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Using a pick is easier?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by btrag, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. btrag


    Mar 7, 2005
    Here's my story guys: When I first took acoustic guitar lessons, I was taught to play as a righty. I'm a lefty. Needless to say, I gave up and switched to bass. *I still play bass as if I were a righty, even though I'm a lefty.

    I play fingerstyle and have had a lot of success. I can play very fast with just the index and middle. So, I hear a lot of talk about "cheating during fast passages by using a pick." I find it more difficult to play with a pick. Is it because I'm using my gimpy hand to hold the pick? Does anyone else find it easier to play with their fingers?
  2. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Fingerstyle is easier for me simply because I've been doing it for much longer. It's only a matter of practice.
  3. conk97


    May 2, 2005
    redditch, uk
    i find fingers alot easier..i can play way faster and cleaner with my fingers than i can with a pick.

    But pick players will say the opposite, its just a matter of what each person is comfertable playing with.
  4. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Using a pick isn't cheating. It's just as hard to sound good with a pick as it is to make your fingerstyle playing sound good.
  5. I suppose people would say it is easier to strike those 16th notes with a pick(with practice mind you!) than with fingers.. but honestly whatever you practice more will be easier. Using a pick, fingers, thumb etc. is all just about achieving the sound you desire. I don't really think any method is 'easier', though I do prefer my fingers.
  6. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003

    what's the objective, to play some music or to impress someone who's sitting there with a clipboard and scorecard?

    thinking about this technique or that technique as 'cheating' is about as uncreative and unartistic a frame of mind as you can get
  7. I dunno if the frequency of this same question being asked over and over is going to either

    a) make me curl up in the fetal position while screaming insane things, like the alphabet for instance, skipping every 3rd letter


    b) drive me to drink and crash into lakes.

    could be either. by the time the next one is posted, say in half an hour, I will give you my results. If I'm still able to type.
  8. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    There was a "Guitar Player" interview, in 1975, I think, with Stanley Clarke. The interviewer asked him whether he ever used a pick and he (at the time, the reigning super-duper-monster of bass technique), said something like, "I can't use a pick. Lord knows I've tried."

    Whatever works for you!!

    Or, learn to do both! (More tones at your disposal!)
  9. neely


    Sep 5, 2005
    well, i think playing with a pick is a lot easier...i've tried finger style, but it's too frustrating.i worked hard on my technique, but i can't play the G-string properly, i never seem to get any faster, and so on...it just makes me aggressive, every time i try to get any further and nothing happens..but i like the playing-with-fingers -sound so much :(
    so i think if you're switching from fingers to pick, it could be easier than the other way round, and it would also not take so much time..
  10. I'm also an ex-guitarist (left handed playing right handed)

    When I play guitar I can use a pick no problems - but for some reason when I pick on bass I get feal bad cramp between my thumb/index - so I just use fingers to stop the cramp...

    Does anyone know why I may be getting cramp? - It could be how I'm using the plectrum, but its more or less the same as when I play guitar so... :confused: :confused: :confused:
  11. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    my guess is that it's because you're playing harder and moving further from string to string than on a guitar...

    moving a 9 gauge guitar string up and down will always be a lot easier than playing on a 105 gauge bass string :)
  12. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Maybe if it's asked enough, you'll finally be conditioned not to bother opening the pick threads in the first place. :D
  13. I know, I know...but it's like my "crack". I'm addicted to posting in them. Figured that'd be obvious by now.... ;)
  14. Bullet-Bob


    Aug 20, 2005
    Perhaps a FAQ could be created and stickied addressing the issues of Picking versus Plucking?
  15. Been sayin that for a year now. But I secretly don't want it, it would curb my addiction.
  16. I never had to use a pick until I got into a surf rock band. Everything is 16th notes, and fingerstyle or slapping just doesn't cut through the mix. My right hand cramped like hell for the first two weeks. :bawl:

    I sure got a new appreciation for Dick Dale and the other surf masters. I had no idea how much of an aerobic workout it is for everyone in the band...including the bass player! :bassist:
  17. TomAngelripper


    Aug 30, 2005
    Well...Gene uses a pick and he's awesome but if you study with fingers pick sounds difficult!!I used to play guitar for years but i play bass with fingers!!!
  18. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I was in a band that opened for Huey Lewis & the News during their glory days, and I remember noting that the bass player, Mario Cippolina, used thumbpicks with regular flatpicks glued onto them. Presumably, he liked the size and shape of flatpicks, but by using thumbpicks he could keep his hand open and relaxed the whole show-- no gripping required. I've never tried this myself, but I've always thought it was a cool idea.
  19. 20one


    Jan 10, 2003
    Abilene, TX
    There's really no right or wrong way to play... for some of the stuff I play, I use fingers, pick, and sometimes a thumbpick and fingers. The easiest way you can find to produce the sound you want is what you're looking for. The best way you can learn with a pick is to play some of the easiest songs you can play with a pick, get used to those, then keep running up the ladder until you get to where you can play your advanced finger style songs with a pick :)
  20. this is somewhat odd. i usually get dirty looks from the purist bassists because i use a pick, never thought i'd see a thread like this.