#1
What do you guys use? I'm relatively new to the bass world. I've been watching people cover some songs on YouTube and there is a lot of talk about using both. Do you get a much different sound? Do you NEED to use both?
#3
Quote by InvaderTSN
With a pick? It's good to use both because it's a lot less tiring than just downpicking an entire song.


Yeah with a pick. Is there any other benefit other than that?
#5
Downstroking tends to add more power, but that's usually only due to human nature. People tend to play a little harder when downpicking, which adds more power to the bass line. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that you're plucking up or plucking down, but how hard you're plucking.
Quote by PatMcRotch
The term grammer nazi is from the camps in the lolocaust made by Adrofl Hitlol...


Quote by Wasted Bassist
Be sure to rape the blue note (augmented 4th). Rape it hard and exploit it like the skank it is.


Founder of the All-Tube Bass Amp Owners Club. PM me to join.
#7
You tend to get a heavy sound when you use straight downstrokes. I would definitely recommend learning to alternate pick well, using up and downstrokes, it increases speed and can lead to much more interesting bass lines.

I like to use my fingers, not a big fan of picks on bass, but you might like the sound of a pick or it feels natural so just learn to pick well. You can just downstroke, I think it would get tiring after a while, but it could help you build stamina.

I like to play with two fingers and a thumb but occasionally I will use three fingers and my thumb. I can't use four though, my pinky ain't strong enough. I like fingers, feels much more natural on a bass and I can string skip easier too than when using a pick.
Gear:1991 Fender MIJ Jazz/Squier VM Fretless Jazz -> Pitchblack -> Way Huge Green Rhino -> Boss OC-2 -> Boss DD-7 -> Markbass Tube 800 -> SWR 4x12.

Flat wounds. Flat wounds on everything. Everything is a little fatter when it's flatter.
#8
I try to alternate, as its faster and more efficent.

Although when I'm playing kinda agressively, I subconsciously go into "punk rock mode", and play mostly downstrokes.
#9
I use both because it's a lot more efficient. If it's a slow breakdown or just a part of a song where I'm hitting 1 note and letting it ring I'll just use down strokes though.
#10
Its worth learning if you plan on playing fast rock or metal. You can experiment with also throwing in more downstrokes to accent notes since you will naturally pluck harder on the downstroke. Also if you want to play metal you need to alternate pick. Metal licks that are played just down stroked or upstroked will sound harmonically off which is why few metal players play fingerstyle. Tone aside you quickly tire and also you would be upstroking each note.
#11
Economy picking ftw.

When you have to move strings during the bassline you would use and appropiate up/down stroke on the note previous, for example.

You're playing a note on the E string, your next note is one on the A string. On the last note played on the E string you would use a downstroke so you can "follow through" into the A string for the next note.

If you upstroked the last note on the E string, you'd be going back on yourself and losing speed.

When moving from the A to the E you would use an upstroke.

This keeps your speed up and means you're not doing more work than you would have to. It's very helpful when you skip strings.

Gear:
Fender Standard Jazz Bass
Artec Matrix Pedal Tuner
BBE Optostomp
Boss GEB 7
EHX NYC Big Muff
Ashdown MAG C410T-300
Torque T100BX
GAS-ing for:
Boss SYB5
Behringer Intelligate IG9
#12
mostly upstrokes, unless I'm skipping strings or playing faster (alternate). downpicking feels really awkward and unnatural to me when I'm playing bass. I'm genuinely surprised most of the above posts do not sympathise - I thought upstrokes were the norm for us bassists.
Last edited by jimRH7 at Jan 5, 2009,
#13
Quote by JessyB96
throw ur pick away and start using ur fingers?


the number of times i have heard this! and yet its still a ridiculous thing to say. pick tone appeals to some bassists, get over it
Quote by the humanity
Captainjack666
the lord of sexyness...
#14
Learn to Alt Pick. It's really worth it.
My Gear:
Squire Vintage Jazz Bass
Hartke 2500 Head
Hartke VX410 Cab
Boss Chromatic Tuner
#15
Quote by JessyB96
throw ur pick away and start using ur fingers?

This.

EDIT:
Quote by CaptainJack666
the number of times i have heard this! and yet its still a ridiculous thing to say. pick tone appeals to some bassists, get over it

You can get pick tone with your fingers.

I don't discourage the use of a pick, but I do encourage people to learn to play with their fingers too.
Last edited by food1010 at Jan 5, 2009,
#16
The pick is a tool.

