1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)


Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by anonymous278347457, Apr 17, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    can someone please explain to me how someone can play bass with a pick? i know with most crappy "bands" like busted and mcfly they always just have a pick and wave it about near their bass and make "music". But how can you just play with a pick it just seems so hard(ive tried and it is)? :bassist:
  2. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    There are a lot of bassists who are pick players and are quite good. Chris Squire of Yes, Justin Chancellor of Tool, and Clayton Ingerson (formerly of Dysrhythmia) are but a few I can think of. James Lomenzo is primarily a fingerstyle player, but will break out a pick if it will work better with the song. After all, only a pick can get "that" sound.

    And in eastern Europe, the Kontrabass Balalaika is played with a hard leather pick, because the thick strings on it are like rope.

    Playing bass with a pick isn't super difficult. One just needs to practice picking technique. The March issue of Bass Player has an introductory article on basic up and downstrokes with a pick. It may be on the Bass Player website too. I'm primarily a fingerstyle player and when I do break out the pick, yes it hurts a tad, but that's only because I haven't practiced my picking technique much and I'm using muscles/range of motion that my forearm, wrist, and hands aren't used to.
  3. Technique forum, where this has been done completely to death? :meh:

    The simple answer is, it's another sound on the bass, with a different tone and degree of articulation. Bassists everywhere should learn all the techniques at their disposal so they're equipped for all situations. That includes fingerstyle, slap, and yes, the "dreaded" pick.

    Russ :bassist:

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jason Newsted is one of the Best Metal/Rock pick players out their. :bassist:
  5. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Other famous pick players out there include Sting, Paul McCartney, John Entwistle (who used a variety of techniques, including picking), and our own Nino Valenti. :D

    Picking provides a different attack and articulation.
  6. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    thanks for explaining it to me.
    btw jason newsted is good
    but personally i like burton better as a metallica bass player (even though in a lot of songs you cant hear the bass)
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    For people who migrate to bass from guitar, the pick is a natural. I agree that everyone should learn as many techniques as possible, they all have merit in certain musica situations.
  8. RandallFlagg

    RandallFlagg Guest

    Aug 18, 2003
    Kansas City
    You know...I don't mean to start anything here, but isn't that question a little bit like asking "How can any REAL bass player play a bass with frets??"

    Or, "How could any REAL bass player play an ELECTRIC bass?"
  9. +1 , i agree what your saying, picks are often dropped to "crappy" bands, but recently ive changed views, i prefer the sound of playing with a pick, more attack, sharper sounding notes, its really good for punk etc, and no thats not just 4 chords, listen to some AFI :p

    Or some SOIA, but thats not as crazy on the bass as AFI at are at times . . . yeah, practice does the trick
  10. FenderHotRod


    Sep 1, 2004
    I migrate from guitar, but I don't use a pick for bass. Don't see anything wrong with using a pick I just prefer not to.

    Hasn't this topic been done to Death?
  11. Yep. And to top it off, this is the wrong forum for it. :meh:
  12. not for me. i started with fingers, and it took me a while to be able to use a pick on bass.
  13. I too migrated from the guitar. I mainly play finger style and I'm really working on slap and pop, but there are a couple of songs in my band that just warrant the pick. Some of it is the straight 8ths for 6 minutes but most of it is the attack. It just works for those songs better. Although I must say, I can smoke speed wise with the pick until I have to change strings rather quickly. I still have not adjusted to the string spacing... yet.
  14. Rapscallion2112


    Apr 21, 2004
    oddly enough you guys forgot Mike Gordon of Phish....he uses a pick now...and dosent sound that bad....i still prefer the fingers on it...but sometimes a pick can sound very nice
  15. sambass


    Apr 15, 2003
    just another tool in the toolbox
  16. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Paul McCartney. 'Nuff said......

    I play fingerstyle most of the time, but I use a pick on songs that need it. Over the years the percentage has changed. When I was in a metal band I used a pick exclusively. When I was in a country band I used fingers almost exclusively. Now it is about 75% finger 25% pick.
  17. Congratulations. What a completely vapid condemnation of a very useful playing style...

    When are all you "purists" going to get off your high horses, take the chips off your shoulders and get down to playing your basses intead of worrying about how someone goes about creating music with their instrument? Talk about cutting your lifelines right to the quick...grow up. please. with a cherry on top.

    I want to see a bassist with absolutely no hand, just a wrist maybe, and a mechanical mechanism to hold a pick, and a bucketload of Moxie & talent just come onto the scene and absolutely SMOKE you biased, narrow-visionned players completely out of the water.

    Oh, and wrong forum. :D


    edit: I think I'll just cut & paste this exact response EVERY time this subject comes up...which should be, what, 3 times a week for infinity? Maybe i'll just keep it permanently in my clipboard. Then again, I really think the OP is a troller (in which case, poo on me for falling for this again...last time, I promise) or too young to know how ridiculous his post is.
  18. Im not big on pickstyle either...but its something that should be learned if you want to be a working bassist...and no one mentioned phil lesh of the Grateful dead...he uses a pick...and so does Anthony Jackson everyonce and awhile...Remember the pick serves its purpose :cool:
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

  20. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.