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Why so much Hate towards the Pick.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Desi, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. Desi


    Jan 11, 2005
    I play fingered and picked Bass, and I love doing my thing the way I see fit, but I'd like to know why so many Bass Players dislike the idea of playing with a Pick. When I fiddle around with the Basses at a my local GC I'd often get funny stares when I bust out a Pick, and others cringe at the sight of all the different Picks I use.

    I know I should not care what others think, but when I feel the disdainful stare and the condescending snicker of other Bass Players, it kind of starts getting to me.
  2. Diowulf

    Diowulf Guest

    Aug 4, 2004
    San Rafael CA
    I've stopped getting angry when people use picks. Everytime my friend sees a bassist use a pick he says "dude he's using a pick" I shrug it off, because I know that it's usually for tone and not because they can't play with their fingers. I don't ever use a pick, but I don't look down upon people that do. If you have fun playing with a pick then do so.
  3. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    I don't get it... there's nothing wrong with playing with a pick, although I very rarely do.

    Now... if I ever meet a bassist that CAN'T play with his fingers, I guffaw at them... the option of being able to play with a pick gives you more scope, but you shouldn't JUST limit yourself to it.

    I personally don't like the sound, or the feeling of a pick in my hand. I don't feel like I have as much control as with my fingers... after all, what's 1 pick to 3 fingers and a double-thumb? :p
  4. I very rarely use a pick, and I'm an ex-guitarist. Out of 150 songss written with my current band, 1 song gets played with a pick. I think it is more about the tradition of using your fingers. It's part of the bass way. My finger style is odd to most bassist, though (thumb-1-2-3 ala classical guitar). I get some odd looks when I start playing, but they tend to leave me alone after a few bars of playing, when they realize I can play. I guess do your own thing.
    PS: I'm trying to get the 1 song down with no pick, but it's rediculous. Guitarist wants to play metal sometimes, we play jazzy, funk, blues, hip-hop type stuff.
  5. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    The fact that the lead guitarist in some cases could pick up a bass and play it better than the bassist himself...
  6. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    And sometimes with their fingers! :eek:
  7. At a gig one night, some drunk came over to me before our first set and said, "dude, you don't play that thing with a pick do you?" He then went on to yack about pick not being old school.

    I don't know why he got to me, but I dropped the pick after that. I went exclusively finger style. AND, like some others, began to look down on pick players. Here's the thing, some of the covers we were doing were suffering because of my stupid pride. It's hard to get that Green Day or Blink sound without a pick.

    So, since I'm in a cover project, I will use whatever is appropriate for the song. I prefer finger style based on control and tone.
  8. CanadianBass48


    May 8, 2005
    Ont, Can
    I too used to look down on bassest who used picks. Reason, the guys I know would take their low-slung bass and then procede to slam on their E string the whole night. After seeing that and the lack of skill of these guys I was like, "never with a pick". I now really favor the warm sound that I get when playing with my fingers. I have learned though that everybody has their style, good or bad. I now even use the pick when I want to be "bad" or when the song calls for it. It is all about your style. Used to hate them and now I accept them. :smug:
  9. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I used to be strictly pick, but with a little practice (its really not that hard pickers!) I am now mostly fingers except for faster songs. I hope to be eventually play fast songs without a pick, but I am just not there yet.
  10. I started out with classical Guitar, so when I started playing bass, fingerstyle was natural to me. I only recently started working with a pick and I like it a lot because of the different and new sounds I can get with it. It just gives you more flexibility. I think if you just use one style, you are limiting your musical possibilities. There are some sounds you can't get with just fingers.

    I seem to remember some years ago, someone posted a couple clips of the same rif on the same bass. The only difference was one was played with a pick. The poster asked which one the people liked better, and most liked the sound of the pick over the sound of fingers. Then they were told which was which, and it made believers out of quite a few people. It was a funky rif, too.

    From now on, I'll always carry a pick with my bass. It's about having more tonal options.

    just Groove!
  11. jdThumpin'


    Aug 16, 2005
    some ppl get the pick tone by using the side of their thumb nail...yes? those ppl who does double thumb technique

    so u don't have to switch between finger and pick between riffs or song to get the tone
  12. I've been playing both upright and electric bass for years now. (At first I was strictly upright though) I was a traditionalist at first. I would look down upon somebody playing with a pick. This probably came from my snobby upright technique though. I eventually learned that by being able to pick gives such a clear and articulate definition. If you aren't comfortable with being able to pick than you are at a disadvantage. It's almost like a completely different bass... Plus I think it looks cooler to pick.

    My point just became trashed with that last statement. :)
  13. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Well, there are some types of rhythm style that you just can't do with thumb or fingers.
    Pick makes a nice alternative.
  14. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    It's sort of like those who ride Harleys looking down on Honda owners: empty snobbery.
    The pick is associated with the gu!t@r, but it's the way I've gotten the job done on bass for over 35 years.
    Hating the pick?
    Some people need "real" problems.
  15. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    A very wise friend once said something to me that applies in this situation.

    "Don't let the jerks do that to your chain." :)

  16. Exploreforever


    Aug 24, 2005
    I'm a guitarist who is playing his first gig as bass player this Friday... VERY short notice (played with the band for the first time this Monday)..

    I was worried about this issue, actually.. and was hoping to have a finger picking style by then.. it's coming along half decently, but my timing with a pick is definitely better due to all the experience with it..
  17. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Anyone who thinks less of a player because of their using a pick is a moron. Period.

    As for a pick not being "old school," tell that to Joe Osborn.

    As for a pick player not having as good a technique as a finger player, tell that to Steve Swallow.

    Neither of them EVER play with their fingers and, to my knowledge, never have.

    So, if that's your only qualification for what makes someone a bassist, you're a moron.

    I've been moving more and more to playing with a pick over the last couple of years after playing with my fingers pretty much exclusively for about 17 years. My current favorite tone is currently a copper pick with flatwounds, a bridge mute, and playing right over the edge of the fretboard. My technique is just as good, I can play just as funkily, ghost notes sound better, my tone is more consistent, etc, etc....

    BTW, my picked tone doesn't sound 'clicky' at all, either. In fact, it's pretty fat and warm.

    YMMV. Or, you just may be a moron. :D Kidding. :ninja:
  18. dalley


    Jul 6, 2005
    +1 ... ditto for me
  19. Are we on this again? It's been a week already? Daymn. :rollno:
  20. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    I used to be fingerstyle-only and really disliked picks, until recently when I decided it was time for a change, although I think my listening to a lot of punk-ish music for a few weeks may also have something to do with it.
    I'm now an almost-decent pick player, I play my bass unplugged a lot and it's cool how much more volume you can get with a pick. Just strumming away with those things is a lot of fun, too, great to get rid of your agression after a crappy day. :D It's almost impossible to get that aggressive rock sound without a pick.
    I like the grey Peavey picks that bend -- no clue what they're called, they're indestructible.