Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Obese Chess, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess I'm Your New Dad

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    This is either a widely debated topic or there are just some idiots out there.

    Apparently, the fact that I not only don't slap but also often play with a pick makes me inferior. Is there any special reason that using a pick is any less respectable than fingerstyle or slap? Or why there are people who think that slapping is the only decent way to play bass?

    Then again, the person I had this debate with thought that Warwicks were the only basses worth playing and concluded that Fenders were for failures [like Geddy Lee, Marcus Miller, and Jaco, I guess?]

    So I'm basically wondering what other people's thoughts are on the subject of picking
  2. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    I can't play with a pick, but my first impression is do what works best for the song...

    You shouldn't let other musicians make you feel less because you use a pick..

    Playing with a Pick gives a different tone to the bass....

    As for slap, I have never heard or talked to any bassist who thinks that is the only way to play bass is to slap.

    Slap is just icing on the cake and more than anything a techinque. There are a lot of great bassist who NEVER slapped a day in there lives..

    Why debate it is a waste of time, especially when the person your debating with is ignorant ;)

    Good Luck!
  3. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Hence I will not comment. :smug:


    Seriously though, is your friend familiar with the band Yes? Chris Squire's tone is so radical that it can't be put into words. and my god, what a player. Newsted is another good picker, so is Ellefson and Chancellor. I think picks get a bad rap because there are some people who think they can get a pick sound without one. You can't. Until I hear someone pull out an effective 'roundabout' without a pick, this viewpoint stands.

    And greekbassist is right, don't waste your time on this fool. If he thinks slap is the only way to go, I'm guessing he worships flea, and has yet to look outside to other bassists. And fenders are for failures? Did you tell him about Jaco, Geddy (even though I'm not a fan), Marcus, Stu, Billy, JPJ? The bottom line is slap is much harder to integrate into a band than fingerstyle/pick, so unless he's the next Victor he can **** off.
  4. I don't personally care one way or the other. Actually, I like the tone a pick gets, but I can't play with one. My hands just don't like moving that way I guess.
    A friend of mine plays with a pick, he's in a great metal band, and he's an awesome bass player.
    My argument for fingerstyle has always been that "Using a pick limits your options, you can do more with your fingers". That friend proved that you can do a lot of stuff with a pick that you can't with your fingers, so we called a truse. Do what you feel comfortable with, but don't be close-minded about the stuff that you don't do.
  5. Geo313


    Jul 17, 2004
    I found a long time ago that it's not about picks or fingers, it's about people and tastes. Musically maybe it has to do with context. I mean, I like Yes, actually it was one of my favorite bands in my teens... until Bill Brufford left, but I never cared if Chris Squire was playing with his nose or his grandma's denture (sorry, no offense to Chris' grandma). But I also like Marcus Miller's tasty slap with Miles or Wayne, and Brian Bromberg's multi-tapping on a double bass solo on "Solar"... the list goes on.
    You can get different tones with picks made out of different materials. Just focus on making music, being musical and feeling at home with it.
  6. JHL


    Apr 8, 2005
    London, England
    Anthony Jackson often plays/played with a pick... 'nuff said :]
  7. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess I'm Your New Dad

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Yeah. He actually basically worships Ryan Martinie from Mudvayne. I pointed all those bassists out to him, and I'll try and see if I can find the original conversation he and I had. I don't wanna bring this up too much, because he hangs out on these forums, too.

    Thanks for everyone's insight!