Pick players, what picks and pickups?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Reedt2000, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    So, played an outdoor gig yesterday afternoon (only kind there are round my way nowadays) and by the end temps had dropped into the low 50s. I'm a fingers player 95% of the time (but I've played guitar for years so I know what to do with a pick), but with the chill setting in I started to get uncomfortably cold in my right (plucking) hand. I hadn't brought any picks to this gig so I reached over and snagged one from the guitarist's mic stand (where several were conveniently hanging out in a clip :D).

    I had my MM/J Warwick and I had it set to 100% MM (running parallel). With my fingers I love this setting. It can be tight and punchy, open but aggressive, or warm and full, depending on how and where I attack. With the pick it was all nasal-y high mids. I immediately rolled the J in so they were 50/50 and it sounded great. I didn't have the versatility factor (other than palm muting to get some staccato notes and dull a bit of the brightness), but the tone was really nice, present but not thin and tin-y, beefy but not muddy, and (IMHO) one of the biggest benefits of playing with a pick is I don't need to be as cognizant of my attack to achieve consistency.

    The pick I grabbed was a Dunlop Tortex orange (.60 mm). On guitar I find this size too flexible. I usually strike with just the top few mm of the pick when playing guitar and I prefer the green Tortex or purple (.88 mm or 1 mm). I was really surprised at how nice the thinner pick sounded and how easy it was to play with on the bass.

    I'd like to hear from full or part time pick players what picks and pickup(s) you like and why. I think the perspective could be helpful in expanding my range, feel, and tonal options as a working bassist.

    (Thanks in advance :smug:)
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  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I like nylon picks that are usually 1mm thick. I go a little thinner or thicker.
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  3. Seashore


    Jun 2, 2019
    I love the Tortex picks. I used to play bass with green triangles but I've switched over to yellow standards in the past few years. I like the feel and the grip, and how they wear evenly and don't get any little burrs. I've been using the orange standards on guitar for a long time now.

    As for pickups, I have two different flavors of Bartolini in my Ibanezeseses. I don't love them but they're fine. I currently have both basses wired up passive, in parallel with dual volumes, no tone, and I usually find the growl I'm looking for with the bridge on full and the neck dialed back a little, to where the sound starts to open up and lose that parallel scoop.
  4. Londo Molari

    Londo Molari

    Jan 1, 2014
    2 blocks east of Mars
    Decendant from the Clovis culture. "Emitting that wonderful bass effect since 1970".
    I've been playing with picks for most of the time since the early 70's. I have been using the Dunlop Gator Grip .58mm since the new century began. I used to like the Herco Flex .55 but for some reason they started to be hard to find and I moved on to the Dunlops.

    Most of my basses are single coil, I've got a few with humbuckers but I guess I prefer the single coils.

    Here are a few tracks with single coils / rounds /picks:

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  5. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    I use picks 60–90 % of the the time ( depending on which band ) and go with Torres .88 or 1.0mm the green or blue ones. pickups usually EMG actives or EMG Geezers for passive.
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  6. Pick player for 30+ years, for 90% of the songs I play.
    I like Clayton 1.0 mm large semi-triangular picks. You get three edges, and a nice non-slippery texture until they wear out.
    I generally use Chromes for strings, nearly flat settings on amp EQ - if I EQ at all, drop some high mids & treble, maybe a touch of bass added depending on the room. Never roll off your mids.
    I usually cut via the tone pot a little of the highs on my P bass.
    Play away from the bridge unless you want a scratchy treble sound; close to the neck for as mellow a sound as you can get with a pick; over or near the pickup for “normal” sound.
    Palm muting is essential for some styles of music. Pick control is everything. Practice 8th notes so your upstrokes are indistinguishable from your downstrokes.
    Oh - stock Fender P bass pickups. Same applies to Jazz bass... slight roll off of treble.
    And that’s all I got to say about that.

    edit: added pickup info
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  7. Frndmoretti


    Jun 17, 2017
    The purple or blue tortex. Pyramid Flats AND EMG GZR pickups.
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  8. bench


    Dec 28, 2007
    as this thread will go on, you will hear about pretty much every kind of pick (from thin nylon, via thicker carbon to 15mm stone...), same for pickups and strings. Play what combination feels good to you or check what players use, that you like the sound of, but focus on tension free playing to avoid stress injuries...
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  9. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    I've always used the Fender 355-style Heavies, the big triangles, or the D'Andrea equivalents. I never had a lot of luck with thin (or thin-er) picks.

    355 Fender.jpg 355 Fender.jpg
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  10. dunlop triangle ultex 0.60. as for basses, i like the sound of gibson basses played with a pick. they clean up nicely and have some rock attitude and sound. i also like my fender musicmaster with flats and aero pickup played pickstyle with my aguilar tonehammer preamp with some drive going on
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  11. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise

    Dec 10, 2019
    Pick: Clayton acetyl 1.90 sharp triangle


    Pickups: all of them...
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  12. I used to play only with picks (I learned from a guitar player and that was how I was taught). I have many basses very different from eachother. And on all of them I liked to up the treble so i got some nice intense articulation. I was playing in a band that was devoted to progressive rock an I felt like I held up the bass part very well. I was always busy or i was always playing a pleasant counter-melody.
    That articulation was what really made me love playing with a pick. It wasnt till recently that I learned to play as well (if not better) with my fingers. And i feel like I've been missing a lot. However, I also feel like my experience playing for so long with a pick has given me a unique perspective.
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  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I use all kinds of picks. One of these days I will have to take a pic of my pick holder and post it. But three of my go-to picks are yellow, green, and orange Tortex.

    Simply put, I use different picks for different attacks and tones.

    (And I also play with fingers, the side of my thumb, slapping, tapping, and pluck all over from over the fretboard to the bridge. I usually dime the tone knob on my bass and use style/technique to make my tone brighter or rounder.)

    As far as pickups, usually whatever came on the bass. But I've become a Nordstrand fan in the last few years.
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  14. upload_2020-9-21_1-47-48.png

    Attached Files:

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  15. THESE - I'm not sure why but they work perfectly for me. Lots of options to choke up a little and easy palm mute.
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  16. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Dunlop Deleon Prime Grip - 1.5mm
    Dunlop Prime Grip Delrin 500 Guitar Pick

    Those stay on my fingers well!

    Pickups: some sort of EMG humbucker (P5, DC). Almost all modern bass pickups work fine with pick or fingers so I never thought twice about it.
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  17. I mostly play with fingers also, but some songs I play with a pick.
    This was my choice for years

    Bought a few of these a week or so ago, I need another practice or two with em but I like em so far

    My main bass is a G&L L2000 trib, and I do back the treble off sometimes when I switch to a pick, but not usually - I tend to keep the tweeter at half and the highs rolled back a tad anyways.
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  18. morgan138


    Dec 10, 2007
    1. I use a Fender Medium bass pick, the big rounded triangle ones. The lets me grip the pick loosely without having it fly out of my hand, which is great when I'm playing really fast music. Same goes for the pick not being too thick and stiff.
    2. For EQ, I definitely recommend a different setup from what you'd use with your fingers. On a Jazz bass, with fingers I'll have both pickups cranked (more high end, scooped mids) but with a pick I'll roll the bridge off just a little (less high end, fuller midrange). Same with a Ric, except rolling off the neck pickup.
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  19. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
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  20. .73 mm is money ticket for me. Dunlop or Ernieball everlasts. I used to play the next size up and before that i played very heavy picks but as I get older I have realized I dont have to play so hard on my bass and the lighter pick makes the pluck have a little give so I'm not destroying my hand. I use the same pick size when I play guitar also.
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