Switching to pick?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by seansbrew, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    Hello all, I recently joined a band and the type of music I am playing for this project is like no other I have ever played before. I am used to playing funk, rock, jam stuff. This band is hard blues based rock. I have never played with a pick before and am contemplating wether I should or not. I think it would suit this style of music best. And I am all for the music, that is why this is a hard decision. Have any you changed the way you play for the style of thy music? I will basically have to start from scratch and put some hard work into it. I am sure I will not be as proficient in fingerstyle after a while, but what else can I do. Should I stay with what I know best or learn something new? Any insight or experience into this would be helpful, Sean.
  2. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    I mainly play with my fingers, but I change to pick every now and again for a more crisp tone - it depends on the song, and there's most definitely nothing wrong with it! Remember that different weight picks give different tones again...

    I'm sure there'll be some tunes in the new band that you can play with your fingers? Every genre can have finger, pick, slap and pop... there are no limits with bass! I refuse to believe it's a boring instrument ;P But by no means should you just "change"... you should use both methods...
  3. With my band I play some songs with a pick and some without.

    It depends on the song. There are a few that are so fast I can't play them with my fingers, but it sounds better with a pick anyways.
  4. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    You're right, I guess it doesn't have to be one or the other. I guess I just have to figure out wich songs sound best with a pick and wich ones do not. It is probably a good idea to know how to play with a pick when needed. It will make me more versatile.
  5. PaulF


    Nov 17, 2004
    Hi all

    Anyone there who plays with both Picks and fingers have this problem?

    I switch over to Pick for about2-3 songs in the set (normally tracks with basslines that jump up and down across the strings a lot - I find it hard to keep all the srtings damped with fingers, so I play with a pick and rest the linky side of my right hand on the strings for damping).

    Anyway, when I switch over, all the bottom end drops out of my bass sound. I am trying to compensate for it by bringing up the neck pickup on my bass (which is fairly bassy), but even that's not enough.

    I'm thinking about getting some kind of EQ pedal to tryand compensate for this - but was wondering if there was anything else I could try?

    Any ideas / suggestions welcome.


  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    If you've already made it into the band then they probably like the way you play and sound already. I would wait a bit before busting out the plastic. Get really comfortable with the material and the band members first if you aren't already, do what you can to get a more aggressive sound but don't do anything major that will effect your timing and smoothness. It is important that you establish yourself on firm, musical ground that you are comfortable with. Once this process is complete THEN bust out the pick at rehearsal, talk about it and see what everybody thinks.
    While this "feeling out" process is taking place I would suggest practicing with the pick at home, then if you decide to bust it out at rehearsal you can say that it's your first time playing with one and they will all be impressed!!
  7. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    Thanks for the advice. I think I will do exactly that. :)
  8. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    Just thought I'd update you on my recent progress - I know it's only been a few weeks or so, but I've been jamming about three times a week with mates, and my speed has come on something astounding... I can play all the songs I used to play with my pick with my fingers, and I feel like I have more control...

    Although I still maintain my intial post's opinion (that there's different tones to be achieved through pick playing), I don't see anything wrong with playing all songs with fingers (if you're fast enough!).

    Honestly... I can't believe the transition!