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Hybrid pick techniques (pick + fingers, pick + string pops)?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by The Mock Turtle Regulator, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. Colin Hodgkinson often used a hybrid technique of pick plus remaining fingers for chordal lines.

    and on a few Simple Minds songs ("The American" and "Wonderful in young life") Derek Forbes used a pick on low notes and popped the octave (which initially had me baffled as to how he switched so fast from slap to pick on "The American")

    what other players have combined pick & finger techniques at the same time?
    any TB'ers got their own hybrid techniques?

    using fingerstyle with 3 fingers I often play octaves/double guitar lines during a guitar solo with a one guitar lineup-
    but this is tricky when using a pick- especially when using pick all-downstrokes and trying to combine finger upstrokes-
    also bringing in relative volume problems.
    wide string spacing helps.
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I know Jaquo III-X has a technique along those lines involving picking, thumping, and popping-maybe someone can elaborate on that? I've also seen someone use a banjo thumb pick, where they could pick and still thump using the side of their thumb and still had the other fingers open to pluck and pop with.
  3. sounds interesting- I know the bassist for UK blues-rock mainstays The Hamsters uses a thumbpick due to carpal tunnel problems preventing him playing fingerstyle and sometimes causing him to lose grip on a conventional pick,
    but I wonder whether a thumbpick can stand up to alternating picking fast 16ths on bass?
    (which was what for me discounted a thumbpick being how Derek Forbes could have played "The American")

    come to think of it, on the bass break on U2's "Gloria", is Adam Clayton using a pick on the low notes and popping the high ones?- it doesn't sound like he's slapping the low notes with his thumb.
    Simple Minds and U2 toured together so it's feasible they influenced each other.
  4. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I can get a sound almost exactly like a popped note with a pick by simple picking really hard.

    Don't use a pick to often but I know I can do that
  5. sunburstbasser


    Oct 18, 2003
    I used a thumb pick when my hand was in a cast. Mine was a very old, 1930s model, and a lot thicker than newer ones. However, with a little practice its fairly easy to play 16th notes with it.

    Several guitarists use a similar method, pick+fingers. Frusciante's intro to "Funky Monks" and Eric Johnson's "Cliffs of Dover" are some examples at opposite ends of the difficulty scale. I've never seen a bassist do it, but it would be pretty cool.
  6. it's in use in this clip-


    looks like he holds the pick between his index and middle fingers near the knuckle.
  7. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Compound picking - holding more than one pick in your hand. Useful for getting a full sound when playing chords or double-stops, because you get a single attack per string.
  8. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Interesting thread. I've been using Sharkfin (brand) picks lately, not the cheap Tortex imitations, but the original real deal (made in Sweden). The Sharkfin picks have three totally different edges, which you can use one at a time depending on how you rotate the pick. The pointed edge has a tiny hole drilled into it, which makes it "sproingy" relative to the other two. I've found these picks to be incredibly precise, they're really a pleasure to use. I can get stuff that resembles slap sounds while picking in place, by simply rotating the pick and using it the right way. I'm using the blue ones ("medium" gauge). I don't know where they're sold here in the US, I got mine from Freedom Guitar in Hollywood, and I had to order a gross of them, but it was one of the best investments I've ever made. And now I have a lifetime supply. :) The one thing I've noticed is that they tend to get brittle if left out in the sun/heat for long periods of time. Just keep 'em in your case and they'll be fine.
  9. Baofu


    Mar 8, 2003
    I do hybrid picking with my guitar... haven't tried it with bass.

    Thumbpick sounds interesting though... Hm....
  10. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
  11. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    that is by far one of the harder techniques ive see and tried. i cant seem to get my finger (ring and pinky) to pop with my index and middle holding the plec like that. and just holding the plec still is hard.
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Used one years ago that I copped from another player;

    > you use lots of adhesive tape to secure the pick/plectrum to your thumb so that the tip can contact the strings.

    This leaves your other fingers free to pop or use fingerstyle

    > I also bought a Jellifish. They're kind of fun on a trebly bass, especially with chorus, once you get the hang of them. They also make acoustic guitars sound like 12-strings. Free instructional videos are available to view online at their website -

  13. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Mike Gordon from Phish used a lot of pick/slap hybrid on The Story of the Ghost.
  14. thanks for the Carles Benavent link, David. very Colin Hodgkinson-like playing.

    re. the Jellifish, I've tried using a comb to get a similar effect- a standard comb gets some interesting sounds through delays/chorus etc.
    next I'll try a nitcomb, and I might have a metal comb somewhere.
    also a wire brush could be used.
  15. on an old Death Cult (before they became The Cult) song, God's zoo, its sounds like Jamie Stewart was using a pick and popping strings- he might have been doing the same on Resurrection Joe too-

    seems like in the 80's lots of pick players were getting in the popping thing.

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