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Using a Pick on 5 String?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by b to g is yummy, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. I do it sometimes. Do you? How often have you seen it done?
  2. Cernael


    Jun 28, 2008
    Kinda makes more sense than on a 4-string. The slightly tighter string spacing means it's a bit more guitarry, and the pick is generally thinner than your fingers, meaning it'll fit between them more easily.
  3. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    I just got an SX jazz 5 stringer, and with the tight string spacing, picking is easier than on a 19mm spacing.
  4. T40Chump


    Jul 12, 2008
    Plano, TX
    I did it for a while because a nasty laceration on my middle finger kept me from finger playing. It was very cool.
  5. Tenma4


    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    It's my primary method of making noise these days.
  6. biohazed


    Aug 31, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    i have done it .. it all depends on what i'm playing i can't get the speed i need sometimes finger picking like i can using a pick
  7. EviscerateNick


    May 9, 2007
    Endorsing Artist: THC GOLD
    the only reason i use a pick is because i cant play as fast as i would like with my fingers. still working on it.
  8. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I cannot see the difference between a 4 / 5 / 6/ 8 etc, and using a pick????
  9. i use a pic when im bored, i dont find it easier, i actually find it harder. \thats probebly cuz ive been playing finger style since i started.

    i cant pic for poop D:
  10. Jacko660


    Sep 9, 2008
    Same here aswell. Some times I use a pick to get a more raw sound, more assaulting if you follow...
  11. madmaskbass


    Apr 29, 2008
    i have owned 5 strings for about as long as i have been using a pick i found that any of the four strings i owned picking just never seemed comfortable or easy like alot of what people here are saying but once i converted to a 5 picking just seemed to click for me. only just recently have i started mixing both fingerstyle and picking together depending on the feel of the song. but yeah i feel that playing the lower registers needs that string attack to really make it pump. keep at it mate hopefully it turns out as well as it has for me
  12. panazza


    Nov 23, 2003
    most metal players do pick a 5 string....

    It's easier compared to a 4 because of the tighter string spacing.ù

    I also think that a picked low B sounds better.
  13. I've been a 5-strings player for 8 or 9 years, and I've been a pick player almost since my beginnings (12 years).
    So I ended beeing a pick player on a 5 strings, and that's no big deal. I don't get the point why a pick would be a better choice on a 5 strings while fingers would be better on a 4 ...

    The only case in which using a pick would be a better choice than fingers is when you play a doubled ou tripled strings bass (8 strings or 12 strings à la Hamer)


    Sep 7, 2005
    It's not a matter of being a better choice. Use whatever tool you want to get the job done. It's really just a preference. Period.
  15. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I use a pick on my five strings, both fretted and fretless, when that's the sound I want/need. I started fingerstyle and still prefer it, but there are some songs that just need a pick so I finally started working with picks a year or so ago. It's no more or less appropriate than slap, double thumbing, etc. It's just another tool to have on your pallette.

    For the record, all my basses are five strings so there was never a 4 vs. 5 issue when it came to a pick. But then again, I can't see how or why the number of strings would prohibit the use of a pick.
  16. Cernael


    Jun 28, 2008
    Not the number of strings per se, but the string-to-string spacing.

    Too narrow, and there's trouble getting the fingers to the string without hitting the one below with the nail (usually not trouble enough to really be trouble, but it's still something to consider). To test an extreme case, try playing bass-fingerstyle on a guitar. Awkward?

    Too wide, and string skipping becomes more awkward with a pick. Yes, even just skipping to the neigboring string.

    Granted, whether the string spacing is 18 or 19 mm is not a GREAT difference, but it's still a difference, and has some effect on playability.
  17. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    if the song calls for a pick then use a pick ...

  18. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I normally play fingerstyle, but grab a pick for a few songs (all on my 5-string, but that's a coincidence). Just another trick in the bag of tone.

  19. standupright


    Jul 7, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Brownchicken Browncow
    will never use a pick....ever....no fingers....no care

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