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Why Hate Pick Players?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by sohamorrohit, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. I know this has been done like a million times. No. Like a gazillion times but I still can't figure out why these two styles can't be accepted as a package for a bass player rather than a this vs that debate. When I first started playing bass I was totally into funk and funk-fusion. So I never used a pick. And even if I ever wanted to, the fact that I love slapping a lot made it difficult to switch mid-song. But recently I joined a punk band (I'm surprised that punk has actually strengthened my technique - speed and finger strength to be precise) and on many songs I find that it's easier/better to play with a pick. And just the other day, another bassist here, saw me playing with a pick and said "You play with a pick? Oh cool. So do you play anything beside root notes?"
    Now, I don't take comments like those personally but that made me angry. :mad: After 2 years of covering Sly and The Family Stone, Funkadelic and Jaco I dont need anybody telling me that.
    So, why EXACTLY is a pick-using-bassist synonymous with a noob? I mean most guitarists use picks but the ones that use fingers (most old country-blues players, Knopfler, Albert King, Derek Trucks, Chet Atkins and EVEN John Mayer, to an extent) don't get **** for finger-picking. So why us? :rollno: :confused:
  2. Jeff 66

    Jeff 66

    Nov 5, 2009
    Add Lindsay Buckingham to the list of fingerstyle guitarists.

    But yeah, I don't get it either. I don't play with a pick often, and because of that, my pick technique is underdeveloped. It's a valid technique that serves many styles of music very well.

    I personally find anti-pick prejudice to be a sign of noobishness.
    MCF and organworthyplayer337 like this.
  3. >234 replies
  4. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    i am actually learning to use a pick. it is another skill that could set you aside when looking for work.
    nolaguy likes this.
  5. I don't know how long you've been playing but I've been at this instrument (and a few others) for a long time and what I've found is you need to reach a point where you don't give a hoot what anyone says about how you get your sound. And that's valid for everything from instruments, strings, amps, cables, whatever. Oh, and picks. Do what works, and picks are a valid tool for any bass guitarist that's been proven over the years by too many greats to list (they don't work so well on upright but then you have a bow :ninja:).

    So just brush off the negativity if it's affecting you, not worth it and just play on.
  6. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    There are some techniques that are VERY useful and versatile when it comes to getting certain tones or getting close to another player's sound. I find fingerstyle and picking to both be basic techniques for the right hand and each player should be able to at least execute them with a decent amount of dexterity.

    Other techniques like pop/slap, tapping, and double-thumbing are all good techniques but aren't really required in most of your bass tunes (Funk and RHCP aside). I feel pop/slap is incredibly important for me concerning my goals for tone and style as a bassist, but if you can nail the basic two mentioned above then you should be solid on most anything people will lay at you.

    EDIT: Picking just sounds freakin cool, people should get over it and work it along with the fingerstyle!
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  7. I'd like to disagree with the initial question of this thread. I haven't seen much hate towards pick players for quite a while. The general consensus that I've seen tends to be that there's nothing wrong with using a pick.

    So I'd like to know where the idea that there's hate towards pick players is coming from?
  8. Agreed, my best guess it's a hang-over from back in the day when a lot of folks starting bass guitar used picks and as they were newbs they probably didn't sound as competent as finger style players who were more established (we're talking 60s through early 70s, and yes, I'm old enough to remember those daze ;)). And, people being people, a lot of insecurities fronting as superiority complexes emerged based on that, no doubt not even listening to or realizing Joe Osborn and Carol Kaye (among a ton of other players of that era) were using picks to devastating effect :bassist:

    I've run into a couple of bass guitarists and other musicians (younger and older than me) not all that long ago who still carry this baggage of pick style as somehow inferior to finger style, so alas, it still circulates a bit but it at least in my experience it's been long on the wane. YMMV, IMHO etc.......
  9. ???

    I play whatever style suits the tune or the gig.
  10. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    I can tell u when I like a bassline, I never care if it was recorded with a pick, finger, slap, upright.
    Flatwoundround likes this.
  11. I never use picks (on guitar or bass) but it's only because I always drop them!
  12. rob_thebassman


    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    i learned bass with a pick and still playing with a pick
  13. scaldin


    Apr 5, 2011
    This guy made me re-think pick players:
  14. Electricblue


    Feb 1, 2011
    I play guitar and bass, both fingerstyle and with a pick. What you gonna do?
  15. i play with a pick as much as i can. works for me...
  16. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Don't be such a cry baby. Just play what you want to play.
  17. anonymous122511

    anonymous122511 Guest

    Dec 28, 2010
    Cool. Definitely got his own thing going on. Carol Kaye would have some scolding words about his right wrist but it seems to be working for him.

    And I don't think there's any real hate for pick players just some obvious stereotypes coupled with the fact that playing well with a pick takes years to get together. I know I avoided it for years because it was initially a lot easier to get a good sound with my fingers. I don't think my experience was unique.
  18. I've used a pick from day one, the blue tortex 1mm sharps to be specific. Or the white Clayton .80mm, depending on desired sound.

    I can walk a line but I prefer not to. Picks work for me.
  19. Honestly, I was trained to pluck--- I have been plucking away for years and years.

    Now i find myself in a pretty successful rock band, looking for more aggressive tones from time to time. That's just one instance where playing with a pick will come in handy (pun intended).

    The long-short of it is this:

    For me at least, learning to develop my picking technique has been much more difficult than it was for me to learn finger style bass playing. I'm still not comfortable playing live with a pick, after months and months of practicing.

    Has anyone had similar experiences?

    Also, what kind of picks do you guys prefer? I'm really digging 2mm picks my guitarist had lying around. I feel like I have a lot more control than when I use floppy fender picks... although they are really good for lighting on fire.
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Why Hate Pick Players?


    Because we are sooo good at what we do the fingerstyle players can't keep up ...


    Seriously ... I am a better pick player than finger player ... but I use the style that fits the song.