How do I get a Pick Sound using Fingers?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by devinp17, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. devinp17

    devinp17 Guest

    Hey everyone. I know this is kind of a crazy question... But does anyone know how I can get a pick type sound while using my fingers to play my bass? Chorus Pedal? Different Strings? New Amp.? I really like the sound I get with a pick, but I'd rather play with my fingers... Any ideas?
  2. Huge

    Huge Hell is full of musical amateurs. Like me.

    Dec 2, 2005
    I really want to say "By holding a pick between them.".

    But I'm not going to.
    CfoScoop and devntran like this.
  3. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Grow out your fingernails maybe? Using a pick will be easier for you in the long run. However, try lowering your action a bit and boosting 2 - 4 kHz on your amp.
  4. devinp17

    devinp17 Guest

    Not sure what you mean by "boosting 2 - 4 kHz on your amp."

  5. St. Louis Scot

    St. Louis Scot

    Sep 16, 2013
    Austin, Tx
    What I gather is you like the sound of the pick, but you want to play with your fingers, but you want to sound like a pick. I guess I... I just... I don't... sigh, what?!

    Okay, so if you like the sound and are proficient, why play with your fingers. Finger style is a different sound, hence the reason some choose it, just as slap is a different sound. I personally use all three depending on the situation.

    Using a pick is not only a unique sound, but can offer more speed for some players and usually gives a very precise rhythm. Carol Kaye uses a pick.
  6. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    If you amp has an EQ section, use it to boost frequencies around this area. If you lower your bass's action slightly, play with an aggressive technique and boost these frequencies on your amp it would sound more like pick playing.
  7. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Grow your fingernails.

    Nothing crazy, just 1/16" or so extra will often be plenty.
    marmadaddy likes this.
  8. Sneakyfish


    Jan 24, 2014
    London, UK
    Well, does your amp have: A, a graphic EQ? Or B, just a straight up Bass, Mid, Treble set-up? Without a Graphic EQ it's kind of difficult to isolate those frequencies specifically. I guess 2000-4000 Hz is dealing with the high end of your tone, so if the amp is has B set-up crank up the Treble pot on the amp to taste, and see if you get more of the effect you're looking for. It will probably just give you a real boost in string/fret noise + overtone content though (which you don't really want unless you play metal :D slap alot or play funk :) ) as the range of frequencies the the treble pot covers is probably pretty wide. Which is why I prefer graphic's, as they offer you finer control when tone-chasing. Hope that helps! \m/ :bassist:
  9. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Check out john entwhistle videos.
  10. Is there a way to slow them down??
  11. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Use a pick.
  12. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    bony fingers and aggro technique
  13. Bassnoise


    Jul 24, 2013
    He's kinda right it will add more bite just don't go much more than he suggests and play kinda on the tips hammering the strings a bit
  14. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    EQ and fingernails will help but not sure how your fingernails will hold up. Fingerstyle like an acoustic guitarist or banjo picker (without finger picks :) ) will come a bit closer, since you are essentially plucking with the side-edge of the fingertips in an upstroking manner. Most bass fingerstyle is essentially banging down on the string with a small amount of pop at the end. Thumb players generally get closer to a pick sound than finger players since they too are primarily plucking the string rather than banging the string. And not getting much slap against the fingerboard or frets to boot. Just my $0.02 YMMV
  15. Bassnoise


    Jul 24, 2013
    Also using the tips with a bit of nails my index finger is much more pic like than the middle
  16. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Quaaludes :D
  17. southpaw723


    Oct 20, 2013
    I'm surprised no one said it but playing near the bridge can give you more of a pick sound.
  18. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Somebody else did!

    Why do some people always seem to look for the most difficult solution possible?

    I can turn left to get to my neighbor's house, or turn right and circumnavigate the world to get there. :rollno:
  19. wmheilma


    Jan 5, 2010
    Hold a pick with your fingers! Try a thumb pick if holding a pick drives you nuts.
  20. St. Louis Scot

    St. Louis Scot

    Sep 16, 2013
    Austin, Tx
    That's true.