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!  

Playing Tool with fingers

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ndrly, May 31, 2007.

  1. I've heard that since Justin Chancellor plays with a pick, Tool cannot be played on bass without a pick AND sound good. I beg to differ...

    I play fingerstyle and even pop/slap on some Tool songs, and it sounds alright. However, there are cases where pick-playing is the best option.


    Stinkfist - fingerstyle
    Vicarious - fingerstyle/pop 'n' slap
    Jambi - fingerstyle/pop 'n' slap
    Forty-Six & 2 - pick
    Schism - pick
    Hush - pop/slap
    Sober - pick

    If anyone else has any soundbytes or videos of themselves playing Tool without a pick, please share!
  2. i allways thouht he played fingerstyle, but what can i say im no tool fan
  3. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Inactive

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I've played Tool songs without a pick before and got good sounds. Perhaps not wholly accurate sounds, but good all the same.
  4. I've played Schism fingerstyle and it sounded awesome (i used my line6 variax 705 and Basspod XT-live combi).
  5. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    I used to play with fingers exclusively. Most Tool songs can be played fairly accurately with fingers. The only issue I ever ran into was in The Pot, where getting the timing just right during bass-only sections of the verses was extremely difficult without a pick. That's actually what motivated me to start playing with a pick.
  6. Fli


    Apr 30, 2007
    Birmingham, AL
    Just saw Tool live again on Saturday.
    I play fingerstyle exclusively and used cover a few Tool songs in an old band. Never tried playing any of the new 10000days stuff, but any other stuff they have can be played fingerstyle or with a pick and it sounds fine.
    IMO Sober is the only song Tool has that just doesn't sound right without a pick.
  7. ding_man


    Dec 24, 2006
    Celina, OH
    Theres not much you can do. If you want that pick sound you have to use a pick.
  8. pseudo7


    May 6, 2007
    The 10000 days album has complicated picking on it so if you play it with a pick then you gain more respect, and you are more likely to get the exact timing.

    The pot for example

    "down down down up down down up up down down up down" for one section If you play properly with a pick; as in you miss the strokes you don't want out but keep the hand moving up and down it is a hard song to play.

    Plus the songs sound like they are played with a pick as the have the pick sound (aren't i good at explaining!)

    That said tool for the most part are crap only 2 good songs on 10000 days, the pot and the first track, and there not amazing.
  9. Most Tool can be played without a pick and sound 99% accurate, especially in the mix. With the right EQing, the crowd won't know the difference, the same way EQing can make pickstyle sound as mellow as fingerstyle at times. I'd go for a lot of high mids and treble. I don't think there should be any debate whether fingerstyle can sound good covering Tool, but I'd still play pickstyle.

    I guess the argument is just like saying you need to play with a Wal and can't get Justin's tone otherwise. Of course you can't, but you can get close enough for most people's standards. Get the other variables in place (tone, pickup configuration, comparable effects/amp) and you'll be awfully close.
  10. Sober and 46 & Two are the few Tool songs that HAVE to be played with a pick. However, I would definitely use a pick for Joy Division/New Order stuff.

    BTW, what does IMO stand for?
  11. ding_man


    Dec 24, 2006
    Celina, OH
    In my opinion.
  12. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    I'll beg to differ on this one. I think "Sober" is the only song that actually sounds right when played without a pick (well, the only one that comes to mind right now).

    I just hit the string hard enough to get that metallic crunchy sound and parts of the chorus (cd version) have a really round sound to them like they were played with your fingers instead of a pick. The end of the song is easily accomplished with some slapping and holding the harmonic above the 12th fret on the dropped D.

    Anyways...just my $.01 (not sure what happened to the other one :) )
  13. MammaryVest


    Oct 18, 2006
    Stoneham, MA
    You can play any Tool song with Fingers and it will sound good (if you play it well) but it won't sound like it does on the CD by a long shot. I usually think playing Tool with a pick is a better choice for the players sake because you can get a better feel for his style by using a pick. like try playing the Grudge with fingers, it just doesn't feel right.
  14. Fli


    Apr 30, 2007
    Birmingham, AL
    I guess like others, I'm basing all this on how stuff sounds when I play it.
    With Sober I've never been that good at strumming power chords and ghost notes with my fingers.
    46 & Two to me is a very simple song which I cannot for the life of me understand why you'd need a pick to make it sound right.
  15. MammaryVest


    Oct 18, 2006
    Stoneham, MA
    By "right" I'm sure everyone means like the recording, which uses a pick, and the only way to have it sound exactly "right" is by using one. It probably sounds fine without one, just not the same.
  16. Tool sounds best when played with a pick... period.

    And I call bull on being able to get the pick sound with your fingers, you can do all the eqing you want, it ain't happening.
  17. Oh. Cool. Could you post a soundclip?
  18. i played The Pot w/ my fingers and it sounded pretty good
  19. When I first heard the bassline of 46 & 2, I thought it was a guitar. Wrong, but if you want lead basslines to sound like a guitar, play it with a pick, unless you want your guitar-esque basslines to sound more like Dire Straits.
  20. You mean in your opinion? I happen to think most of 10,000 Days is amazing, and I dislike it when someone says the opposite as if it's a "fact"...
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 8, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.