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Using A Pick!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by monkeylover009, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. Im just curious if any off use can tell me is there any advantage of using pick on a bass and why do so many bassist do it? In my opinion ya might as well just play a guitar!
  2. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
  3. There are most certainly advantages and disadvantages for every picking style. But.. they all have their place.. Just listen to the sound and sustain differences between fingers and a pick. Notice how you can get that fat warm sound with fingers, and usually a brighter sustaining sound with pick.
    I mostly play with my fingers now, but when I first picked up the bass, I was ALL pick. I never thought I could be fast enough with a finger picking style, but was I wrong!
    Don't hold yourself back by thinking you need to choose between one or the other. Learn every conceivable style you can and practice it. Sure, you'll eventually find one that works better for you than others, but you'll still be able to turn to the others when needed.

  4. thunder-pick


    Jun 9, 2005
    :confused: Using that logic I guess guitarists shouldn't play fingerstyle either (classical, flamenco etc.). There are advantages to both styles, I have mainly been playing with a pick for 25 years. I can play using my fingers but I prefer the percussive sound of the pick striking the strings.
  5. ZerO127


    Jun 15, 2005
    Just signed up today. I use a pick. When I do it makes the sounding louder and a little more high pitched. When I use my fingers the sound is deeper. So if it is a headbanging song that is loud and the lead is drounding you out use a pick. If the song isnt that loud you can use a pick of fingers. Fingers make the sound deeper. And the pick makes sound louder and higher.
  6. billbern


    Sep 11, 2004
    Daytona Beach, Fl
    Endorsing: Inearz In-ear Monitors
    Man, finally someone posted something that makes sense. In all these fingers vs. pick threads it seems to me all methods of vibrating the strings have a place. Fingers, thumb, slap, pop, pick, funk fingers, Ebow have there own sound, attack. I hope and I'm pretty sure there'll be more in the future (musicians tend to experiment alot, eh?)

    I'm ready for the attack, guys
  7. Iruleonbass


    May 29, 2005
    New York
    What are the advantages...

    Well im taking bass lessons now and my teacher wants me to finger pick, but when I try to play songs at home and I need notes to ring out, I have to finger pick in this really really akward position. Like playing open on D and than playing a riff on g string letting D ring out.

    My first instrument, was a guitar, I played for 4 months and got a bass, so the pick is what felt good for me, it also sounds good to me. When I do finger pick, I know im doing something wrong I think, but playing 8th notes constantly, there's a stupid little mute inbetween every note. I can finger pick on a guitar, stairway to heaven (I can't play anymore than a about 40 seconds worth), But on bass I just can't do it.

    The question I'd like to ask to you, why do you care about what other people do? Are you that insecure about yourself? I could care less about if people say I suck becuase I pick, mean while they walk on stage and slap one note and than 2 minutes later another one. But do I go and say they suck, no becuase I dont give a ****. So please drop the subject..not just you everyone.

    I dont get you people, you think you god on bass becuase you can finger pick, Not all of you, the people who post threads like these.
  8. I truly honestly give up. HOW MANY MORE TIMES can this thread come up? How many truly ignorant-to-the-subject- people can there possibly be on this bulletin board?

    Play your bass any way you want and stop caring about how others play theirs. If you TRULY in your heart of hearts look down on someone for the manner in which they play their instrument, you really need to get a life. Quick. Like now.

    I hate to be a dink, but really comeon. Mods, make a sticky or something.

  9. Be a man. Use your teeth.
  10. Well I haven't read any of those other threads on this subject so I'm gonna add my two pence worth.

    Some of the greatest ever bass players are pick players - James Jamerson, Carol Kaye and Chris Squire plus some who are probably not known to you Americans like Bruce Foxton and Jean-Jacques Burnel, because they had a sound and style which could not be achieved using fingers.

    Pesonally I prefer using fingers but it's a pretty pointless to state that one way is right and one way is wrong because some types of music just scream out for the sound of a pick.

    The grunt of a Precision being played with a pick is in my opinion just the best bass sound ever.
  11. Aerolithe


    Jan 23, 2005
    Columbia, MO
    I pretty much never play with a pick, I'm all about using my fingers, I just love the feel of it. However, I much prefer the tone I can get with a pick and intend to learn to use one once I'm better with my fingers. It's stupid to dismiss a playing style for no reason, the only argument against it I've heard is it's somehow only for guitarist. Guitar and bass are very similar in their construction and you should embrace any techniques you can get from another instrument if it means you can achieve a wider variety of styles and tones, guitarist are musicians too and you really shouldn't hold such a grudge against them and their methods.

    Furthermore, the argument that you may as well play guitar if you are going to use a pick is outright stupid, and implies the only difference between the instruments is one is played with a pick while the other is not, which is far from accurate.
  12. Yeah I agree, but maybe the guy's a closet guitarist, cos everyone knows that all guitarists can also play the bass
  13. conk97


    May 2, 2005
    redditch, uk
    I think the main reason why alot of bassists use a pick is because they are more comfertable using a pick.
  14. Yeah. Guitarists can do ANYTHING. Just ask 'em. :D
  15. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I'm sure this has been done to death!
    It doesn't matter how you do it, the end result is what counts. If you got a gig, or people who are willing to jam with you and you are enjoying yourself than that's all that matters, IMO.
    I knew a guy who made his own picks out of cracked cymbols(only ziljians!) and was the hardest rocking bass player around for years!!
    The "pick" stereotype is not without truth, we've all heard people playing in jazz band and other situations where the "attack" of a pick is just plain wrong, but picks will always be effective and usefull in the right situation in the right hands. I will even venture to say that I am limited by not bieng able to use one, in years passed when I was playing music that may have benifited from it I cramped-up, dropped it, broke strings, you name it, I just could not do it and I am less of a BASSIST because of it, not less of a GUITARIST!!!
  16. ^ Word.

  17. In addition to this quote, it appears Bass Player answered my comments, as this month's issue (which I just PICK-ed up) does indeed spotlight a bassist whom has NO arm on his plucking hand...in fact, it's a hook. His name? Bill Clements. Check out his album "undergroundalienbass", and then shut yer trap. :bassist:

    I bet dollar to donuts this guy could play RINGS around the lot of you purists.

    And before you cry "that's different, he's handicapped", please, save it.
  18. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    Almost every one of my bass playing heroes use fingers.
    I'm left handed and play a right handed instrument (long story--too late for a do over) that's why I've always used a pick.
    Playing bass is the only thing I do right handed.
    I can do well enough with a pick.

    Can I ever become a virtuoso bassist using a pick only?
    I don't know of any.

    Can I sing a song and hold the bottom?
    I've done that in local clubs for 35 years.

    Advantages to using a pick?
    Only if you've mastered fingerstyle as well.

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