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Switching to a Pick

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by skidmarkbass, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. At 51 and many years of finger style, i might switch to using a pick. The nuckles on my right pointer finger hurt all the time, and when i wake up in the morning it is hard to move. I used a pick last night at practice and it actually sounded ok, but i'm afraid to jump into a gig with a pick just yet. Has anyone made this transition?
  2. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I played a whole show once with a Pic just for the hell of it. Never played with one before that but It went great. You'd be very surprised how easy it is.
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
  4. jmceachern36

    jmceachern36 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Cambridge MA
    I was having wrist problems a few years back and had to use a pick for a while. At the time I thought it was a forever switch. I just practiced a little bit at home and went right to it using it at the gigs. You'll get used to it quickly. Don't worry. You can always use your fingers on tunes you are struggling with. My guess is that, just like in my situation, using the pick will give you time to heal and after, you'll have the abillity to play with a pick or your fingers. I have a pick attached to my headstock now and use it when i get tired or when it's usefull for me. Good luck with the fingers. Hope it heals quickly.
  5. rhp335


    Aug 3, 2006
    Kansas City
    I'm a few years older than you but I find switching between pick and fingers gives my hand some rest and since you have finger style down already you're good to go
  6. thebassbuilder


    Mar 7, 2012
    Spartanburg SC
    guitar builder, Meyers Guitars
    I have gone to a pick now more than anything else. I will have wrist issue but that is not why. Now I love the sounds I get with a pick over fingers in most cases. Once you learn how to use and how to set the tone on the bass, a pick can be used in any type of music. I have found I have more control over my playing now and can do more in some cases than with fingers only. So just practice and go for it. If you find the attack is to much roll off the highs some. Good luck.
  7. Abrahampost


    Feb 22, 2013
    I made the transition this past year and have fallen in love. I have a few grooves i cant quite lock inn still but i found the improvement in tone of a rigid pick on the low b string to be excellent. Everyone has their preferences, for me the switch made sense. Also, i found myself developing some new licks during the transition as well.
  8. octaverazor


    Jun 3, 2009
    Houma, LA
    People always comment on my right hand. I switch between pick, finger and open hand. Sometimes in the same song.
  9. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I always used to play only using my fingers. I couldn't use a pick well, even if I wanted to.
    From 2010-2012 I stopped playing bass and started learning to play bouzouki, which uses a pick. In 2012 I decided to switch back to bass.
    After a few long practice sessions of finger picking an old hand/tendon injury was keeping me from playing with my fingers. Without even thinking about it, I grabbed a pick and started playing, no problems, no thought put into it...just playing. After a bit I had to remind myself to realize that I used to not be able to use a pick at all.
    The 2 years of bouzouki helped me with that.

    Now that I am in a gigging band again, after many years, I play some songs with a pick and others with my fingers, for reasons of sound/style. However, if/when my tendon problem kicks in, I know i can now rely on using a pick if need be.
  10. I play pick and fingers . I actually feel more comfortable with a pick and have recently progressed into jazz but my teacher encourages me to fingers. I actually prefer a softer more flexible pick
  11. I could never play with a pick, but I got one of these six string short scale piccolo basses a couple of weeks ago. SchmidtGuitar2_zps1ad87caf. I'm learning to use a pick with it so I can strum chords. I may try to adapt the technique to my regular bass, even though my friends who play bass discourage using a pick. I should point out that one of these is a pick player.
  12. jaxstarke


    Nov 6, 2010
    Can't play with a pick to save my life. Wish I could but it just ain't happenin'. I'm talking mainly about metal style music with a lot of alternate picking and string jumping (check out Dave Ellefson).....just can't do it. Seems I'm "stuck" with finger style.
  13. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Check out the link, it offers a few ideas to consider, reminds everyone that using a pick is an option to use as valid as any other technique....it is not limiting it is just another skill......and yes you are still a bass player for using one.......because you are playing bass with it.:)

  14. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Just work up your tunes with the pick prior to gigs & it will feel pretty
    good on the gig.
    I use a pick once in a while for tone & attack in some tunes.
  15. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    not always picking, but i noticed how cool my new jazz sounded with a pick recently and thought that it was a really nice contrast to the fingers
  16. Johnnywad


    Jan 20, 2013
    Started out with a pick. Now switch between both. Depends on the sound and speed I need.
  17. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Better link now added, the other link caused connection problems for a few people........let me know if there are any issues with this one.:)

  18. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Nice one Fergie ! To my knowledge, there are not many video clips out there demonstrating the pick method in detail like this. :)
  19. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Its one of my most request issues at clinics.....OK I play predominantly with my fingers, but I learned to use a pick back in the 1970's when it was a basic requisite to recording in some cases....record the line using a pick because it was the best signal available, so learning to damp from both hands was needed, but i developed the forefinger dampening which i called a "pinch damp' when playing lines that used a fast alternating stroke that the palm of the hand could not achieve on its own.
    The pinch harmonics happened when I first went back to roundwounds as the flats did not really highlight them...so complete fluke in finding that my dampening from the forefinger offered another sound to use.:)

  20. Great demo of using a pick. Thanks.

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