#1
Well, I'm an advanced player using my fingers on bass, playing stuff like Dream Theater and Between the Buried and Me, complicated bass linesm and I do it well.
But some of my favorite music to listen to is stuff like All that Remains, and KsE. Their bassists use picks, I know playing that type of music isnt, well, glorifying in any way for the bassist, but what I'm trying to get to is a problem I have using a pick: I cant keep the pick in my hand/fingers. I think maybe its the size of the bass strings because i can pick on a guitar and not lose it, or maybe its how I hold it.

Any suggestions or words of encouragement?
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#3
Just practice holding the pick harder, or dont strike the strings with so much force
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#4
Yeah, it's the strings. Fatter strings means you need to hold the pick tighter and pluck a little harder. Try songs like Parallel Universe or Don't Forget Me (Both by the Red Hot Chili Peppers) to get your speed up. They should be simple enough to work on.
#5
This happened to me when I was starting guitar. It went away after time, when I got used to holding the pick. I think it will just take a bit of time/practice before you get used to it. But maybe you should describe how you hold the pick, pic maybe?
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#7
it's normal to drop the pick every once and a while, that's why bands have picks attatched to the mic stands. I'm not a picker (unless I'm playing guitar) but you gotta squeeze that sucker like it's a fine piece of ass ya herd me
#8
It takes a fair amount of practice to work up a good picking technique after youve been playing bass with your fingers for a while. For whatever reason, its really awkward to switch...i dont know, the change in motions takes a little while for your hands to get used to. Unless your using heavy gauge strings or something, theres really no need to change them. Hell, alot of heavy metal players pick with heavy gauge strings.

Also, if your using a really light pick it might be contributing - some bass players favor like mid 70-88 in terms of thickness, but most people around here will reccomend at least 1mm.
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.
#9
Quote by loudog93
use lighter strings and heavier picks. /thread

I guess not, jackass.
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#11
Just practice. That's the only way you'll improve.

Besides, picks suck <_< >_>.
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Last edited by Nutter_101 at Jan 25, 2009,
#12
Quote by ripple07
This happened to me when I was starting guitar. It went away after time, when I got used to holding the pick. I think it will just take a bit of time/practice before you get used to it. But maybe you should describe how you hold the pick, pic maybe?


Well, ok let em apologize in advance for huge pic, if it appears >.>

I took this on a phone, and let me describe kinda =\
i use ma pinkey to hold the g string and i only hold the pick with my thumb and my index, my middle finger is kinda curled because i feel i have more strenght to put in it =\
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#13
Quote by PluckU
Well, ok let em apologize in advance for huge pic, if it appears >.>

I took this on a phone, and let me describe kinda =\
i use ma pinkey to hold the g string and i only hold the pick with my thumb and my index, my middle finger is kinda curled because i feel i have more strenght to put in it =\


The "typical" picking style is to hold the plectrum between your thumb and index (as your doing, but with your other 3 fingers loose (or straight out kinda, not held that way just relaxed) for balance. While there are a variety of people with hybrid techniques that involve use of their other fingers, that's the standard picking form.

Edit: heres an example

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.
Last edited by CBurtonIsKing at Jan 25, 2009,
#14
they do make picks with grippy stuff on them. also stubby are thick but they're indented where you place your fingers. give one a try i used them when i used a pick for bass. still got a couple lying around.
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#15
I used to have this problem - try experimenting with different types of picks, cos I've found it happened alot when I used big stubbies so I switched to blue/purple dunlops and they're alot better - but It's very much personal preferance.

Cburtonisking - I use both index and the middle finger to grip the pick; it's a personal preferance again, but I find it gives you more control etc.
#16
Playing with a pick is as much personal preference as deciding which way to play a d major scale in 2 octaves on a 5 string bass, meaning there is no real right or wrong way to do it.

When I pick, which is rare, I hold the pick between my index and second finger and my thumb, with my other two fingers curled up, so my hand looks like a loose fist almost.

I use Earnie Ball Super Slinky strings on all my basses and for the most part Fender Heavy picks, so you can kinda get an idea of what sort of string vs pick thickness I use.

All that being said though, don't think that you absolutely need to use a pick to mimic the sound of some one who does. With fine tuning of a decent amp/cab combo, you should be able to damn near match perfectly the sharp attack that a lot of bass players get from a pick.
#18
also, I hold the pick at an angle sort of, so the side of it stirkes the strings more - not exactly paralell to the strings.

but all the stuff is just what your hand slips into naturally with practice - don't try to force it.
#19
When I use a pick, I use heavy ones and use my index and middle fingers opposing the thumb. I think it adds more stability and grip. Also, when I use a pick, I 'dig' a lot (though I dig a lot with my fingers too); though this is more so why I think my method works (playing really hard and not losing my pick)

well, I lose my pick a lot on guitar (but I think that is because I use my whole arm for strumming)
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#20
Quote by jimRH7
also, I hold the pick at an angle sort of, so the side of it stirkes the strings more - not exactly paralell to the strings.

but all the stuff is just what your hand slips into naturally with practice - don't try to force it.


