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How to hold picups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Czugi, Feb 2, 2002.


  1. Czugi

    Czugi

    Feb 2, 2002
    Hello fellow bassists. My first post here.

    How should I hold'em? I understand that when u pick a string with a pick u go down and up, down and up, right? Thats the whole idea. Problem is I go down and cant go up.

    Receantlly however I've noticed thats a lot easier when u hold the pick in such a way that it kinda 'cuts' the string rather than pulls it. Do u follow? Is taht the way I should hold the pics. It kinda makes anoying noises. Or is it that its up to the player how he holds it.

    Thanx.
     
  2. old_skool

    old_skool

    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Your question is a little confusing. Could you be a little more descriptive? You dont always have to go up and down. You could just simply go down, it might be harder to play faster stuff but you could do it. Id say just practice and youll get it.
     
  3. EString

    EString

    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    Is this guy asking a question about PICKS in the PICKUPS forum?

    :eek:
     
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    More like, "Technique."

    Welcome to Talkbass, Czugi! Where are you located? If you fill out your Talkbass "Profile" information you will find it will help you out when you make other posts on Talkbass.

    Instructional books and videos that deal with picking a bass are pretty scarce, IME. Historically, bassists have started out using the same method that guitarists use for basic picking technique.

    Here's a link where they have a lesson or two on basic picking -
    http://guitar.about.com/library/howto/htuseapick.htm

    Once you know the basic technique, you'll probably adapt it to suit your style. Squire, Woody, Entwistle, et al, have their own, very different, styles.

    If you can see any old Beatle's videos/films, just watch McCartney. You'll see his style isn't much different than basic guitar pick technique, if at all. After all, most of us started on guitar back then.
     
  5. old_skool

    old_skool

    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Rick, how do the diffrent players that you listed differ in their picking technique?
     
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Shoot, videos/recordings would tell the whole story much better, but here goes -

    Squire - several years ago, he described how he puts his thumb right behind the pick's tip. First, the tip strikes the string and a millisecond layer, he said his thumb strikes the string......sort of a "double pick". He turned me onto Herco picks when I used picks in the 70's.

    Entwistle - haven't seen him used them for years (he seems to be using his "typewriter" technique for a while now with chorus).
    I used his technique for a number of year - instead of the flat, wide, side of the pick striking the string, you turn it sideways with one flat side towards the headstock and the other towards the bridge, (or at least at an angle). So, you're striking the side of the string with the edge of the pick.
    But here's where it gets involved - as soon as you make a downstroke, you make an upstroke, and repeat it lightning fast as many times as needed, so that at regular speed, the edge of the pick tip is flicking the sides of the string many times per second, back and forth. With roundwounds, the tips of many pick brands break off as they flap back and forth on the string because they have to be very flexible, which means they tend to be quite thin and not very strong break off.

    Woody - did this downstroke followed by an upstroke sort of thing with the flat side of the pick. When done quickly, you can play many more different notes fast than with just a downstroke He used it with jazz-like, scale-running, lines - a lot like a be-bop or scat singer (Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong when sang scat with the nonsense syllables).

    Sir McCartney - that was just straight ahead basic picking technique.
     
  7. old_skool

    old_skool

    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Hmm, well Im still a little confused but thank you Rick. Maybe Ill try checking out some videos. Sounds very interesting. Thanks again.
     
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I'm not surprised by any confusion. Using
    words to explain any complex technique is like trying to tell someone how to do neurosurgery over the phone.

    But I thought I'd give it a shot in case you were pretty familiar with their sound or watching them play.
     
  9. old_skool

    old_skool

    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Ive heard Squires tone on Roundabout, very cool. Do you know any videos with the techniques in question on them?
     
  10. Flash

    Flash

    Feb 3, 2002
    Salem, Oregon
    Give the guy a break eh? We all have to start somewhere...and lots of great info has followed.

    We should all be so bold as to go where others fear to go.
     
  11. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    :rolleyes:

    Nothing wrong with asking for help on technique. The point is, there is a *technique* forum for that. Clearly the poster doesn't speak English "real good", so it was kind of funny that a question about picks would find its way into the PICKups forum.
     
  12. Flash

    Flash

    Feb 3, 2002
    Salem, Oregon
    :(

    Harsh man....harsh. I'm sure he will get the point after your post.

    Quote: "I can't read music so I try not to think too much about where I am on the neck or how I'm holding my hand, I just play from the heart"

    -Stevie Ray Vaughan
     
  13. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    What gives you the idea I'm ripping on the guy because of his (you assume, I don't) lack of technique? :confused:

    Extending the joke a bit, imagine someone posting in here about where to leave their packages for UPS. . . :D

    As far as getting the point, I came right out and pointed out the mistake made - which should help him figure out how to use the boards. Why is that harsh?
     
  14. Flash

    Flash

    Feb 3, 2002
    Salem, Oregon

    It's cool to let someone know how to use this site, but you were "Ripping" his use of the language
    . If the people using these message boards are all like you, (Say it ain't so!) and intolerant of the diversity of people (Education levels, experience and musical ability) I'm not sure I want to support the site.

    From the beginning the post by Estring could have been more constructive. For example; "This is a great question, however you might want to post it in the 'Techniques Forum' You might get a better response"

    I'm all for educating people but lets at least be nice about it. :)

    Peace!
     
  15. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    You do realize that the first post is actually a complete joke, right? Probably one of our old friends back again.

    Pickups forum: how do you pick "up"? I can only pick "down".

    Come on!

    "real good" just popped out, sorry I just saw Zoolander the other day. :) Besides, the English is fine I just have to laugh at people who type 'u' all the time.
     
  16. Flash

    Flash

    Feb 3, 2002
    Salem, Oregon
    Being new to the site I'm not up on the good natured ribbing that might take place, my bad if I took it all too seriously. I liked what I saw on the site until this got started, and just was taken back by it.

    I can take a joke as well as the next guy....just hard to recognise them in type. :D