I'be been playing around with my GIBSON SG BASS in a funky kind of way with a pick. The root of this, is how easily the right hand falls on the bridge of the SG and so opens up the opportunity for palm muting. I'm a guitarist of 35 years, but relatively new to bass.

    I'm familiar with the dead-note technique using the left hand and have had good results with it myself. What I'm now doing is attempting to achieve the same effect by using the right palm with a pick.

    I'm really happy with results so far, I've tried Chic, Good Times and Wild Cherry, Play That Funky Music and although the method is vastly different to how the originals, the effect really works for me anyway. Plus, with this method I feel that I get more control of the muting effect than I would from the traditional method.

    Has anyone else done this?
  2. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    I mute all the time with both hands, with a pick and without, it can be handy for pushing a feel.
  3. Without a pick and with your palm?
  4. I use palm muting quite often when I use a pick.

    As a side note check out Bobby Vega. That dude has playing funk with a pick dialed in!
  5. I have - that's what started me off on this.
  6. jhuss88


    Oct 17, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    I like doing this. People don't realize how funky you really can get with a pick. Big second on checking out Bobby Vega. Funk pick machine.
  7. Absolutely. What funk is doing is being percussive but with pitch. How more percussive can you be, but with a pick and a palm?
  8. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Check out Sly and the Family Stone "I Get High On You"...
  9. Can't get much more funky-with-a-pick than some of Anthony Jackson's work... O'Jay's "For the Love of Money" as an example. :)
  10. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
  11. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Funk works great with a pick, the muting, pinch harmonics, chording, stroke variation etc all lend itself to funk.
    I set up a bass recently for funk, what I look for is a slight 'buzz' in the frets on and above the 12 fret.
    So the action is kinda low, but more important is the fact a take a bit of relief out of the neck....so it does not have forward relief to clear those frets, it actually buzzes them.
    But below the 12th fret, and as you close in on the nut, from the 7th fret down it is hardly audible unless you 'dig in'.
    Some video was shot of how and why I done it, the footage gives an insight into how the set-up adds to the sound and feel of not only what I was after, but the effects used with it....and of course the effects that can be gained from the expression of the player and the instrument.
    If I can get a hold of it I will post a link to it, some of the pick stuff was cool. :)
  12. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Yes. But in that case I'm using my thumb to pluck. Usually I'll mute with the palm and play with a pick or play with fingers and mute with the fretting hand. Sometimes a combo of both. They all get slightly different sounds and feels.