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Shredding Technique With A Pick

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by supernaut_1, May 16, 2003.


  1. supernaut_1

    supernaut_1 Guest

    Dec 16, 2002
    Texas
    i've been learning to shred over the past few weeks but i need some technique help. i don't have just one technique it keeps altering because i never find one that really works. so can anyone help me? what's a good way to hold my pick and move my wrist or how hard to do it, should i keep my hand pretty relaxed? any tips? thanks.
     
  2. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    The thing you have to bear in mind is that this is NOT guitar, so the technique will vary slightly. Don't let a guitar player try to teach you bass technique.

    Some people advocate using the wrist for the picking motion, others the forearm. Since bass strings are heavier, I find that the extra force you get from using your forearm helps.

    Also, the way you hold your pick will alter your tone. If you want a lighter, "clicky" sound, try holding it between thumb and forefinger with the rest of your fingers extended. To dig in and get a punchier sound, hold the pick between thumb and forefinger but clench your fist as though holding a roll of quarters.

    A key thing to note here is that a pick is NOT necessary for speed. You can play just as fast using your fingers with a little practice.
     
  3. supernaut_1

    supernaut_1 Guest

    Dec 16, 2002
    Texas
    yeah i know but i use a pick about 90% of the time when i play anyway because i prefer the tone. anyways should i tilt my pick anyway? i've heard you should angle it a little bit?
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I disagree to some extent.
    You can adopt a lot from guitar technique, e.g. Frank Gambale's Speed Picking.
    You don't need extra strength, so using your forearm is not really necessary.
    I've found that you can balance against the thicker strings with a slightly thinner pick, so picking is not really harder than on guitar, apart from the wider string spacing.

    I keep the pick flat most of the time, to avoid "scratching" and to achieve a clean pick sound.
     
  5. I diagree also. The only 2 people I took formal lessons from were both guitarist who graduated from MI. When I do pick, I mimic their technique, and I can sweep pick and use speed on bass. It's not a matter of adjust techniques as it is with adjusting to the instruments wider string spaces and thicker strings. I pick a bass the same as a guitar.
     
  6. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I said the technique would vary "slightly". ;) Obviously it isn't radically different. I just modify the technique slightly in order to account for the differences between bass and guitar.

    I find I can't seem to use [unmodified] guitar picking techniques without being a bit unsatisfied with the sound... that's just me though.

    Whatever is most comfortable and gets you the sound you want is the technique you should use.
     
  7. I don't really have a preference for tone either way. But, I have always been a natural finger picker. (don't worry thrash, i won't turn this into another tempo discussion- that 1 thread was plenty for me)
     
  8. ole Jason

    ole Jason Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Louisville, KY
    Keeping the pick flat definately helps to give you a cleaner tone. As far as picking from the forearm versus wrist or clenching your hand versus relaxing I think that comes down to personal preference more than anything. I've seen players play both ways quite effectively. I use Dunlop 3mm stubby's, try em.
     
  9. Pardon my ignorance, but what is "shredding"?
     
  10. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    This (although I only partly agree with the choices):

    [​IMG]