Pick vs. fingers

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BassesOfDeath, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. BassesOfDeath


    Sep 13, 2003
    Is using a pick considered cheating? I can use my fingers just as good as a pick but I often play with a pick soo..
  2. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Nothing is considered cheating. Use any method possible to achieve desired tone. :)
  3. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    is it cheating? I don't think so... playing music's not a sport or a competition, no matter how much some people try and make it into one (the way some people talk about finger exercises and 'how many bpm can you play 16th notes?' you'd think bass playing was an athletic event)
  4. enough said
  5. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Yeah man... I would definitly say that fingers you can go a lot faster though... Seriously, there are a lot of techniqes you can use with your hands, look,
    2 fingers can go faster than a pick
    You can strum with your hand
    You can slap
    You can use more than 2 picking fingers...

    But then again there is tone and genre issues, but I do think it would be hard to play funk or something along those lines with a pick...
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I concur with the above statement. Punk is a no can do with a pick.

    EDIT: i meant Funk.
  7. BassesOfDeath


    Sep 13, 2003
    I can play a lot faster with my fingers than with a pick. But for something not insanly fast I sometimes use a pick so.
  8. BassesOfDeath


    Sep 13, 2003
    And for bass cordes it's a lot easier for me to use a pick.
  9. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    i found there wasn't really much difference in the kinds of tempo's i could attain after i swapped over from playing mostly fingers to mostly pick... I played fingerstyle for about 4-5 years then decided to start using a pick after seeing Scott Thunes playing with Frank Zappa, the amazing playing he was doing and mostly, the great punchy tone he was getting from his P-bass... until then I was convinced the pick was pretty much the arena of the plodding rock bass player (y'know, the one who got demoted from guitar to bass in the garage at 14) but overnight I decided i wanted some of that sound, so I switched to pick and have been playing that way for 11 or so years

    when i first started making the changeover, it was difficult... for a gig I would feel the need to switch back to fingerstyle, because like anything, a new technique takes at least a years good practice to really nail... so if one is expecting to pick up a pick(!) and be as facile as they were with the fingerstyle technique they've spent years perfecting, it's unlikely to be immediately rewarding
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002




    Naah, if it sounds right it is right, that's the only rule as far as I know! :)
  11. bassic1959


    Jan 16, 2003
    McCartney does pretty fair with a pick.
    Play however you like. The only person you truly have to please is you.
  12. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Did you mean to say "funk is a no can do with a pick"? If you did, then listen to Bobby Vega, one of the funkiest players I've heard and he uses a pick (almost?) all the time. If you meant to say "punk is a no can do withOUT a pick" then somebody better tell Mike Watt he's been getting it wrong all this time.

  13. No Picks, No Sticks!
  14. Well I was strictly a pick player till recently, now I haven't used a pick in a while. I find it easier in some ways to use my fingers, but for some tone purposes you need to use a pick. For example, you couldn't really get a Sick Of It All/ Rise Against tone with fingers and you cant really get a RHCP tone with a pick.

    I vote for both, and learn to use both. Don't be close minded (till recently) like me!

    (EDIT) Edit for badly worded sentences/typos. :)
  15. shon


    Nov 27, 2002
    Healdsburg, CA!!
    As many ways as possible. I just had a kind of lesson with this dude named Bobby Vega. He sat in with Tower of Power and he used a pick. Funk is just as funky if you do. Personally, I don't use a pick, but I'm willing to learn.

    Try different methods and see what you like the most. The more styles you can do, the better you will be as a rounded bassist.
  16. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Yes i meant Funk, sry.
  17. Well, you'd be wise to note the previous examples of players who funk with a pick. Anthony Jackson also comes to mind.
  18. IrishBassist


    Oct 4, 2003
    personaly i use both pick and fingers. if the bassline is fast and driving i'd use a pick but if it was slower or needed a deeper tone i'd use my fingers. i prefer using my fingers but i'd use whichever is needed to get the right sound
  19. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Cheating? No such thing. I consider a pick a tone/technique option although I dont use one much.
  20. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    It's all a matter of taste. I use both, but I predominantly play fingerstyle.

    One practical advantage to playing with a pick is dealing with the cold. I played an outdoor gig last fall, and it was real cold that night. The chilly night and resulting cold strings really slowed down my fingers, so I had to finish the gig with a pick. For some reason, my wrist wasn't as affected by the cold as my fingers were.
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