Willy ou get used to using your finger instead a of a pick?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fender_bassist1, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. fender_bassist1


    Nov 23, 2004
    I am a new bassist and i am wondering if I should use a pick for my first couple of weeks or should i start finger picking immeadeitly?Does finge rpicking get easier as you do it more often?

  2. TOOL460002

    TOOL460002 Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Santa Cruz CA
    im rediculously biased- since i hate picks with a passion (my fore-finger and thumb can outdo any pick on speed, easy).

    anyway- dont use a pick. start fingers only. later you can integrate finger style- 2-3 fingers with double thumbing or LG picking, or right hand tapping or slap or false harmonics. its so helpful not to have a pick in hand. dont start and you wont have to switch over when youve had that ingrained for years.
  3. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    Can't add anything else.... just DON'T... it serves you right in the end.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Start with fingers, add pick later for versatility.
  5. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Are you coming from playing guitar or some other instrument that (often) uses a pick? If so, there might be some benefit in getting going with a pick but otherwise I'd echo JMX and say get the finger thing down first.

  6. screwball


    Jul 25, 2004
    Manchester UK
  7. +2
  8. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    your strings are just vibrating metal in a magnetic field... hell, hit your strings with a chicken leg if that's what feels and sounds good to you :)

    but however you intend to play, you should probably start doing it that way as soon as possible - and like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes... sounds like you intend to play predominantly fingerstyle... so in your case, ditch the pick and get on with it

    just try and always remember that technique is just a tool to create music... you don't often get novelists making their 'typing technique' the focus of their creative endeavors... :)
  9. fender_bassist1


    Nov 23, 2004
    well is there any specific fingers i should start using?and yes, i did used to play guitar so i am used to using a pick. and thanks for all the help so far.

  10. TOOL460002

    TOOL460002 Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Santa Cruz CA
    i would say start off playing with your pointer and middle finger- and remember to lead with your middle finger- that's a good habbit to get into.

    wait until you've mastered that(and probably slap, too) and then decide if you have the desire to develope other fingering techniques. the ring finger is pretty cool for really fast triplets and thumbs are good for all kinds of stuff. and just amputate your pinky now- it's useless.

    oh- and just a tip- if youre comfortable with a pick- you might try using your pointer finger as a picking device. Larry Graham dubbed that the "LG pick" in his own honoro, i believe. i think the pointer finger is better than a pick- because you can hit the string with variable amounts of finger nail and flesh to go from hard trebley sound to more muted.
  11. FUNKonthewall

    FUNKonthewall Nailing The Groove

    Sep 29, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Endorsing: Fodera Guitars, Aguilar Amps, Dunlop/MXR Accessories
    What are we on now? +3?
  12. fender_bassist1


    Nov 23, 2004
    when you say lead do you mean to start off every song with the middle?or do you mean if you are on one fret you woould play it constantly and keep on playing it but use both fingers ?
  13. Rich600


    Nov 22, 2004
    I dont know what youre trying to say there but what the dude that said that means is when youre gonna play something, hit the first note with your middle finger and then your index and so on...its more consistant.
  14. TOOL460002

    TOOL460002 Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Santa Cruz CA
    yeah- just start out the song or section with the middle finger. my bass teacher told me to do this long ago- and it's something you wont even think about having to do in a little while.

    but- typically if you're playing a bassline written by a good fingerstyle bassist (play a lot of Stone Temple Pilots- 3rd and 5th cd especially) you'll find it more comfortable to start with the middle, because great basslines normally have the right combination of raking up and smoving around from string to string so that the part is just easier to play if you start middle finger.

    just like left hand fingering you have many options- and any is good as long as you can play the part correctly and comfortably that way- but i would say from experience try to start middle first every time- and rake up (ie same finger hits the D and moves up to hit the A).

    also- James Brown has some awesome basslines that are a little tricky but flow so well when you get it down. also- Tower Of Power.
  15. fender_bassist1


    Nov 23, 2004
    thank you guys so much for all your tips! I think they will really help me a lot.once again, thank you
  16. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    or a turkey leg :D
  17. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If you're used to playing with a pick then I think it wouldn't be unreasonable to play bass that way for a while. There are plenty of great players who seem to be entirely or largely pick players so it's not 'wrong' (although it does fly in the face of the prevailing zeitgeist).

    On the other hand, you have to remember that playing with your fingers will feel wierd to start with, whether you knuckle down to it now or put it off for ten years. If you want to learn how to do it, you're going to have to start doing it!

    What instructional materials do you have? Most teach-your-self bass packages are going to spend some time on that aspect of playing, probably with illustrations and exercises to boot. If you haven't got anything like that at all, you might find it worthwhile investing in a book, video, DVD or even a lesson or two with a teacher.

  18. Raven


    Nov 14, 2004
    Jacksonville, Fl
    Learn to use your fingers.... they'll callous up in no time. As you progress and learn more, you will find using a pick limiting on bass. The use of a pick is acceptable, if you're going for a certain sound, or if your playing a multi course 12 string, (triple strung 4 w/ 2 ocatve strings) since there isn't a lot of room for fingers on those beasts, but you will be much happier in the long run if you just learn to use your fingers.
  19. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Oh Man - now you made me hungry. I'd better put down the bass, and get over to my Mom's house!

  20. fender_bassist1


    Nov 23, 2004
    One last question. When you use your fingers , do pluck the string or tap them?