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Your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mr. Mig, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    I play my basses with a pick most of the time. I find it more comfortable and I have better control with it. I can play with either a pick or my fingers, but again, I feel like using a pick is more benificial to me. I always felt like I was being a freak and impure by using a pick. Do you guys think a bass should be played with your fingers?
  2. Muddslide


    Feb 23, 2007
    Mobile, Alabama
    I think you should play what feels right to you and what best serves the music you are making.

    I'm about 70% fingers, 30% pick, but I love playing both ways.

    I'll do whatever I need to to get different tones and attack out of a bass.
  3. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    That is how I feel. I guess i just need to stop thinking about it.
  4. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    I guess i just need to stop thinking about it so much and play.
  5. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    I play my bass with this robotic hand I constructed a couple of years ago after Spiderman two came out and it made me think I could use it to somehow take over the world. Needless to say, I was only able to take over a Wal Mart parking lot before the cops tasered me.

    After I got out of the hospital I decided to attach the hand to a pole and wire it directly to my brain so I'd have a hand on a pole I could touch things with from across the room. Now, I never actually carry my bass on me anymore. I just put it over by my pole/hand, sit back and have a beer. Works great.

    However to answer your original question, I glued a pick to the hand so I guess I'd have to say that playing with a pick is acceptable.
  6. MoEllis


    Sep 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    i personally cant play with a pick. it just doesnt work for me.. but whatever works for you
  7. no1likesme


    Dec 26, 2006
    Shepherd, MI
    Whatever feels more comfortable to you
  8. wsmerwin@hotmai


    Jan 30, 2008
    I love to play with a pick. I'm from the Robert Fripp / Geddy Lee school of playing and for articulation and control nothing beats it. Unfortunately, most of the music I play requires the darker and subtler finger style.

    Don't sacrifice your picking for your finger style. Different muscles come into play and only practice will maintain your ability / facility in each style. Try playing an exercise with your fingers and with a pick, keeping the tempo and general feel the same. When you can duplicate the sound and speed of the pick with your fingers you won't be limited to one way of playing. Next, try playing accents at different places in your exercise; slowly at first and gradually building speed. Keep practicing this until you can place and play the accent on any note(s) in the exercise using either fingers or a pick.

    Finally, there is a wide range of acceptable technique for bass playing. The important thing is to avoid injury, after that let's try to enjoy what we do.
  9. pendergasta

    pendergasta .- .- .-. --- -. / .--. . -. -.. . .-. --. .- ...

    Jan 7, 2008
    North Carolina
    I'm originally a guitarist and moved exclusively to bass about 10 months ago. I was SO comfortable using a pick that I promised myself I would not touch a pick. After 10 months I tried to use use a pick the other day... I can't even use one on the bass. I'm going to have to re-learn how to use a pick....
  10. I saw Geddy last year (and several of the years before)---I could have sworn he was using his fingers. Chris Squire uses a pick.
  11. wsmerwin@hotmai


    Jan 30, 2008
    I mention Fripp because of his even rhythmic technique and Lee because of his style and sound. I did not mean to imply that Lee uses a pick, only that my style of playing is similar.

    Chris Squire is an excellent example of a player who is known for using a pick. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Here are a few articles that further the debate on using a pick.

  12. shatterd


    Feb 24, 2008
    Using a pick gives you a different kind of sound. So it's not so much as what is comfortable...but rather which is more pleasing to your ears and the style of music you play.

    I play fingerstyle because I always liked John Myung and Geddy Lee.

    That said...I also love the bassist from Tool, who plays pick.

    I started out on guitar also, but have not touched a pick since I switched over to bass about 7 months ago. I decided if John Myung uses fingers...I would too. Now I'm reading that Myung has been experimenting with a pick...so as to get new sounds on their records. He is a progressive bassist, so I can understand why he might be open to exploring new ideas. That is the nature of being progressive and modern.

    I've seen Billy Sheehan play both ways. I think if you really work at it you could do both.
  13. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Good advice, and well-said...
  14. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    Thanks for all your help guys. Alot of good stuff.
  15. Watch this and you tell me if you think there's anything wrong with picking on bass:

    (hint: the answer begins with an 'N' :p)
  16. i'm 99% fingers too. 1% pick just to give it a shot once in a while.

    But i don't think bass SHOULD be played with a pick. I just like it more with a finger than a pick.
    So, what I think is that bass should be played the way you like. If you like the sound produce by a bass played with a tongue, then go ahead.

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