1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Opinions on proficiency of multiple techniques

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Tony E., Mar 2, 2020.

  1. Fingerstyle

    27 vote(s)
  2. Slap

    2 vote(s)
  3. Palm-muted

    2 vote(s)
  4. With a pick

    6 vote(s)
  5. With a fresh carrot

    2 vote(s)
  6. Other (Tell me about it!)

    2 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Tony E.

    Tony E.

    Jul 15, 2014
    Fellow TB'ers,

    I've been trying to branch out my abilities to more than just fingerstyle playing (and quickly realizing I need more practice than I thought :meh:) which got me to thinking: Do you think it is particularly important that a bassist be a jack of all trades, master of none player? Or is there inherently more value in being the best you can be at one style?

    I've been the most comfortable playing classic rock, but the classic Louis Johnson funk sound has me over the moon.

    Just ramblings, let me know what you think, and also what your preferred style of playing is.
  2. Strive for jack of all trades, and master of all trades. The more tools in your toolbox, the more marketable you are. I don’t know a single pro bassist who can’t pluck, pick, hammer, snap, pop, or mute.

    Plus you gotta serve the song. To paraphrase Will Lee, “if the song calls for fingers, I use fingers. If it calls for a pick, I use a pick. If it needs a thumb, I use my thumb.

    Be versatile, not just a niche player.
    Les Fret, AFRO, lz4005 and 3 others like this.
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013

    Your job is to make the song sound right and the rest of the band sound better. Using any technique necessary.
  4. AFRO


    Aug 29, 2010
    As for Preferred style: Finger style.

    DD99 pretty much summed up the answer and my opinion on this thread:thumbsup:

    I play a 5er so I don't pop/slap as much as when I cut my teeth with the precision due to string spacing neck width etc..(5er facilitates hella thumping though!)

    Different tools for different jobs. Sometimes you need Phillips head screwdriver and not a Flat head. Sometimes you need an Alan wrench (plectrum) and not a screw driver (fingers). Sometimes you need a ratchet (slap/pop). each serves a different purpose for communicating the songs needs.

    FWIW if you start to use those not-often-used 'tools' with intent when you practice; it becomes much easier to diagnose when you need to use that tool when you need it live (or recording). if you want to increase your plectrum, or slap cred... pick, or slap everything you practice for that session.. same for tapping and the like. the more you do it; the more you can draw on that skill (and the easier it should be and better sounding as well).
  5. The songs I play with the band I'm in, a Tom Petty tribute band, require me to play both fingerstyle and with a pick, sometimes alternating with both in the same song. Fortunately for me I come from a guitar background, so playing with a pick is easy for me. Those are all the tools my toolbox requires for now, but if some other situation comes up then I'll have to learn something else. No problem, I can handle it.
  6. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Whatever music I play I endeavor to play well. So I learn the techniques. No need to master a style for music I don’t play. If I were interested in making a living doing session work or sub’ing I’d try to have as many tools as I could ... including various techniques.

    with maybe the exception of slap all the techniques in the poll are so basic they should be in every bassist’s toolbox.
  7. Bassist59


    Oct 4, 2010
    Houston, TX
    It’s funny you bring this up because I’ve been pondering the same thing. Billy Sheehan, a player I really respect, works on techniques he’s not good at. I’ve been following Billy’s lead. For example, my 3 finger plucking technique is not good enough. I’ve worked on it and worked on it...sounds bad and is frustrating. Same with slap and pop. I’m ok, but not good enough. Either my bass isn’t suitable or I just can’t do it well. I will keep at it but expectations are low.

    I’m starting to believe it’s best to play to your strengths. For me. That’s 2 finger plucking. Hey...it’s just a toy. Have fun, that’s what it’s all about.
  8. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Jaco didn't slap! :)

    But I agree with you totally. It also depends on the music you want to play. If you only play blues or country there is no need to learn slap or tap. But if you play fusion or prog you need to learn that stuff. A session or top 40 player needs to be able to slap. But nothing is obligated. You decide for yourself what you want to do and what is appropriate for the music that you want to play.
  9. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
    Mainly play fingerstyle and flamenco, adept with a picc but don't care for it as much. Every once in a while I trifle with slap and tap, but I'm definitely not skilled.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    you can be a jack of all trades + being a master of some + being the best you can at a style. i don't think this can be 'reduced' so easily. but if you're young = you should be going for all of it --- until you're old or until you know better...whichever comes first! :D
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 24, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.