Picking technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by GreggBummer, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. I have found the need to play bass with a pick a little more than I usually do. I am pretty much a finger style player, but I use a pick on a few cover songs with my band. Because I don't really use the pick that often, my accuracy and speed is not very good. The songs that I rehearse with the band are pretty tight... but everything else could use some improvement.

    I would like to add a good picking technique to my tool box.

    What I am doing now is using the pick in an up/down motion, but moving it in a circle... I am not sure where I picked this up from, but it seems like a short cut. I searched the forum a bit, but if someone knows a thread, or lesson, or something to practice please let me know. :D

    If I missed this information in a sticky or thread... my apologies.
  2. ronniequeue


    Oct 22, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    What do you mean by "moving in a circle"?

    I would start by going over some basic exercises that you practiced when you learned to play fingerstyle, and practice them slowly and deliberately. I like to hook my pinkie finger under my bridge pickup on my jazz when playing on the G and D strings, and then hook it under the G string right over the bridge pickup when playing on the A and E strings. Make sure the pick strikes the string dead on, not at an angle. Try to pick between the two pickups, if you have two. If not, then pick just behind the only pickup for a clearer sound and to have a nice taught string response. Use as little movement as possible. Hope this helps!

    P.S. Make sure the pick you are using is thick enough to really move those strings! Good luck!
  3. Thanks for the advice...

    By moving in a circle I mean that I keep my wrist parallel with the strings and pick in and up and down motion. The first pluck happens on the downstroke closer to the neck, the second pluck happens a few milimeters twords the bridge on the up stroke. Not sure why I do it that way. It works, but I think that I might be able to find something that works better. I play guitar that way too... but I rarely play guitar and I don't want to take any bad right hand habits over to bass.

    Thanks for the advice about picking... especially about where to pick... I will give it a try tonight. I use medium Dunlop picks (.65 mm) and I have some of those "Dorito Chip" picks at 1.0mm. I like the Dorito Chip ones. I have some 1.5mm picks, but I don't like them.

    I also found a huge thread about Carol Kaye that a bunch of people posted in. I watched her picking technique in a few you tube videos... looks like a good model.
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