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how do you get rid of that damn pick noise!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by paigehaleyrulez, Apr 1, 2001.

  1. paigehaleyrulez


    Mar 25, 2001
    how do you get rid of the stupid annoying pick noise!
    Paige Haley from ORGY can somehow do that, but how does he? When I try to, i lose all the punch the sound loses most of its punch and clarity. i've been trying to figure this out for over half a year!

    ORGY rules
    I am Paige Haley's slave! =)
  2. if you don't want pick noise, don't use a pick. the only reason i ever use picks is to get that trebly attack.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Another pick-hater :rolleyes:

    You have to check your technique. Don't tilt your pick when hitting the string. Keep it 'flat'. Using a pick with a narrow tip may also help. It's possible to pick without pick noise - Anthony Jackson proves it for almost three decades.
  4. You need to start experimenting with pick angles - on several axies (or whatever the plural of "axis" is). Also experiment with picking along various points on the strings. Picking closer to the fingerboard will generally give a warmer, less percussive attack, so that's one way to sound more mellow.

    There are a huge range of sounds available from the pick if take the time to find them. It drives me nuts when people talk about "THE PICK TONE" as if there's only one colour available with a pick. I can get as much variety of tone with a pick as with my fingers - there's just some sounds you can only get with either technique.
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...just for future reference, it's axes.

    I'm not a "picker"(except on gee-tar). That said, RobW's words are gold; I'd also look at the type of strings(stainless steel? I hope not!)& the EQ settings on the amp(you probably won't need as much treble).
  6. Josh Ryan

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

    Mar 24, 2001
    I've only used a pick for really specific purposes, so I'm no authority, but try flatwounds or even tapewounds. Those strings worked for me when I was doing music for a play once. I've never tried this, but would compression with a low threshold and a soft attack help? Good luck. -B
  7. BassDude24


    Sep 12, 2000
    I just read that question and went, duh, I would say get rid of the pick, no offense, but your not going to get too far if you confine yourself to it, I find that the only way to consider myself good, is to learn all techniques of playing.
  8. How about learning how to use the pick better as well as learning the other techniques? It is possible to play with a pick without excess noise.

    I don't believe the original poster claimed to only use a pick (although that may be true). Your advice to get rid of the pick also doesn't support your recommendation to learn all techniques. How can you learn to use the pick better if you get rid of it?
  9. I just hate it when I check the forums right before hitting the sack, and come across such thought provoking commentary :rolleyes:. Now I'll be up all night trying to find the answer to this question.
  10. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    To get rid of the "pick sound" I do a few things. I choke up on it so the meat of my fingers almost brushes (or does lightly) the strings. Holding the pick really loose and playing with an open hand seems to lighten up the attack and makes for more sensitive articulation and a warmer sound. Using a heavy pick reduces the "pick click" kinda sound. I like the #9 copper Hot Licks or Dunlop Big Stubbies 2mm.

    I learned most of what I can do by listening to Steve Swallow who always plays with a pick and trying to cop his vibe. Even if ya don't like his music he's worth checking out for his sound. Carol Kaye also had some good advise on TBL before she was driven off. I hear she's on a web site of some sort now and that might be a place to get some more ideas. I heard her at NAMM this year playing jazz at the Polytone booth getting absolutely no pick noise at all.
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The only way I know to totally eliminate it, other than through technique (which will do the job), is to get rid of your low end Ibanez (I know that's probably not feasible at the present, but a better bass has pickups that don't act so much like cheap microphones. Plus Haley has a higher end Ibanez that has probably been modded out the kazoo).

    Haley uses several effects that futz his sound around and prbably eliminates any pick noise that may exist. But he's well into his 30's, so he should have the technique down. Orgy are all real pros, IMO.
  12. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    This what Carol Kaye does ...
  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Boy, the things you can do to your bass when you don't have to appear in public. ;)
  14. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    I personally love the feeling of having your love the feeling of having your right hands finger wounded and bruised from playing all nite long(like right now)... nothing better.

    If the finger tips get hard enough you can eventually get a pick like sound.
  15. I disagree. I never understand why some folks will try everything they can to justify not using a pick. There's no better way to get the full range of tones available from a pick than to use one. If I want to get 'finger' type tones, I use my fingers.
  16. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    No justification, I just don't like using picks. It is a lot easier to play the bass with a pick and I always like the hard stuff. But that is just me, that is why I use a frettless because its harder to play. I like the challenge of getting a pick-like even sound with my fingers while playing hardrock. Its very hard to get that kind of sound with fingers and gives me a great excuse to spend more time playing the bass. Great!
  17. How do you figure? I disagree again.

    I find it certainly depends on the passage. Try the theme to 'Barney Miller' with a pick (as originally recorded) and then with your fingers. IMO it's a lot easier with your fingers, and I even use a pick fairly often so it's not a lack of technique or anything. Or trying playing a smooth walking swing line with a pick - that's not so easy. There are lots of things that are harder to play with pick than with the fingers or vice versa. That seems to be another great pick falacy - that it is the easy way out.

    As for doing something just because you think it's harder, that's seems a bit odd. It should be about making good music - this isn't some kind of pissing contest. Do you set your bass up so the strings are an inch off the fingerboard - just for an extra challenge? Or how about tying a couple of cement bricks to your strap buttons while you play - that would be harder, right?

    Say a particular passage did sound better with a pick and happened to be easier that way too? Is it more important to you do it the hard way, or to use the technique that sounds most apropriate?
  18. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Come on people, let's focus on the topic again.
    It's NOT pick vs. fingers...

    Usually it helps to minimize excessive/inefficient pick motion and focus on precise execution.
    The motion should come from the wrist or fingers, not from your arm or elbow.
    Do some slow picking exercises to check and improve your technique and gradually expand into string-skipping etc.
    Always put tone and precision before speed, then you'll be fine.
  19. bassguy187


    Jun 27, 2000
    Nazo, PA
    ya, you guys can't say using a pick
    isn't good, i mean go listen to rancid,
    matt freemans basslines are impossible to
    play without a pick. well most of them anyhow.
  20. RyldCorborel

    RyldCorborel Guest

    Mar 12, 2001
    Hey guys, in answer to your question about losing the pick noise... I will rarely use one since it doesn't have the same feel as playing with your fingers, but when I do, I drop my tone down to about halfway, and drop the trebel pitch on my amp all the way down.

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