Sound like pick, play like fingerstyle?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by NewWaveBasser, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. I was wonderin': Is there such a way, through pedals, eq setup, technique, etc. that I could come close to the sound of picked bass by finger playing??

    Picked bass has this metallic, clunky, agressive quality that fingerstyle playing usually does not have... AFAIK at least.

    I only recall something about Geddy Lee growing nails long so as to use them like picks, or so said somebody here at TB...

    Any help would be appreciated...
  2. Some players do grow their fingernails. Steve Harris and Beaver Felton come to mind.

    You could just play with a pick, too.
  3. Yeah, but wouldn't it be cool to have an effect pedal that can transform the fingerstyle sound into picking sound? That has to be possible and attainable, I'd think?
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Fingerpicks, my good friend. Fingerpicks.
  5. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I've always thought that Eddie Jackson of Queensryche could get a great psuedo-pick tone. It probaly has a lot to do with his technique and the Spectors he plays.
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    $70 on an effects pedal, or less than $1 for fingerpicks?


    I think the answer is pretty clear.
  7. I just want to see somebody hit the strings with their fingernails as aggressively as I do with a pick. I like seeing fountains of blood pouring out of peoples' fingers! :D

    I remember in the 80's guitarists were spending thousands of dollars building rack systems to approximate the sound of a Les Paul through a Marshall... It made a bit more sense to get a Les Paul and a Marshall...

    There's an immediate percussive attack that might be able to be simulated, but if you want a pick sound, why "simulate?" Besides that, you'd be learning something new.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Our sound man (another bass player), grows his fingernails long and gets the sound you crave. A pick or fingernail introduces a transient on the attack that I think would be difficult to reproduce through an effect. I'd expect there to be some tracking problems, the effect having to "hear" the attack before it "knows" to insert the effect. Latency, in other words.

    You could always do like Doyle Dykes and glue acrylic nails on your fingers.
  9. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I just keep my action pretty low and hit the strings with authority. "Slapping without slapping" as Geddy Lee terms it.
  10. OK, cool...

    Are the fingerpicks those that go round your finger?
  11. Brat


    Jun 4, 2004
    NW Indiana.
    Hold your fingers together like ou were playing a pick and play with your index finger fingernail. Kinda gives a pick-ish sound.
  12. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Entwistle "Typewriter" technique works. I recommend it!
  13. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Yes. Why not just use a regular pick?
  14. genderblind

    genderblind Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    I'm still using my own homegrown healthy fingernails, and folks dig the tone.
    Actually, I find that there are so many subtle variations I can get with this technique that you can't quite get with a pick. If I want a pick sound, I can support my index finger with my thumb pressing the fingertip, and also mute the strings slightly with part of my hand.
    Fingers one and two are nails, and I use finger three with no nail for a more trad tone.
    Try it!!! And, you can justify that black glitter nail polish as "equipment" to strengthen your nails!!!
  15. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i've been using that technique lately with good effect. growing the fingernails helps too. The only way to sort of simulate that sound thru processing is with a good parametric eq set for a narrow bandwidth on one or 2 channels. Sweep thru the mids, high mids and treble with a slight boost until you find a frequency or 2 that gives you a precussive sound. It won't really sound liek using a pick, but it can lend more "snap" to your tone.
  16. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    DB Blahblah bloggers use both pizz and arco. So what is wrong with a pick? So we should only be limited to ONE STYLE ? Says who? I want five attack styles, I am working on ten.

    It is an instrument. Bang it and use it. Seduce it.

    If playing with a hacksaw gives you the tone you need, use it!

    Limits are for OTHERS .. not musicians ...

    Never accept limits.

  17. Only


    Sep 8, 2002
    Warrensburg, MO

    The thread started could be like me. I like pick tone sometimes, but I play pick retarded. I tried and tried to get the hang of a pick, but it was NOT happening. For me, the simpler solution was to find a fingerstyle technique that approximated the pick tone.

    My solution was to grow my index fingernail a little long and clearcoat it before playing so it didn't split or tear, and avoid using that finger often in my fingerstyle runs.