Gotta say... I've really warmed up to "pick playing"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ethanbowen666, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. ethanbowen666


    Jan 8, 2011
    I used to hate it when bass players used a pick. But recently I've been really digging into some 70s stuff, and man I must say there are QUITE A FEW bass players that where rocking the pick!

    I'd have to say that this album "Svitanie" by Czechoslovakian group "Blue Effect (Modrý Efekt; M. Efekt)" really pushed me over the edge into realizing "there is a time and place for everything."

    There is just some magical thing about these three things:
    -70's prog

    Thoughts anyone?
    Does anyone ever listen to that Czechoslovakian band Blue Effect?
  2. ethanbowen666


    Jan 8, 2011
    I didn't mean to say that there aren't any other piece out there with different kind of bass that are just as amazing. Like Camel an Tull (don't use pick)
  3. I used to look down my nose at those who played with a pick. But I must say, ALOT do, and its waaaayyy harder to do then one would think. Especially not coming from a guitar backround. I love how fast you can play, I can jam 1/16th notes all day on a single string. Want me to put together a chord or go vertical? Forget it.
  4. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    I blame TBird1958, but after 30 years of finger-style playing, tomorrow's gig will have more pick playing than all my previous gigs combined.
  5. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    When I started playing in '83, I was nothing but a pick player. I wanted to be a 'real' bassist, so I kept trying to ditch the pick, and finally succeeded when I joined another band. All through the '90's I never used a pick, just fingerstyle and some slap/pop; I was finally a 'real' bassist! Then in 2000, I was recording my parts on my band's 2nd cd, and for kicks I pulled out an old pick from my gig bag, and cut a track with my Musicman Sabre. It was magic. Since then, I just use whatever works best for the song.
  6. ethanbowen666


    Jan 8, 2011
  7. tomnomnom91


    Dec 23, 2012
    For the first couple of years I played I was completely against pick playing. I think it was something to do with my dad telling me bass should be played with fingers, he kind of poisoned me against picks. But after a while I started using one occasionally, and I love the tone. It annoys me when certain people seem to look down on me for using a pick, when I use one purely for the sake of the tone. Most of the bass parts I play are fine to play with fingers, so I really don't see the problem. I think that's all that should be considered in th pick vs fingers argument really: which tone you prefer. Obviously I can now use both and it makes me a better player overall.
  8. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Well Duh! That sure took you a long time to figure out! :)

    I imagine there is a tendency to look down on pick players because of guitarists converted to bass, but really as always it's just about what works best in the music not what "kind" of bass player you are!
  9. Tvrtko


    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
  10. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen!

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups


    I don't have any choice with the band, most of what we do just would be impossible for me to play fingerstyle - But see the link in my sig, I give it a go on "Hungry like the Wolf".
    Today, at home I tried "Doctor Doctor" by UFO fingerstyle, didn't make it halfway and my middle finger had cramped :(

    When I was 19 and used a Rick 4001 I somehow managed to play that song.
  11. ethanbowen666


    Jan 8, 2011
    hmm I still don't know if I agree with using a pick just "because it makes it easier" per say.

    But I was thinking more along the lines of this...
  12. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I agree use what sounds good.
  13. Gain all the skills and techniques you can to have a massive toolbox of tone options. That's what I've learned. It's funny, because when I started playing bass, my metalhead friend that helped me learn told me the opposite from most people: to stop trying to use my fingers because I'll just always do better with a pick.

    So I kept playing with both fingers and a pick and even started to work on slap after that. I did the right thing, and he was stupid for what he said lol

    Now I have almost 3 times the tonal options compared to before. On top of this, experimenting with all these styles on flatwound strings vs rounds, palm muting, and on a jazz vs. a precision vs a PJ, I've built so much knowledge on different tones that I know exactly what I like to do for each situation.

    You can never have too many skills. Just refrain from skill overkill. Not every song needs heavy aggressive picking or hardcore slap, and not every song needs smooth, round, fat-sounding finger-style playing (though, IMO, this does fit more situations than picking all the time ;) ).

    Sometimes you might deviate from the norm, but I promise, just have an ear for the best style in the music you're playing and you'll never go wrong.
  14. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    Glad to see you've gained maturity as a musician. You are definitely benefiting and having fun, no doubt.
    The "Hating..." and "Looking down on..." are pretty puerile as you probably can see now. Kind of a 15 year old thing.
    The ONLY thing that matters is "CAN YOU PLAY YOUR F'in BASS!". I've always laughed at those that think they are "all that" because they don't use a pick and look down from heaven at those who do. What a joke. They ought to take their case to Carol Kaye and make her feel bad that she uses a pick... :rollno::D.. along with a whole bunch of great players. Yeah, TB has had a scad of ridiculous pick vs fingers posts---pretty worthless.
    So keep rollin', dude, and congrats on the growth spurt. And play, play, play!!
  15. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen!

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups

    Thunderbird + Pick = :hyper: tone
  16. Exactly. I don't use a pick to play something easier if it doesn't fit the right tone for the song. If it calls for fingers and you can't play it yet, it's time to buckle down and get some more practice in!
  17. I played almost exclusively with a pick for 20 years, except when tapping. I now use some finger style. I'm at the point where a thumb pick has become necessary for switching styles during the same song.
  18. tomnomnom91


    Dec 23, 2012
    This! My bass tone is honestly my favourite I've ever heard, and I use a Thunderbird with a pick.
  19. ethanbowen666


    Jan 8, 2011

    Though I didn't say I "hated" bass players that used a pick I hate when they use one. I would still hate to see someone using a pick not for the tone but the playability and therefor limiting themselves as a player :)

    That's why I always frowned on it because I felt that they where limiting them selves (particularly in metal where I don't really feel it's necessary to use a pick). But that's another topic of discussion. We're talking about what pickin bass sounds good on!

    :oops: 70s prog :oops: