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Picking!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by dancehallclasher, Jul 7, 2001.


  1. ok you pickers out there, i need help. i'm starting to realize that i really need to learn how to use a pick properly. do you rest your right arm on the bass, or keep it floating? do you use mainly your wrist or your shoulder/elbow? should you wear the bass low enough so that your arm is straight at the bottom of a stroke?

    i plan on watching matt freeman closely at the warped tour, but until then, anyone with some experience could help. ;)
     
  2. maybe it depends on your own preference but it's seems to me that it is more comfortable to keep it lower, the body that is. i float my arm. as for plucking, i feel more in control of the strings if i use my wrist but that gets tiring so i go with the movement from the elbow and wrist at the same time for endurance.
     
  3. I used to play with the wrist, but after playing some songs, i always got pain in my wrist..

    so i switched to playing with my whole arm ( shoulder ), but that way you loose controll over the faster notes.

    So now i'm playing hybrid, i play with both shoulder and wrist, and it works fine for me..

    i think the best bass-position for picking is to put the bass in front of your erhm " Johnson ", coz your arm will have a slight bend. Take a good look at a lot of picking bassplayers.. most of them have the bass in front of the " Johnson ".
     
  4. I just use my wrist, and usually just downstrokes, unless Im just playing roots, the the up down thing is just easier. It all depends, whatever is most comfertable.

    As for the watching Matt Freeman thing goes, have fun, I tried that, but it was too hard keeping an eye on him in the pits or even just in the crowd, its SO crazy. I did notice that he mostly uses downstrokes, but DAMN fast ones. A real treat was watching Maxwell Murder, although he did baby the solo up a little bit, but Ill let it slide :D
     
  5. *ToNeS*

    *ToNeS*

    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    i don't use a pick. i probably never will, either. in fact, i can't really help you at all. i'm just here for the free beer.

    what ?

    there's no free beer ?


    well, fu ...
     
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I just use (very little but effective) wrist motion. No movement from the arm.
    The base of my right hand palm rests lightly on the lower strings to mute the (lower) strings you don't actually play. Ocassionally I use the side of the palm (from the base up to the pinky), especially if i want to get this muted pick sound.
    And I move the hand a little according to the string changes, so that the pick angle stays constant. No pivoting.
    I use a thin pick with a narrow tip. The tip avoids unwanted pick noise and a thin pick balances better against the heavy bass strings. A heavy guitar pick works well with the thin guitar strings, but not so well with bass IMO.
    The pick is held between the flat of the thumb and the side of the index finger tip. Just hold it lightly, don't 'choke' it. Only a small part of the pick should stand out from your fingers.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. bassdan777

    bassdan777

    Jul 5, 2001
    Audubon, NJ
    Picks are the enemy!!! Unless you actually like that dry, twangy sound that results from using them. I can't remember the last time I saw a GOOD bassist using a pick. Reason being, picks are for guitar players. If you really want to excel on the bass, lose the pick.
     
  8. right, i'll take that under advisement.

    :rolleyes:


    thanks for the input, everyone else


    EDIT: btw, welcome to talkbass!
     
  9. [rant]
    Wow, where should I start? I can get a very nice tone with a pick, P bass with flats, bump the bass and low mids, very nice sounding indeed.

    Matt Freeman is my choice for best bass player PERIOD, let alone a picker.

    Before you generalize about anything, realize that most of us arent newbies, especially DHC, so dont talk to us like we dont know what we like, many of us use picks, and LIKE them.

    Better yet, go to tabcrawler.com and post there, youll find many like you there

    [/rant]
     
  10. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    :rolleyes:

    1. You're your own enemy.
    2. Overcome your prejudices.
    3.Listen to Anthony Jackson.
    4. Try to excel on both.
     
  11. bassdan777

    bassdan777

    Jul 5, 2001
    Audubon, NJ
    To each his own fellas.

    I only exercise my own opinion out of personal experience. Like I said before, if you like the sound of the pick, then go with it. If you are comfortable with a pick then go with it. I also play guitar so I've experimented with picks before on bass. From my own experience, and from looking at the very talented bass players out there, one can deduce that you will go much farther with out a pick. Yet again, to each his own. Lets not judge a person on his or her opinion. Thank you.
     
  12. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I didn't judge you.

    I guess we're just tired of those anti-pick posts.

    Yes, plucking is more versatile.

    Yes, you get more tonal variety.

    But in some situations picking just sounds and grooves better - listen to the O'Jay's For The Love Of Money (Bass: Anthony Jackson)
    Or listen to Kraan or Tab Two with Hellmut Hattler.
    Or Matt Freeman
    Or...

    I play fingerstyle 95% of the time, but using a pick is nice too.
     
  13. oddentity

    oddentity

    Nov 20, 2000
    Philly
    Kraan!!!! :cool: Wow, now there's some killer pick playing. Hattler is a madman. Too bad their albums are so hard to find!!!
     
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Well, Kraan are a German band, so their CDs are quite easy to get here in Germany - most are even Nice Price by now.

    Kraan did some reunion gigs and there's a new live album out -
    called kraan live 2001.

    Hattler's Tab Two project with trumpeter Joo Kraus is great too. It's more a funk/soul-jazz thing with sequencer, though.
    Hattler also released a new solo album, called No Eats Yes.

    http://www.hellmut-hattler.de/


    http://www.bassball.net/
     
  15. No, you said that he will go farther without a pic, you never said anything about what if we like the sound of picking, you just told us that is was wrong and that fingerstyle was better. If you want to discuss something in this forum, you better uncluse a IMO or something to show us that this is opinion, and that youre not trying to tell us facts.
     
  16. mikemulcahy

    mikemulcahy

    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    I play with a pick 95% of the time. I usualy rest the pisiform bone (the sticky out part at the bottom of the palm), very little arm motion. I find I am much more articulate this way. My picks are between 1.0 and 0.7mm thick, depending on the particular sond I am playing.


    Mike
     
  17. Hmm, that's funny. the last time I heard a good bass player use a pick was when I heard Flea use one. Yes on occasion Flea will pull a pick out of his bag o' tricks. And of course Mr. Matt Freeman rocks hard and he plays pick exclusively.
     
  18. *ToNeS*

    *ToNeS*

    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    and Mike Dirnt from Green Day.
    and Jason Newsted, ex-bassist for Metallica.
    and Jeff Ament from Pearl Jam indulges in the occasional pick usage.
    as does Nate Mendel from the Foo Fighters.
    oh, and Tim Commerford from R.A.T.M, too.
    f*ck man, Victor Wooten uses a pick every now and again, and almost all punk-bassists use picks.

    no, i wouldn't like to be caught saying that they're underdeveloped bass players simply because they use picks, either :D :p
     
  19. lister423

    lister423

    Jul 4, 2001
    Don't let the jerkface bother you with his opinion. You'd have to be a real loser to come into a thread where someone is asking about how to use a pick, and then go off about it.

    Didja ever notice that pickstyle players never start or enter threads saying fingerstyle sucks? That's because we don't need to, we're not insecure, we know the majority of rock has always been played with a pick and always will, and rock still outsells all other musical styles.

    Let the jazzbos continue slandering pickstyle; after all, they have for 35-40 years. They have refused to teach it. And look at what good it's done 'em...not a bit. Never will.
     
  20. lister423

    lister423

    Jul 4, 2001
    Now to the question.

    I rest my right arm lightly on the bass, use my wrist but not with a lot of force, mute either with my palm or my left hand depending on the song, use mostly downstrokes. I wear the bass so that the upper horn is about at navel level.

    My favorite pick is a Pickboy 1.14 carbon/nylon. Rigid enough to get all the fundamental and control you need, thin and small enough to be comfortable to use.

    And I never use roundwounds.