Why do they play near the neck with a pick?!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by kirbywrx, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    I was watching the clip for "in the end" by linkin park, and their bass player is playing a beautiful stringray, with a pick. but he is playing near the neck! I tried it, and it gets a horrible sound!!

    Even a few guys i saw live do it and it makes me cringe! Guitarists do it aswell, and one of my freinsd ends up playing around 12th fret!!

    Why do they do it? or is it just their personal technique?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The only thing I can think of is for speed.

    If they have the neck to stop them from going to far, it allows them to play a a lot sloppier but still really fast.
  3. I think a lot of rock/metal players do it to get more of a percussive sound- ie. the strings hitting the frets.
    UK band Therapy's bassist did this when he used Status basses (he uses Stingrays now- dunno if he still plays like that).
  4. futurefame


    Jul 5, 2003
    personally, I don't play with a pick at all, but anyway. the reason to play at the neck position is to get better bass tone. playing at the bridge position gives you a more twangy tone. true, the strings stay tighter at the bridge, but for me, playing with my fingers is easier at the neck pickup position. i play many different styles, i use several different techniques and play them all at the neck position. i personally don't like the tone of basses with 1 bridge pickup, they are way too twangy for me, but you are right about the crappy tone of playing a musicman at the neck.
  5. XxBassmanxX


    Nov 21, 2001
    Rosman NC
    Well when i play a bass with 1 pickup its really hard to get a "smooth" sound. I usually play up against the neck when i want less attack. Its especially hard to play legato when you only have a bridge pup. I dont use a pick though.

  6. I do it because I play through a crappy little amp, and the only way to get it to sound like I'm playing an actual bass is to play near the neck.

    I do it with the fingers as well.
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    People pick in different spots to get different sounds, it's that simple. The tone you get changes based on where along the string you pluck it.

    Closer to the bridge, it gets tighter and treblier. Closer to the neck it gets darker and rounder.
  8. Keep in mind that they don't play for real in a clip, they're only acting. And I think it's not a StingRay, but a Sterling.
  9. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    When playing some metal you can get the claking noise of the fret. You can also play a little harder and get a plucking noise which is easier to do closer to the neck.
  10. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Also keep in mind that if you have decent technique you can play right over the edge of a fretboard with a pick and not get any fret click at all.

    I play right over the edge of the fretboard with a metal pick, and get nothing but pure tone goodness.

    It's just a matter of having some control.

    Steve Swallow and Joe Osborn both play at the edge of the fretboard, and no one has complained about any fret noise with either of them...