Just like the fingers.

Except for the fact that it happens to suck the biggest balls on the planet.
Seriously

haha jk(not really)
It doesn't really matter (upstroke/downstroke)(that's what she said) it just gets different sounds.
Down gives a harder attack or whatever and up gives a generally lighter feel.
It all has to do with physics and nature and **** like that.


Love the Low end
#17
Quote by Zeelod

Down gives a harder attack or whatever and up gives a generally lighter feel.

I would disagree. for me upstrokes give a tighter, heavier sound with more attack than downstrokes cos you can dig into the string more. It might just be cos I'm not used to playing downstrokes though. I know that downpicking gives a harder sound on guitar but what is true of guitar is not necceceraly true of bass.

Quote by food1010

You can get pick tone with your fingers.


how do you do it? I know you can get a "harder" sound with your fingers (steve harris) or by slapping, but neither sound like a pick. or, I suppose, you could play with your nails but that's alot of hard work and practice and you'd only be able to downpick (see how I related it back to the thread subject there!? smooth eh? )
Last edited by jimRH7 at Jan 6, 2009,
#18
Quote by jimRH7
I would disagree. for me upstrokes give a tighter, heavier sound with more attack than downstrokes cos you can dig into the string more. It might just be cos I'm not used to playing downstrokes though. I know that downpicking gives a harder sound on guitar but what is true of guitar is not necceceraly true of bass.


Hey, whatever works for you, I'm not one to disagree!

I guess if you "pulled" up "tighter" to "dig" into the strings?


Love the Low end
#19
Quote by Zeelod
Hey, whatever works for you, I'm not one to disagree!

I guess if you "pulled" up "tighter" to "dig" into the strings?


aye, my bass weighs a ton though, that also might have something to do with it cos I've got something to pull against. It's all ways giving me pins and needles when I play sitting down haha. I tell ye, pins in needles in your meat and two veg is weird.
#20
Children, Children...

If you want a heavy attack sound that wont make your fingers ache, use a pick.

If you want a light attack more rounded sound, use your fingers.

I can't believe that people still don't get that both techniques have their place.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#22
Quote by food1010
This.

EDIT:
You can get pick tone with your fingers.


The only thing that sounds like a pick is a pick. Period.

EDIT: ^retard
Quote by dullsilver_mike
..Bob Barker isn't dead.

Quote by The_Casinator
Nothing is impossible if you're on acid!

Quote by Holy Katana
What if the NES breaks? WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?
#23
The TS didn't ask what was better finger style or picking, he asked about up stroking and down stroking, so stop trying to sound smart and be helpful.
#24
Quote by NakedBassist
The only thing that sounds like a pick is a pick. Period.

EDIT: ^retard

I don't know how to say this without coming off as a condescending bastard, but lo and behold, how naive it is to call one a "retard" for being acquainted.

The same tonal power is permissible when you use your fingers to play bass as when you use a pick, as long as your fingers are strong enough. Now, I will give you that the tonal quality is not the same when you use your fingers as when you use a pick. Truthfully, I believe the tonal quality is immensely greater when you use your fingers. Same goes for guitar. It is damn hard to do with your fingers what you can do with a pick, but if you get good at it, you break endless tonal and technical bounds. Absurdly long acrylic fingernails of the likes of John Butler's help a bit too

These are my opinions. Do not debate them. They will not change. You don't have to agree with me, but I do ask of you that you merely take my opinions into consideration. I have done so with yours and I simply disagree. There's no harm in that is there?

Now, let's stop arguing. It's absurd and immature to argue like this.
#25
Quote by food1010
The same tonal power is permissible when you use your fingers to play bass as when you use a pick, as long as your fingers are strong enough. Now, I will give you that the tonal quality is not the same when you use your fingers as when you use a pick.

That sounds like a contradiction, unless you mean to say that the quality of the tone decreases with a pick; it's not the quality that changes, it's the tone that changes - to a different tone.
Quote by food1010
These are my opinions. Do not debate them. They will not change. You don't have to agree with me, but I do ask of you that you merely take my opinions into consideration.

I believe the tonal quality is immensely greater when you use your fingers. Same goes for guitar.


The bold part is a reasonable opinion, I only feel the need to question your original point because it was, objectively speaking, wrong. I never argued
Quote by dullsilver_mike
..Bob Barker isn't dead.

