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I Can't Keep Being Dishonest With Myself

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by The modifier, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Well here's the beans in the tacos, when I first started playing 2 1/2 years ago I always used a pick it seemed the most comfortable to me and provided a cutting tone I really loved, but for the last 4 months ive been jamming with a drummer and a guitarist, and the guitarist encouraged me to use my fingers (he told me my picking technique sucked) and hence I tried the move to fingers, I coped with it, my fingers grew the calluses, and my finger picking technique is quite alright, but I find that more and more im missing the the cutting tone and the speed and agility that as hard as I try mind you, I just can't get without using a pick, so today in the morning I went out to my local music shop and got myself a bag of Dunlops( my favorite have always been these green ones with the picture of what seems to be an alligator :D) , so now im counting on you my fellow TB pick users to spread as much knowledge on good plectrum technique with me, since according to my guitarist mine sucks, but I just cant keep fooling myself, yes fingers provide me with a tone I love for some slower material we play, but its in the aggressive faster more complex riffs where it just feels natural to me the use of a pick.
  2. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    I think every bassist should work to be proficient with both pick and fingers, but if pick playing is your preference, then so be it. Nothing wrong with that.

    As for pick playing technique advice, about the only good advice I can give without seeing what you're doing is to hold the pick loosely. It always seemed counter intuitive, but when I was gripping the pick like my life depended on it it made my technique a lot less fluid. Learning to loosen it up (and without it flying out of my hand which it did for a while) really made it click for me.

    Much more economy of motion and a more fluid wrist.
  3. well for a start kick your guitarist in the nuts cause he is obviously a tosser
    nah jks
    nut really thats not his place to say
  4. Thanks, its help like this that im really looking for here, would a video help in uncovering some of my flaws ???
  5. Yeah, but even I will admit my picking technique is pretty bad even if I do feel good using it.
  6. Any tips on how to properly hold the plectrum and how to properly apply alternation between up and down strokes and single down strokes would also be of great help.
  7. Take a few lessons from an accomplished guitarist to develop your technique. They know picking better than anyone.
  8. ampeg_turtle


    Mar 22, 2009
    concord, nh
    might sound silly but, you do use up strokes as well as down attacks right? Believe it or not varrying your attack on the string not only produces a nice dynamic of tones, but also saves the hand from cramping up IMO. Also make sure you're keeping the pick parrallel to the string, when you get lazy or fatigued people tend to turn the pick ever slightly and it stops plucking the string smoothley and creates more of a harsh scratching sound on top of the note.
  9. I use just down strokes for slower passages, and both up and down strokes for faster ones, what im not really sure is how exactly are you supposed to apply them to your actual playing correctly.
  10. you should look into getting carol kayes instructional videos/dvds. you can order them through her website.

    i'm primarily a fingerstyle player but needed to use a pick on certain songs. she'll show you, and it works! i was able to play fast, clean and consistent using her technique with practice.

    you'll also get a history lesson in music and find out what an amazing musician she is.
  11. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    You beat me to it! +a squillion!
  12. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    Many pick players get a bad rap because of bad technique

    Berry Oakley of the Allman Brothers pick work was just amazing!

    I use both styles pick or fingers, as the song needs it, my pick formula is a Herco Flex 75 pick, a loose style as mentioned, using both up and down strokes, and an angled on rather than flat on attack. Lots of right hand muting also combined with very short strokes.

    :) ... Everyone has a different approach I would be interested to hear others.
  13. CharlieDog


    May 29, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Don't worry, Stumbo will be in here in a second with his 46 links to help you out.
  14. ??? :confused: :)
  15. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    According to DeeDee


    All downstrokes! :bassist:

    I don't play with a pick, but wish I did for some stuff!
    When playing fingerstyle, playing close to the bridge gives a brighter, more cutting tone ;)
  16. Ill take that into consideration on my next jam :bassist:
  17. xzzy


    Mar 6, 2009
    I don't claim to be an expert, but with a "few years" of guitar experience under my belt, I'd have to suggest that it doesn't really matter. Like the endless debate bassists have regarding what to do with their thumb, pick technique is mostly about what works for you. The only reason to do alternating picking is you can produce the same amount of noise with half the work, so it's purely an issue of economy.

    The only rule is you want to hit the string with the pick perfectly parallel, as has been stated in the thread already. Unless of course you like the sound it makes.
  18. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Try Derilin (sp?) picks ... they don't have as harsh sound as plastic picks ...

    Also always keep trying different techniques for playing your bass.
  19. Thanks for clearing that up a bit, but ive been thinking about it some more, and like TheBigO stated im going to practice being proficient at both Finger Picking and the Good old plectrum, it can't hurt, and it will expand my versatility, and about carol kayes instructional dvd, got any links on where I can pick it up ?
  20. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ

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