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what thinkness of picks i should use

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by moelll, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. moelll


    Apr 25, 2003
    placentia, CA, USA
    Ok, i'm new here and i am playing bass since summer of '01 and i have some questions.

    what thickness of picks should i use for speed metal (150 bpm+)?

    what excersises should i do to make my fingers faster such as doing fast 8ths on my left hand

    and finally is distortion on a bass a good idea?

    if theres any answers, it would be much appreciated

    :bassist: :bag:
  2. Personally, I don't favor pics on any bass playing but a regular Fender Heavy pic should do just fine. Some good exersizes for finger speed are Jaco's River People and Teen Town and various classical studies for bass or cello.
  3. supernaut_1

    supernaut_1 Guest

    Dec 16, 2002
    wow, i like your style, it reminds of myself. anyways i personally find a dunlop gator grip .96 mm suits me and what i play quite well, but anything above .80 mm will work. and as for distortion, it's just a matter of opinion, personally i love it and use it often.
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I use a stainless steel pick that I grabbed from the music store. It's thin, but much more rigid than any of the plastic picks I've ever used (Dunlop cats tongue and Dava control picks mostly, a couple of Fenders).
  5. cjgallen


    Oct 19, 2001
    I've been fooling around with picks lately (been finger style for 3 years), and my favorite is a .58mm Dunlop Gator Grip. I suck with thick picks for some reason :confused:
  6. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I have been using a pick a little more often as well when I need to do the punk 16ths, but I am favoring the thinner pick for some reason. I have some of the Gators, but I sometimes get hungup on the down and up stroke. It's probably technique...
  7. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Go with the 2 cm picks :D

    I doubt you'd need more than 1mm. I've got a few of those, and though I almost never play with a pick, they don't bend at all when i play. So if you want your pick to be rock solid, go with 1mm. For some flexibility, go with thinner, obviously :)
  8. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    If you play metal/ Speed metal, you want Dunlop Tortex purple ones......sad huh. don't know the thickness, just always got the purple/pinkish ones.
    Found gator grips TO thick for speed, but thin ones to flimsy for true pick tone on bass strings. The purple/pinkish dunlop tortex picks worked the best for me.
  9. I use stainless steel picks when I play as well....
    I also have Fender Extra Heavy picks... I mostly use my fingers though... But when I pick that's what I use... I own four of each because I'm such a forgetful bastard... :D
  10. CS Bass

    CS Bass

    Feb 18, 2003
    I like the Dunlop Tortex 0.0mm ;)

    I think they are the clear kind.
  11. fender Heavy picks are good... but the Mediums might make speed a bit easier.
    whenever i fool around with picking, i use a dime or a penny. the pennies are more cost-efficient though.;) :D
  12. just trial and error, develop your own style, you need to just buy a bunch of picks and find your favorite, and about the distortion thing you need to just see what sounds and feels the best, we cant make your style, only you can
  13. squire_pwr


    Apr 15, 2003
    San Diego, CA.
    I like the big wide fender ones (though I can't seem to find the ones I thought I had...). The regular guitar pick sized ones seem too small to me and I always hit my palm against the string when I get too into it. Like what Todd Stanley said, just go to a local music shop and buy a couple of bass picks and see what you like. your research would cost 2 bucks at most, and that's if you try almost every pick there. :p

    And distortion on the bass CAN be a good idea, but it depends how you use it. I like that firey sound the bassist from RATM sometimes uses (I forget which songs tho). Good luck finding stuff!
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    A metal pick is better, or a thin soft plastic pick.

    If you use a hard plastic pick for quick metal music, it's going to be teared up/melted in 20 minutes and will leave mud on you strings and bass.
    I'm 100 % serious.

    Fingers are much better for speed metal.
    Look at Di Giorgio or Alex Webster.
  15. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    If memory serves me well, these are 1.14 mm.

    During my rare pick moments, I was using a .60 mm Dunlop Tortex pick (the orange ones). I don't like heavy picks, since they seem to "move" the strings too much. With a supple pick, I can get an attack similar to fingerstyle, but with the pick tone. I don't like playing with the pick very much, though, but I like the tone.
  16. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    You speak of wisdom, sir! :)
  17. supernaut_1

    supernaut_1 Guest

    Dec 16, 2002
    you can't play as fast with thinner picks then with bigger ones (like i said earlier .96mm is perfect). and it seems like it would be hard to shred with a metal pick but i've never tried one.
  18. Fingers are best, really. Tho if I do use a pick for whatever reason, it's a 1mm.

    To speed your fingers, try strumming with a strong one. Only one. If you're having a hard time with it, tap your fingers in the pattern that you want them to go on tables, books, whatever.
  19. squire_pwr


    Apr 15, 2003
    San Diego, CA.
    Do you mean playing a fast song with just one finger? Maybe my fingers are slow, but that sounds pretty hard! :eek: I better start practicing. Are you going just one direction, like normal finger style, or are you pretending your finger is a pick and going up/down?
  20. I do both pick and fingers - like Mike Watt says, it's always good to have more tools in the box.

    As far as picks, I've vaulted between 1 and 2 mm for as long as I can remember. I kinda settled on picks around 1.44mm at some point, which were about the thickness the old Fender Extra Heavys (Stevie Ray Vaughan's preferred pic) were.

    For excercises, I would say from experience that almost any chromatic riff would do, but beyond that, I would say get ahold of the book Bass Fitness (published by Hal Lenoard, available from Amazon.com and MusicDispatch.com )- very good hand exercises in that book.

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