Quote by The_Casinator
Nothing is impossible if you're on acid!

Quote by Holy Katana
What if the NES breaks? WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?
#26
Quote by NakedBassist
That sounds like a contradiction, unless you mean to say that the quality of the tone decreases with a pick; it's not the quality that changes, it's the tone that changes - to a different tone.


The bold part is a reasonable opinion, I only feel the need to question your original point because it was, objectively speaking, wrong. I never argued

Ok, to clarify: "good tone" is synonymous to "high quality tone."

How the notes sound is called tone. Yes, you agree there, that's common guitar knowledge. What I was saying is that I believe fingers allow for the tone resonating out from your strings to be a higher quality tone than the tone that comes out of the strings when you use a pick. I just worded it a bit awkwardly. Does that make sense now?
#27
Alternate picking with a pick is quite possibly the MOST important technique to learn when playing. Alternate picking with fingers, It's something I am starting to learn. Rob Trujillo does this. He can get some really amazing speed hitting the string once going down then once moving his finger back up again (hitting it with this fingernail). I could imagine this would wear out your nails, but the speed is almost unmatchable, and it's basically the economy picking version of finger-bass
Quote by srvguitarrulez
I heard someone say that Fall Out Boy had amazing guitarwork. But, it was a 13 year old girl, so it didn't matter.
#28
Quote by food1010
Ok, to clarify: "good tone" is synonymous to "high quality tone."

How the notes sound is called tone. Yes, you agree there, that's common guitar knowledge. What I was saying is that I believe fingers allow for the tone resonating out from your strings to be a higher quality tone than the tone that comes out of the strings when you use a pick. I just worded it a bit awkwardly. Does that make sense now?


OK, that is clearer. I just disagree because a pick produces a different tone, not a superior tone! One is neither better than the other. To each his own and you can't say one technique is better than another, it's all preference man
Quote by dullsilver_mike
..Bob Barker isn't dead.

Quote by The_Casinator
Nothing is impossible if you're on acid!

Quote by Holy Katana
What if the NES breaks? WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?
#29
Guys, lets just go back to answering the damn TS's question - if i remember correctly "pick vs fingers" threads are frowned upon. And thats besides the fact the regulars have pointed out regular there is no damn reason to say that either is better in any way. Different, thats all.

TS, alternate picking is a practice you should get in the hang of if your going to play picked bass, but it could be beneficial to learn how to down pick fast depending on the genre your playing in. Alot of punk bassists use fast down picking, and the verse of Master of Puppets is some decently fast down picking (provided you dont decide to switch to fingers)
Quote by thefitz
That's because you're a 13 year old who only focuses on guitars. I bet most people can't tell the difference between your voice and your mother's.
#30
Depends on what the song wants. Or whether you want to be a dick and speed alt pick all your basslines, overpowering all the guitars.

Me? I prefer downstroking, just to give the note more power, and it comes naturally for me.
I don't know what I'm doing, but I still do it anyway...


Just for the lulz.
#31
Quote by FenrirXE
Depends on what the song wants. Or whether you want to be a dick and speed alt pick all your basslines, overpowering all the guitars.


and how does that overpower the guitars?

Gear:
Fender Standard Jazz Bass
Artec Matrix Pedal Tuner
BBE Optostomp
Boss GEB 7
EHX NYC Big Muff
Ashdown MAG C410T-300
Torque T100BX
GAS-ing for:
Boss SYB5
Behringer Intelligate IG9
#32
Quote by FenrirXE
Depends on what the song wants. Or whether you want to be a dick and speed alt pick all your basslines, overpowering all the guitars.


Well it's not like they don't deserve it.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#33
Quote by Jonnomainman
Economy picking ftw.

When you have to move strings during the bassline you would use and appropiate up/down stroke on the note previous, for example.

You're playing a note on the E string, your next note is one on the A string. On the last note played on the E string you would use a downstroke so you can "follow through" into the A string for the next note.

If you upstroked the last note on the E string, you'd be going back on yourself and losing speed.

When moving from the A to the E you would use an upstroke.

This keeps your speed up and means you're not doing more work than you would have to. It's very helpful when you skip strings.


THIS! I thought I was the only one! *cries tears of joy*

(kidding, i'm not really crying..)

*sniff*
USA Fender Precision w/ Badass III + SD 1/4 pounders
MIM Fender Jazz
T21 SansAmp VT Bass
Gallien Krueger MB212