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Pick Player Predjudice

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Lowner, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. Lowner


    May 14, 2005
    Over Here
    I play with a pick most of the time and use my fingers on occassion. And over the last two months have aduditioned for 3 bands. Two of them told me that I although I was good, they dont want somebody who plays with a pick most of the time. It just looks bad to the audience to use a pick all the time. Cause they xpect the bass player to use their fingers.
    The other audition, I nailed and got in the band. but I have not heard from any of the other people from the band telling me when practice is or anything. I think there may be a little bit of second guessing going on because I play with a pick. Maybe they found someone who plays with their fingers. I dont know.
    Is there predjudice towards bassists that play with a pick?
    Or is it me?
  2. Audience my ass (unless this is a jazz band). Audiences for the most part don't give a monkey's, except maybe the musicians therein, but hey, they're nuts, right?

    My view is that fingerstyle is more impressive to other musicians. I auditiuoned once for a band and the first thing I did (as a warm-up) was the Cake version of "I Will Survive" on fingers. I got the job right there, and I was just warming up. I would have normally picked it for the twang, but I wanted to play some other stuff later, so I warmed up on it....

    I reckon if I'd have picked something, they've have considered me a frustrated guitarist and sent me away. If I'd done the primus thing, they'd have sacked me for being over the top.

    Perceptions, perceptions....
  3. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Do most audiences even know the difference between a bass and guitar? I can't even remember how many times I got asked when I was gigging why I didn't use a pick like the other guitarist.... :eyebrow:

    Don't let it get to you. If you can play, you can play. A band not wanting you because you use a pick is like the band that wouldn't even let me audition because I didn't have an Ampeg, not that big a loss :)
  4. Unfortunately yes. I think it is totally unacceptable when people make derogatory comments about bass players that play with a pick. FYI, for the pick players out there, "derogatory" means "insulting", a "put down" of some sort. :bag:


    GSPLBASSDC Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    roflmao! pretty funny there, Randy

    I don't play with a pick, and I don't begrudge those who do...I just happen to like the speed and sound I get w/ my fingers...plus it's easier to transition to slap for a couple bars during a solo.
  6. Seigi


    Jul 3, 2005
    It's best to know how to play both styles. Some songs call for a pick and some call for fingers. I'd like to see anybody try and play Roundabout or Heart of the Sunrise with their fingers.
  7. The Nanny

    The Nanny

    Dec 23, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I think you are being paranoid. They are probably just disorganized.

    GSPLBASSDC Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    that depends on the genre of music...I don't know too many jazz, gospel, or funk players using a pick, but Seigi's right... if your style of music lends itself to pick using, then try to learn it finger style (and vice versa) for a different tone and feel
  9. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I am sort of in the same boat. I can play pick or fingers, put I prefer the way the pick cuts thru the mix. I also make way fewer mistakes using pick rather than fingers. I think fingers has its place too, but overall I prefer pick.

    The only reason I dont just do straight pick is b/c of image. Alot musicians are biased to fingers. If I dont use my fingers my technique wont improve and may get worse.
  10. i, on the other hand, am in a different boat ..... i have been playing with a pick exclusively for over 30 years now ..... it's just the way it worked out ..... but ..... i have my technique down to a fine art ..... with the combination of a rather thick pick (1.5mm) and a fine tuned right hand muting style/attack, my sound is full and rich and punchy ..... i can go as fast or slow as required by the song

    i've NEVER had another bass player/musician come up to me and tell me i'd be better off without it and if someone ever tried to say that ..... i'd..... well ..... i'd probably just laugh :smug:

    i've gone to auditions and pulled out my pick to play and they may comment on it but after they hear me, i never hear about it again ..... lol

    do what feels good and right and then just keep doing it ..... that counts for most things in life :p

  11. with me, I don't really know...

    When I see bands and the bassist is using a pick, part of my brain says "He's playing bass GUITAR not BASS" but then when I see a bassist playing with fingers a different part of my brain tells me "It LOOKS ALL WRONG" :eyebrow: :eyebrow: :eyebrow:

    Doesn't really make sense does it? - I mean, I suppose when you do ROCK (which most bands I go to see do) the bassist is EXPECTED to play crappy bass with a plectrum, but seeing someone using fingers you kind of expect funk/jazz :eyebrow:

    ...or is just my being an ex guitarist having a slight sway on my opinion of what a bassist should look like/DO onstage?

    (being honest, I don't give a F@£& what I look like as long as I look professional and experienced unlike loads of bands I go to see! :rolleyes: )

    :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :bassist:
  12. 'psst' ..... you also mean 'sounding' like you are professional and experienced too right? :smug:

  13. +1

    I play fingers for everything, but that's because its how I prefer to play. I don't give two rats what other people do. When we record, I am often tempted to play pickstyle because I keep hearing how nice it sounds recorded. I still haven't done it though...
  14. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    great!! they've done you the favor of showing you they're stupid immediately, rather than letting you discover it some time down the line when you're committed to the band :)
  15. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    What kind of band was the band that rejected you? Or, what genre was their music? By the way, is it just me, or isn't fingerstyle considered more popular by young bass players these days? I think you see a lot more rock bassists play fingerstyle on MTV at the moment than in the 90s. Moreover, like it or not, pretty much THE most famous bass player at the moment that non-bassists and even non-musicians recognise is Flea who plays fingerstyle in his band's music videos. The MTV audience is an evil we have to deal with, sadly.
  16. Count_Bassy


    Feb 3, 2005
    San Diego
    :bassist: <--- he uses a pick.

    if anyone ever tells you that picking a bass can't be professional sounding, then play him some L'arc~en~ciel

  17. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    I (sadly) used to hate pick players, and was definanlty predjudice against them. I think it was because of all the pick players around here had terrible tone. Sometime the tone is great, sometime it's a little meh, but when used in the right spot it can sound great. I'd actually like to get my picking technique up to par with my fingering technique, but I havn't found a pick I like yet.
  18. If these nimrods feel it's such a big deal, they should state it upfront:

    "Bass player wanted. No drunks, stoners or PICK PLAYERS!"
  19. I likes to play the Bach Cello suites with a pick sometimes!

  20. Personnaly, I don't play with a pick, I prefer by far finger aounds and feeling...
    But if you like, F*** 'em up and continue playing with it!