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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Scottie, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Scottie

    Scottie Banned

    Oct 14, 2005
    Ive been a bassist for a long time now. Ive not played a gig or been in a band for about 4 years. Ive got a touch of arthritis in my finger joints which has made it hard to play finger style, so having been a guitarist too, I decided Id use the pick. Im pretty comfortable with it, but still somewhat uneasy. You guys got any suggestions on pick thickness and technique. I find a VERY thin pick works best (play faster) but the damn picks break alot...
  2. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    When I get bored and use a pick, I use what I use on my guitar: Heavys.
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I'm not a pick player, but in my limited experience I've found that soft picks are the worst because for speed you need something that can resist the higher tension of bass strings. The best I've found (again, I barely use them) are Jim Dunlop Stubby Triangles 3.0.
  4. I would never recommend a floppy pick for fast playing (on the guitar or the bass), since you have to move the pick farther to complete each pluck. Never anything less than a millimeter for me.
  5. Herman


    Dec 25, 2005
    Lynchburg, VA
    +1 for no thin floppy picks for fast (or any) playing. When I play with a pick, it's always with a heavy one.
  6. slapcracklepop


    Jun 28, 2005
    Boston, MA
    I don't like the feel of heavies at all.. I like a medium celluloid pick
  7. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    I started on guitar years ago -- so playing with a pick is very natural for me -- although I'm mostly finger style on funk/blues/and R&B bass.

    I use a pick when the song I'm playing benefits from the sound...and it's been a lot of fun actually. Plus it saves my fingers especially when the weather is cold and dry.

    I use those white triangular picks with the eagle on the front. Nothing less than 1mm...I think I even prefer the 1.25mm heavier gauge. I like the triangles because if you start wearing down one side...flip it around! They're big and easy to hold on to.
  8. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'm against the concensus here, I usually use a Tortex pick, the yellow. I believe it's 0.73. They never break, and I've done a heck of a lot of motorpicking in my day (tremolo picking). I used to break strings because I picked near the bridge...it gets a little harder near the pickups because of the motion of the string...Right above the bridge pickup seems best for me.
  9. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    My absolute all-time favorite is the heaviest guage Dunlop Gator Grip pick. It is greyish in color. The heavy gauge works best on five-string basses because it will stand up to a B-string.

    My hands sweat a lot and my fingers get hot, so I actaully melt picks and cause them to bend. Gator Grip picks hold up best of all kinds for my particular problems.
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Again, let me say that you should only use heavies or extra heavies on bass or you're asking for crippling hand problems down the road. Visit www.carolkaye.com and learn about good pick technique on bass that won't cause pain.
  11. I usually hold my pick closer to the ends of my fingers than she does. I'm going to have to experiment and see if it's a preference thing or if her way is better.
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I couldn't tell you that since where she holds it is where I held it previously. But what I can tell you is if I deviate from her method in the slightest, I get hand pains within seconds.
  13. I vote nylon .60 . I been speed picking for a long time and thicker picks are just to grindy and noisy. If you actually palm mute and speed play the pick still holds the deepness and flexs acounting for the massive string your hitting along for more accurate speed playing.
  14. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    +1 on the Gator Grip picks....

    Just bought a pack of 1.5mm today and liking them already.

    I still prefer the Claytons (eagle design) and will be purchasing more soon.
  15. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    i always use about .6mm-1mm

    dunlop picks