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my opinion about pics

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by joel, Nov 5, 2002.

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  1. joel


    Sep 21, 2002
    I hate picks....its just my opinion,but i think they make most songs sound like crap! Bassist that usually use picks i find have more trouble soloing than those who dont ...I think that they "block" creativity and make a bassist fingers slow.

    Anyways i was just curious of what other bassist think about pics.


    i hope know one takes this offensivly.....its just my opinion
  2. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I don't really understand what you mean by "blocking creativity"...

    Personally I use both fingers and pick - that way I have more sounds and techniques at my disposal. More tools in my toolbox if you will.

    If you don't like the sound of a pick, there's nothing wrong with that at all.

    The only problem I have is with players who use the pick only because they are too lazy to learn how to play with their fingers.
  3. joel


    Sep 21, 2002
    What i ment by " i think it blocks creativity"
    is that most people that use picks are usually
    four on the four kind of players.which isnt bad if that what the song needs....

    I know flea uses a pick now.....and hes amazing

    I geuss im talkin about punk players who play the samething in every song( if you know what i mean)

  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Will somebody please tell Steve Swallow that his creativity is blocked and he has trouble soloing? For some reason, he might think the opposite is true.

    Oh, wait a minute, he's creative and has no trouble soloing. Maybe it's not the tools, maybe what blocks creativity is an incomplete understanding of music and not developing a technique that will allow you to play the instrument unencumbered by faulty execution.

    Naw, it's probably the pick thing.
  5. When I started learning bass, I only used a plectrum. I just couldn't get my fingers around a fingerstyle. Kept clumsily crashing into the wrong strings and fumbling when trying to pick up speed with my fingers.

    I gave up the bass a few years after that, but took it up again. Didn't have a plectrum when I started playing again, so developed a pretty good fingerstyle. I haven't looked back.

    I agree with what you say, I don't like the sound a plectrum makes. I like a warm-bodied, full tone (hey, that's how I like my wine too). Using a plectrum gives too much of a twang for my liking, and makes me cringe at the sound.

    When playing along to songs in which the bassist uses a plectrum to produce fast notes (eg. The Strokes - Hard To Explain), I haven't quite got my fingers up to that speed, so I'll just play half the notes that he does. Sounds just fine to me.

    I know with further practice I'll be able to play songs like that at full speed with my fingers. Perhaps if I bring my ring-finger into play, it will come more quickly?
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    someone merge this with one of the existing pick vs. the world threads...
  7. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Picks rule! I pick my nose about 30 times a day. Occasionally, when I go to a movie theater, I pick my seat. Once or twice a month I pick which beer I want to drink. Twice a week I pick which sweater I am going to wear. Every day I pick which way I want to go to work and more often than not, I pick the strings on my bass.

    I play fingerstyle too, but that doesn't change the fact that picking things is cool.

    EDIT: Don't pick your scabs though -- if you pick them, they won't heal.
  8. jpwinters

    jpwinters Guest

    Aug 22, 2002
    Norfolk, Va
    Don't let Chris Squire hear you say that. He uses picks almost all the time. IMHO he has one of the best tones out there. His speed, soloing ability, and creativity are in a league all their own. He is an awesome bassist.

    Maybe you just don't know how to use a pick effectively. I'm not trying to degrade your playing ability, but there is a technique to it. It took me a while to get it. I switch between fingers and a pick.
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Two words

    One name

    Anthony Jackson
  10. joel


    Sep 21, 2002
    i geuss im just thinking if your average punk bass player who plays four notes in every song

  11. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Thanks Ed, you caught me off guard.... I just spent a few minutes cleaning coffee off my monitor and keyboard

    (btw.. thanks for the new addition to me sig. I think I'll wear it as a quote for a while :D )
  12. joel, let me clue you in. correlation does not imply causality.
  13. bassbloke


    Feb 26, 2002

    I'm sorry to see your mind closed to the enlightenment offered by this kind of thread. I saw Steve Swallow with John Scofield recently. Thanks to these discussions of picks I could quickly categorise him as not a "real" bassist and by definition creatively challenged and getting a crap sound. Otherwise my ears and eyes could have fooled into thinking he was getting a fabulous sound playing with a facility, taste and creativity most of us can only dream of.

    And what about that Carol Kaye? Who's she trying to kid? Maybe she's working up to attempting some Strokes songs?
  14. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Paul McCartney and Sting used picks. Two of the most creative bass players in rock, IMHO.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually I have a few CDs with Steve Swallow and while I appreciate his note choice and musicianship, I really hate his tone - I think this is because he uses a pick!! ;)

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