Yeah, you have to hold the pick at a slight angle so it will glide over the strings better, or else you'll meet too much resistance with bass strings.
#21
Quote by loudog93
use lighter strings and heavier picks. /thread

that's not the only suggestion possible... /user
#22
I drill holes in my picks. I use Fender Heavy picks, the holes kinda help wiith the gripping.
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#23
Have you ever trying using any of the Dunlop Stubbys.

They have to reccesed grippy area, which might make holding them easier for you.
#24
Dunlop Big Stubby 3mm. The only pick [other than tortex 2mms] I'd dare play.

EDIT: It's a pick. It's not gonna eat you.
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#25
Quote by FenrirXE
Dunlop Big Stubby 3mm. The only pick [other than tortex 2mms] I'd dare play.

EDIT: It's a pick. It's not gonna eat you.


Oh boy, I thought i was doomed for a second =\
Ive seen the stubbys on teh interwebz, but, would i be able to find one at the corner guitar store? (not guitar center)
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Yeah, you definitely raped his churches and burned his women.

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#26
Quote by PluckU
Oh boy, I thought i was doomed for a second =\
Ive seen the stubbys on teh interwebz, but, would i be able to find one at the corner guitar store? (not guitar center)



Maybe you'll be lucky, maybe not. I know the shop i go to (Eddie's Music San Marcos, Texas) has em, but that's probably just cause the owner of the store is a bass player who uses picks. You might be able to ask who ever runs your local place to order some for you, but that's kinda silly to me to do so much for a few picks.

Great picks by the way, got a purple one in front of me now, damn that indention its got on both sides helps so much.

Anyway, your probably just used to finger style and all its great not having to hold/grip anything to play. The force produced by picking on such thick strings is probably gonna take some time to get used to. Plus i'd like to assume that if your playing with a pick instead of fingers that your probably looking for a aggressive tone yeh? That's just gonna make it harder but its nothing you cant just practice through and get used to.

Lighter string gauges might not be a option if he's got a detuned bass ... like ... significantly.
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Last edited by Thegian at Jan 27, 2009,
#27
Hmm well 2 days ago my friend gave me one of his stubbys and ive been flying since.
i slightly modded my bass. i went out and bought an expensive decorative rag and cut it into fourths. i also bought some expensive tape that doesnt leave that much residue.
So if you don't get where im going, i taped a piece of rag to the bridge where my hand rests and KABAM ive been doing well.
Quote by Azgirio
Yeah, you definitely raped his churches and burned his women.

Quote by LordBishek
Forgive the bluntness, but what in the chucklefucking hell is this?
#28
This works for me, Hold the pick with your thumb index and middle finger
i grip it better like that
#29
Im a rythym guitarist turned bassit so ive never really had that problem, ummmm try using heavy picks, and just practice holding it tighter i guess
#30
I play bass either ways (i specialize with a pick cause i started with guitar first) and what i find is easiest is using a huge 1.5mm triangle style tortex picks and plucking near the bridge.
#31
Practice.

I started out on guitar before moving to bass (pretty recently, actually) and I use a pick just as well as I did on guitar. It takes a little adjustment, but you don't necessarily have to hold the pick at an angle (in fact, I'd discourage it because you get nasty pick scrape sounds when you play). Try picking very lightly and increasing until you get the tone you want. As far as being able to hold on to the pick, you just need more practice. You may be a beast when it comes to finger picking, but you might as well consider yourself a new player as you get accustomed to a pick. The learning curve won't be as bad, but you're still starting out completely new.

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#32
Quote by xwarnotwords
Im a rythym guitarist turned bassit so ive never really had that problem, ummmm try using heavy picks, and just practice holding it tighter i guess


Holding it too tight can be part of the problem as well. Many bass players who try to transition to picks seem to hold a death grip on a pick. This tends to transition to a tight hand and arm as well, and causes you to strain and tire.

The goal is to find a happy medium between too loose and too tight, a grip that allows you to keep your hand relatively loose and doesn't tense out your arm (causing strain and fatigue)
#33
Yeah, it's a change. I had four bones removed from my right wrist with a partial wrist fusion and a finger re attached, so using a pick was not an option. You really concentrate on squeezing the pick and at the same time do NOT tense up your hand so you remain flexible. After a year of playing out and practicing with a pick since the accident, I'm back to normal. As far as any stigma being placed on someone using a pick instead of their fingers, don't waste your time worrying about it. It can be a personal preference or maybe something out of neccesity (like me). It's what feels comfortable to you. Rock on Bro.
#35
I drop my picks more when I'm playing guitar. haha

And I also prefer thinner picks... like... 1 mm ish.
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Last edited by ZaccB at Feb 23, 2009,
#36
try a thinner pick. It gives you very twangy tone that personally I prefer, but it also gives more give when you hit the strings if you know what I'm saying. It's too early for me to make sense

By thin I mean like .50-.60
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#37
i've taken to using a 3mm big stubby pick and holding the pick with my thumb, index and middle fingers while having my ring and pinky fingers curled in on my hand, like a half fist and even then, i only use a pick on muse's stockholm syndrome cuz i can't finger pick that fast, but its like everyone already said, down to practice and technique in a way that you feel comfortable
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