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Playing with fingerpick?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Ariness, May 9, 2015.

  1. Ariness


    May 9, 2015
    Hey, guys. I prefer playing fingerstyle and don't like picks at all, but I need the pick tone sometimes, so I wonder, if using fingerpick would be a good idea? I didn't find any information about this on the Internet.
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    They cost less than a buck each. I'd suggest getting one and seeing for yourself.

    Only experience I have with them is from when guitar was my main instrument. I never liked them, could never really get the hang of them, and always liked either growing my nail a bit or just playing with my fingers, more. I don't really think finger picks would work well on a bass, but who knows what you might come up with? Could be a match made in heaven. You might come up with a style all your own that's completely awesome.

    I say give it a go. You'll probably have to put as much time into learning to use that though, as you would a regular pick - so ya might want to think about that.
    bholder and Ariness like this.
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I've tried it, didn't work for me, but might for someone else - the fingerpicks just aren't attached to the finger strongly enough. What I do when I need that sound is "pop" the string off my fingernail rather than the "meat" of the fingertip. I also have been known to grab my index finger between my thumb and middle finger to use the index fingernail as a pick. Another option might be the fancy picks with some sort of a "leash" or ring to keep them handy - that's what I used when I was gigging regularly and alternating between fingers and pick on certain songs. Takes some getting used to, but workable. Also, using fingernails is tough on the nails, I've been known to reinforce them with superglue.
    Ariness likes this.
  4. Take this from an old Banjo picker. They are not going to work on the bass, or at least not the way I play bass.

    The pick sound is unique, if you like that sound use a plectrum. I found that the thicker 2.5 to 3.0 mm picks work best on our thicker strings. IMO we all should have more than one way to play our bass. The song dictates which way is best.
    Ariness likes this.
  5. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I use one on my thumb, and filed it back about 1/8" as it was way too long. With it on my thumb, I can play finger style, and switch to picking very quickly. Also, with it on my thumb, you can play with it just like you're holding a pick.

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