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strumming (help)

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Ben333, Oct 19, 2002.

  1. Ben333


    Oct 19, 2002
    ok, i have just started to play bass, and i have some questions about strumming on a bass.
    i have watched the bassists from blink 182 and sum 41 play and have noticed that they both strum without a pick. (i am pretty sure, correct me if i'm wrong.)
    when strumming without a pick, is it your index finger that makes contact with the string? (does anyone else besides me find this painful to do after awhile??) can someone please describe in detail how to position your strumming hand, the motion that you do to strum, and which finger makes contact with the string? keep in mind that i am trying to emulate the style that the bassists from sum 41 and blink 182 use.
  2. Ben333


    Oct 19, 2002
    or would it be easier to use a pick? do people actually use picks on basses? i have never seen anyone do that...
  3. cap


    Aug 8, 2001
    Hickam Hawaii
    Yes...Blink 182 and Sum41 use picks. Yes picking is a major aspect of bass. As for strumming...just try different ways and sizes/styles of pick. the bassist from rufio for example places the pick between his index and middle finger knuckles and strums w/ his wrist only...its just a matter of figuring out which style to use for you...then go from there

  4. Ben333


    Oct 19, 2002
    are you positive that they use picks??
  5. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    110% sure, because i have one of Marks picks :)

    Its a major technique, using a plectrum on bass, there are heaps of people that do it...and there is quite possibly no way matt freeman could play the stuff he does with his fingers :eek:
  6. kirbywrx
    why couldn't matt play what he does with his fingers? .... i can
  7. Ben333


    Oct 19, 2002
    thanks for the info. i was also wondering, is there any difference between regular guitar picks and bass guitar picks? cause there's a lot of normal guitar picks at my house, and i assume they will work fine for my bass?
  8. any pick will work, ben, but most bassists prefer heavier picks. also, note that you don't really "strum"; the pick should only hit one string per stroke. there are some songs where you may need to strum, but they're rare.
  9. just_a_poser


    Apr 20, 2002
    When I'm playing 2 notes or a chord, I use the finger nail on my index finger. Because I usually go back to playing regular finger style, and then I don't have to worry about where to put a pick at.

  10. Jon from Rufio is awesome! How did you find out how he picks? I've seen them in concert when they came up here to play with Brand New and Taking Back Sunday, but I guess I didn't get close enough to see what he was doing.
  11. cap


    Aug 8, 2001
    Hickam Hawaii
    My friend saw them live and I saw a pic of him a while back

    -cap...and thanks for tellin me his name
  12. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    Different picks will change the sound of course...

    I personally do NOT use picks.. but i still strum ALOT for my band...

    Example: for one of our songs, the bass line goes like


    this bassline right here.. the first 3s 5s and 7s are fingered.. then the 1-5-1 chords and the xx (mutes) are all strummed..i use my middle finger (nail area) and strum on the frets.. (around the 17-20th) when u strum on the frets, u can get more of a "Fret Ring" and gives it kinda like a pick tone...

    thats just me.. i can't stand picks and tried to get used to them but can't

  13. just gotta work those callouses in! trust me, thats what i started playing, and now i just have flat fingers. its more fun, and it grosses out all your friends. personally, i cant use a pick on bass, i find the gap to wide and the strings too thick, but alot of people do it so its not impossible.
    hope this is somewhat useful.
  14. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses

    Do you do only downstrokes, or also upstrokes? I can`t get those upstrokes correctly... any hints? I love 2 string strokes on d and g, but playing them only downstrokes seems a bit lame to me... hmm... help?:D
  15. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    I think he does use a plectrum like u said, cos you can sort of hear the bass using a flat pick sound on the album ''and out come the wolves'' but yeah like pesticle said, about using his fingers to do the stuff that matt can, i can also do it, depends how many fingers you can use while your picking, like me its three at a very top speed. and my right hand is very fast..(no masturbating jokes please)
  16. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    practice practice practice.. :)


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