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Pick tone with Fingers

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by TribalEagle, May 14, 2005.

  1. TribalEagle


    Mar 19, 2005
    Finland EU
    First of all I’m not sure is this the right place for this thread, move it if you like....

    Is there a way off getting that sweat pick tone with your fingers..??
    The tone what I’m referring is something like the intro of King Nothing by Metallica... I think that Jason has generally amazing tone and I would like to fount something similar, but I don’t like playing with pick....
  2. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    Are your fingers made of celluloid?

    If not, it's not very likely that you'll get that tone without a pick. Flesh and plastic just don't have the same feel.
  3. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Play with a pick.
  4. You could try growing your nails, but in my experience my tone was unpredictable and sounded horrible. And then there was the feeling of playing with my nails... :meh:
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Digging in with your fingernails grown out a bit can get you pretty close. But the best way to get that sound is with a plectrum of some sort. I am moving this to Technique.
  6. TribalEagle


    Mar 19, 2005
    Finland EU
    Very mature and useful answers.. Thank you very much….. :rolleyes:
  7. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I don't know the recording you mention, but I've been experimenting lately with a thumbpick and playing thumb, index, thumb, index. If you balance the strength of each pluck, you can get some interesting tones.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Well, the truth of the matter is, there is no way to get the pick tone with your fingers.
  9. the closest your get is just boost some treble and tone to get some slight clicking, but even that isnt very good. Just use a pick my friend.
  10. Maybe finger picks? But honestly I'd say there's no way of getting a good pick-like tone with your fingers. I prefer playing with my fingers, but I'm using a pick more than my fingers lately, simply because the sound is closer to what I want in most songs.

    It's not easy... it's like the years of honing the fingerstyle technique are suddenly down the drain and you have to start from scratch. But I do feel like my pick technique is improving immensely and I haven't forgot how to use my fingers (duh!).
  11. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    You can do it with fingernails. You need to pay attention to how you play then file the shape of your fingernails acordingly.

    It's a classical guitar players thing. Plenty of info out there to search.

    The drawback is that it will end your slapping for the most part.
  12. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I found classical guitar nails incompatible with playing bass. I kept breaking them, so while I was playing classical heavily I had to switch to a pick on my bass.

    Also nail and picks do not sound the same. Its closer and you might find it works for you, but there really isn't a way to get pick tone with fingers (or vice versa).
  13. bassmentguy


    May 15, 2005
    As everyone else has suggested, growing your fingernails out will help give you a bit of that sound. Something else you might try is playing close to the bridge and pulling your plucking fingers back and upward so that you don't rest your fingers on the next sting and mute it. It would be a good idea to do this with an active bass or a good EQ because you will lose some of your low end this way. Also You won't be able to replicate a more aggressive sound where your really dig in with the pick. Nothing will truly replace the sound of actually having a pick, but this should help you out if you're a finger player temorarily looking for the sound, and one isn't available. It's always a good idea to experiment with new right hand techniques.

    Good luck,
  14. daofktr

    daofktr irritating, yet surly

    Feb 15, 2005
    aurora, IN
    sometimes i use my index nail as a pick, but only for downstrokes...sounds very picklike, but a bit more muted, i guess.
    sheesh...i guess i didn't help a bit... :scowl:
    anyway, try it. if it works, then i'm cool...if it don't, i suck!
  15. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    Look up Jack Semple. He put acrylic on his fingers to get that sound.

    Please note he advises everyone NOT to do that :D
  16. paz

    paz Banned

    Jun 26, 2001
    Seaton, Devon, England
    if you want a pick tone use a PICK!! no matter what you can do you'll never get the same tone. remember it's not an unholy act on the bass to use a pick.

    it's like asking how can i get a finger tone using a pick
  17. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    develop some very thick callus on your right hand finger. You'll never get the same attack as a pick, but you can get pretty close.
  18. conk97


    May 2, 2005
    redditch, uk
    i find playing REALLY close to the bridge gives a close-to-pick sound..but hurts my fingers to do..and i have the sound that picks give. :bag:
  19. I believe Duck Dunn used his fingernail like a pick, in a couple songs. I can't remember off the top of my head which ones, but I recall they did sound rather like a pick was being used.

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