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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by pipogpop, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. pipogpop


    Jan 26, 2010
    Hey Everybody

    I just started playing with a pick on my bass guitar :)

    And i want to ask what thickness is best?

  2. Hmm, maybe a more info about what style you are playing, how fast you want to play, what feels most comfortable for you?

    If you want a lot of attack, go for rigid picks (= the thickest).
    If it is speed you are after, go for very flexible picks (= the thinnest).

    Try some different thicknesses and feel what feels the most comfortable for you.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    When I use a pick, I use a Fender thin.
  4. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    Aint that the question;

    It comes down to what you feel comfortable with. I used all kinds like the Tortex .88s and .73s (The yellow ones) both is stubby and sharp.

    I currently use Clayton 80mm and after rummaging through my coffeecup of picks I've found even more; coolpicks at 60mm, Snarlin' Dog Brainpicks from .70 to 1mm in thickness.

    So let me put it this way; the range is vast because everyone uses all kinds of ranges. I suggest experimenting with all of them; from a use standpoint I suggest staying away from those clear plastic purple Dunlops (usually they're thick) my strings ripped those things to shreds; I had purple plastic dust all over my fingers after an hour or so.

    Also I find myself swapping between really thin and really thick; it doesn't take much to get a sound using pick and it's REALLY EASY to play too hard and get stuck with one sound dynamic (a reason I don't really like thicker picks these days) but thick ones really do make my Spector sound crunchier.

    So again, try em all out. Fill up a coffeecup with all kinds and see what you like ;)
  5. pipogpop


    Jan 26, 2010
    I want to play very fast, and right now i am playing with a Dunlop thin dunlop pick (0,73 mm)
  6. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    A fine start if I do say so myself; playing fast AND well with a pick takes a good bit of practice if you wanna play fast. A lot of people think otherwise but don't be surprised when you get off tempo often it's really easy to get tripped up.
  7. JohnnyB53


    Nov 1, 2009
    I use a pick occasionally when the song calls for a hard driving beat, especially if it's fast. For a pick that immediately lights up the entire string for a strong rhythmic punch I go for the Dunlop Big Stubby, preferably size 3.0mm.

    gebass6 likes this.
  8. pipogpop


    Jan 26, 2010
    Do you have any suggestions for practice with a pick? (songs, technichs, other)
  9. I play with Dunlop Tortex 0.6 (the orange ones :p): it gives me the desired attack and let me speed up comfortably.
    Bboopbennie likes this.
  10. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    hey JohnnyB53...THOSE are those damn picks that turn to dust against my strings!!! I say nay to em!

    As for songs and techniques; play the same thing you always play but use a pick. It's all up to you how fast you wanna play which translates to how fast you're practicing playing =P

    But a lot of people who get into pick playing listen to Tool so here's some vids


    He's Walbassplayer on TB and besides the fact he does a faithful recreation of Tool's bass playing he's just a damn good player to boot. Careful though, Tool turns to tend players into Effect Junkies XD
  11. acfreema


    Sep 16, 2010
    When I need to pick, I grab Tortex; easy to hold when I get sweaty, and a nice sound. 1.14mm is what I prefer, both for guitar and bass.
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    if you believe in carol kaye's pain-free picking method (and I do 100%), you use at least a heavy. thinner picks cause your hand to have to do more work to sound the note out, and that translates to strain.
    Iristone, MAXSPINRUN and gebass6 like this.
  13. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    Just to reiterate a point; players like all pick types of all sizes and I can't stress how much it is to your benefit to take the Odysee and try all kinds for yourself.

    Tortex REALLY do work well with fingersweat though!
  14. pipogpop


    Jan 26, 2010
    is there grip on the Dunlop Tortex picks??
  15. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007
    1. thicker picks will affect how your bass sounds; same goes for picks made of rigid materials - you will hear the picking movement on the strings.

    2. the picks made of rigid materials will turn to plastic dust when used, so it will gunk your bass.

    3. thick picks may seem easier to use because you put less effort into it, but the thinner ones will help you preserve a more natural sound. After experimenting a bit with various materials and sizes you will find some models that make the bass sound pretty close to one played finger style. Not exactly the same of course, but not clacky - clank either.

    4. if you want speed, then go for a thin pick. It should flexible enough to let you play tricky lines, but in the same time rigid enough to push the strings. You will find the perfect pick for your playing style only after experimenting with many sizes/brands/shapes/etc. Good luck!
  16. I've settled on Dunlop Tortex 1.5mm 's. You should just try a bunch of picks and see what you like best. Then after a few months, try all again and see if you still stand by your choice. I've went from medium to hard to even harder then back again to the 1.5 mm's.

    As far as technique goes, practise alternating upstrokes and downstrokes, all downstrokes, even all upstrokes, just to make sure you can use whatever you want at any time. Also pay attention that when you're playing a riff, keep your picking consistent (like for example the first note is always a downstroke, not down the first time, up the second and third repeat, then down again the fourth time).
  17. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    Depends on the tone I want.

    Thick for a more solid tone, medium for a more aggressive tone.

    I never use a thin.
    gebass6 likes this.
  18. If I use a pick I use the big stubby 3.0 mm. Why? That's what I use on the rhythm guitar. I settled the pick thickness debate with myself years ago. Big stubby 3.0 mm or one of the thick thump picks fit my needs.

    Spend $5 and get an assortment - see which thickness you like.
    StyleOverShow likes this.
  19. laboitenoire


    Jul 5, 2006
    I don't go lighter than medium-heavy. I shatter anything that's medium or thinner.
  20. fingertap


    May 12, 2010
    I very much like the feel of celluloid Fender mediums but they break quickly.

    I used to use the Fender medium white celluloid 358 style jazz picks.
    I found that they broke less due to their smaller size yet still maintained that brittle 'fender medium feel' I loved.
    White because I could see them easier.
    I do not think they are available any longer.
    I would go through a dozen or two per show.
    A "two dozen pick show" was an inside joke/euphemism with many of the people I played with for an incredibly wonderful show.

    Now, I use the Dunlop Tortex 0.6mm Pick. The orange ones.

    They wear down pretty quick, so I keep a fresh one on my headstock,
    three used ones in my left pocket and some spares in another pocket along with my slide and earplug case.
    At jobs, I place the three from my pocket just below my head on the stack left-to-right in order of 'roundness.'
    I transfer two spares to my left pocket.
    I add a fresh one every job starting at the headstock.
    I deploy them fresh --> least used (least rounded) --> most used (most rounded)

    I know that sounds really anal but I need to absolutely know where my next pick will be if I need it.
    Also, sometimes when I need to switch to fingers/thumb,
    I don't have enough time to get rid of a pick to a pocket or sometimes my mouth
    (I think that looks bad, though, so I do not do it as a rule but it is a habit that is hard to avoid)
    So I may just intentionally drop it to the stage.
    When I am down on the dance floor, I am more likely to put it in my mouth.

    The Dunlop Tortex picks also taste better than the Fender mediums.

    That is to say, they have less 'flavor' or a more 'transparent' taste.
    The Fender mediums were bitter and sharp tasting.
    I feel they were also a mild stimulant when held under the tongue for a length of time.
    They also burned nicely, kind of like slow-motion flash-paper.

    I am willing to bet that you could select nearly any pick and if you make the technique and skill of using it your own, it would work for you. Try 'em all. Pick the one that seems right to you.

  21. 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 25, 2021

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