Why do you pick? (aka, pick thread)

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Selta, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Ok, well, not to recently I started using a pick, again. I've found I generally like the Dunlops 1.5mm or 2mm picks. I was just wondering, do YOU use a pick? Why, and if you don't, why not? If you do, what size(s) do you like best?
    For me, I like picks for the tone they bring out in my basses. Espically my Koa RSB. The people in my band as well like the sound better when I use a pick, so I do again.
    So yeah, if ya people could just answer these and reply, I wanna turn this into a info thread for people, such as myself wondering why to pick and why not to pick, etc. etc. Anyone care to begin? (pppllllleeeeeaaaaaassssssseeeeee!?)

    _RaY_ THE Bad Habit Bassist (definitly not something to be proud of)
  2. Clayton .88mm Delrins are nice(triangle)
  3. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Sometimes the song just calls for a pick. I'll play all night, three full sets, with only my fingers, but then it'll come to those two songs that just need a pick: "My Hero" by the Foo Fighters, and "Fuel" by Metallica.
    Certain basses, as you said, lend themselves to it. My Roscoe sounds like absolute crap with a pick. My 8-string pretty much requires one, since the strings are spaced so tightly.
    Typically, I prefer Fender Mediums. The best picks I ever found are the ones sent with Larrivee guitars. I need to find out who they get them from, because they are killer.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    If the songs calls for it (For The Love Of Money).

    Sharkfins from Sweden, the red ones.
  5. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Ok, so this thread is of to a sluggish start, lets try to put a spin on it....if you don't use a pick, why not? And if you say "when a song calls for it", explain why that, or those, songs call for it? Just curious about other's reasonings here.
    _RaY_ THE Bad Habit Bassist (definitly not something to be proud of)
  6. fireworks_god


    Oct 30, 2002
    Hi, I use a pick. hehe

    When I first started playing bass, I didn't have an amplifier, so I used a pick so I could hear myself play.

    But there are legit reasons why I still use a pick. I love the sound, when I use my fingers, the notes sort of sound dull. I like using a pick because of the speeds I can get going (like 225 bpm sixteenth notes). When I am playing with a pick, there is just so much more that I have the option of doing, throwing in faster notes in slower riffs being one of the main ones. I also have no problem skipping strings either, I can play alternate, fast notes on the E and G string without ****ing up the time.

    But yeah, I use the Dunlop Gator picks, 2.0. It is fun as hell, pushing that pick back and forth... :D
  7. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I don't use picks because I can't get used to them.

    I used to play Green Day's "When I Come Around" with a pick (to get the same tone as Mike Dirnt), but I kept missing notes with that damn thing, so I started using my fingers but plucking a bit harder, à la Steve Harris.

    I like the tone of a pick-played bass (when it is well executed), it's just not my style. But I still love Chris Squire!
  8. Melf


    Mar 20, 2003
    Starkville, MS
    I use a pick when I'm trying to add some growl to my tone, or the song I'm playing. Sometimes songs just sound better to me with a pick. Other times I'm forced to use a pick because I can't play 16th notes at 150 bpm with my fingers:bawl:
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I use a pick if the bassist who originally did that song uses one.

    Iuse Dunlop Triangle Stubbys 2mm.
  10. sunburstbasser


    Oct 18, 2003
    I almost never use a pick. The only time I do is when I'm in a Yes mood and want to play "Roundabout" properly.
  11. I rarely use one. I love the feeling of fingers on steel... it's more personal to me. Hell, I usually strum a guitar with my finger nails too.

    When I need a pick tone I usually have some fender heavy whites around
  12. I never had the need arise that I needed one, but if the need did arise, I'd be lost without this thread.
  13. MyNameIsMUD


    Sep 25, 2003
    Well, I used to mainly play guitar and the main reason I picked up the bass was becuase it seems a little more personal when you dont use a pic. just you your fingars nothing in between.
    Plus I likebeing able to change up techniques quickly from soft picking to slap/pop to tap to fingar strumbing and anything else your heart may desire.

    oh, and I have always been paranoid of dropp'ing a pic while im on stage in the middle of a riff... :p
  14. That hurt to read...such bad spelling...even worse than stuie!!
  15. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I use a pick to be punk...

    in all seriousness, I think that use of the pick is an excellent thing to have in your bag of tricks... there are somethings/tones that just cannot be achieved without one. I use the dunlup .88's... the grey ones with the textured top... sexy.
  16. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    i like picks. i can play with my fingers and do a lot of the time. anything i can play with my fingers i can do w/ a pick and vice versa. but with my pick i can get such an aggressive tone. the brass seems to give me more top and bottom end, i just love them on dr lo-riders.

    i use brass picks made by teckpick. i think they're sweet. i have a few other metal ones, a dava control grip w/ a metal tip, some cymbalic metal picks made by gorilla snot i think, some copper ones made by hotlicks. but the brass teckpicks are just it for me.

    i really f'ed up the finish on my p-bass with them too. playing drunk w/ finish scratching picks isn't a bright thing to do btw.

    as far as reasons for playing with a pick it always a tone/feel thing. when i want smoother lines i use my fingers, jerky aggressive lines i use my pick.
  17. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    Been ages since I last used a pick. Nothing against the technique, I just dislike the tone but I agree that it's useful to learn how to use a pick. I used Dunlop Gator picks, I still have a bunch of them lying somewhere around here.They're specially coated I think.
  18. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    This pretty much has me covered. And JMX's "When the song calls for it"... the thread should have ended there. Some songs call for pick, some fingerstyle, some tapping, some slapping, some you need to take off your damn shoe and smack it against the fretboard. You know... what the song calls for.

    P.S. In Flames = Awesome.
  19. same here...
  20. I use it to get a Guitar like honk with the hi-mids. It also causes a little bit more note clarity.

    Usually during "RAWK" sets or bands, I use a pick. Just because it gives more clarity in the mix rather than a Jazz band mix.
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