#1
Hi everyone,

I play the upright bass in an orchestra, as well as bass guitar in my free time. I have decided to write a speech for my Public Speaking course about bassists who use a pick vs finger pick and I was in need of some help.

I was just wondering if anyone could give me some pros and cons of using a pick/fingers, some examples of bassists who used picks/fingers, and possibly arguments for and against each.

I understand I am being somewhat lazy, but I've been looking online all night and haven't been able to find a lot of information on BOTH, so if I could get some help from fellow bassists, it would be an EXTREMELY big help.

THANKS!
-Nick
#3
Quote by maidendeth13
not much help about the pick/ no pick but if you are getting graded in this public speaking class you may want to choose a different topic that will appeal to more people... Most people will have no idea what you are talking about really...

Good luck though,

due to this fact however, you can make a few things up. as for pick vs no pick, you can bring up that picks allow you to have a constant sound (x amount of force applied along x amount of space) where-as fingers allow more speed and faster rythmns.
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#5
exactly. most of the ideas you'll get are all based upon opinions anyways, there aren't any TRUE studies on the subject.

edit: btw, good job on that bass.
... wrote
the funny thing about those ads is, if i could steal a car at the comfort of my own computer in my own house, i would.

Quote by MyDesertRose
Ahahaha TS just got gobsmacked.
Well played Wicked Rose
Last edited by Wicked Rose at Mar 12, 2009,
#6
Only a dozen or so of the best public speakers in the world could make a topic with absolutely ZERO mainstream appeal seem interesting.

But, basically, the long and the short of it:

Pick advantages: the tone
Pick disadvantages: guitar-y vibe
Fingers advantages: the tone
Fingers disadvantages: doesn't cut through as well

All pick vs fingers arguements are subsets of those 4 arguements. It's all about what sounds better, but the way I see it, it just so happens that the sound of fingers fits better in many more songs than a pick does. However, when a pick is the sound you need, there's absolutely no substitution.

EDIT: This could be one of the more masterful trolls ever.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#7
You're actually going write a speech about that? I'd find another topic, personally.
#8
I think this thread could have been avoided with a single click onthis link, or the search bar on top of the page.

Remember, the search bar is the only bar that does not ask for I.D. and serves all ages!
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#9
Gotta say that doenst sound like a good speaking topic.

If you are gonna do it how about playing your bass, to give examples of the diffrent tones from each way. Otherwise im not sure a lot of people would understand the diffrence.

An example of a good finger style player: John Entwhistle. Pick player: Paul Macartney. Distinctive sounds from each.
#10
Nooooo dude. Everyone always asks me what a bass guitar does at school, and I have a prepared speech for everyone of them. You would have to do 2 speeches!


Or just pick a different topic like everyone else said >.>
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#11
I'd find another topic, no one is gonna care about that. The subject needs to appeal to the people you're gonna perform the speech infront of.
#12
If he doesn't respond by tomorrow, he's a troll!
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#14
^ Or indeed by a unit with the Killing Blow special ability that rolls a 6 on the roll to hit....

I would probably just talk about the bass and or famous bassists rather discourse on two different techniques within bass playing. Use the opportunity to promote the low end, or unsung heroes like J Jamerson, Deacon, JPJones, J Entwhistle...

And do you mean finger pick? As in using your nails? Or conventional plucking?
#15
Get sound tracks of a bass being played with a pick and finger style for the class to hear. Then talk about the differences of sound and what genre use picks and ones that don't. And finish it up with your experience with the 2.

Now get ta working. Best of luck.
#16
Quote by thefitz

All pick vs fingers arguements are subsets of those 4 arguements.

Not necessarily:

Pick:
•Clearer, punchier tone
•Techniques like alternate/tremolo picking are easier to achieve
•Easier to get clean note definition

Fingers:
•Deeper, warmer tone
•Essentially you get 5 picks instead of one, allowing more versatility
•Techniques like slapping and popping are easier to achieve

I don't see that you'd need a pro and con for each, seeing as the pros for one are essentially the cons for the other.
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#17
^You said tone for each, as did I. And some people can tremolo faster with fingers, and play sloppy and farty with a pick. And slap/pop is neither finger nor pickstyle. It's slap and pop.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#18
Quote by thefitz
^You said tone for each, as did I. And some people can tremolo faster with fingers, and play sloppy and farty with a pick. And slap/pop is neither finger nor pickstyle. It's slap and pop.


I didn't say it was absolute. I said it was easier in each case for the tremolo/slap n' pop. I'm sure slap/pop can be done while holding a pick, but woulden't you agree it would be easier without one?

-Edit-
In addition, tone is going to be one of the central points for preference, so I'd be remiss not to mention it. I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just saying you can elaborate beyond 2 points for each.
-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
Marshall 1960a Cab
Woods Acoustic
-Bass Gear-
Spector Legend 4 bass
Washburn Bantam bass
Hartke HA2500
Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play
Last edited by Garou1911 at Mar 12, 2009,
#19
Erm, well personally I think something you could to the Pros or Cons could be easy muting? I find muting with a pick hard on bass, with fingers you just "walk" over them.
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?
#20
Really imo you can't pro/con this that well. Everyone has there own opinion and taste. For me this is what I think of each.

Pick
1. more trebley tone
2. (for me) faster runs on one string

fingers
1. little bit softer bassy tone(depending on the player and pressure they apply)
2. maybe faster because you can play with 1 or all 5 fingers

As for artist:

pick-Chris Square(bassist of Yes) is my opinion the best user of a pick

fingers-Geddy Lee(bassist of Rush) or John Entwisle( the Who)? are just two of great finger users...Not saying these are the best...just ones i can think of off the top of my head

Hope I helped any...sorry if I didn't
#21
Get out the acid and flames, folks.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#22
Another advantage to using a pick is that it's easier to sing while pick playing. Keeping a rhythm or playing a groove with the right hand is difficult while singing, and using a pick does make it easier. Mark Hoppus, Paul McCartney, Sting. All good bassists that use a pick while singing. Not saying that's the only reason, but it is a good one.
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#23
Quote by Cody_Grey102
Another advantage to using a pick is that it's easier to sing while pick playing. Keeping a rhythm or playing a groove with the right hand is difficult while singing, and using a pick does make it easier. Mark Hoppus, Paul McCartney, Sting. All good bassists that use a pick while singing. Not saying that's the only reason, but it is a good one.


Geddy Lee, Troy Sanders, Larry Graham. Also all good bassist that play fingerstyle or even slap while singing. As with that kind of thing, it's very much down to personal preference. I much prefer playing fingerstyle when singing.
#24
I don't find it any easier to sing with a pick than with fingers. If anything, I find fingers better, because I have to glance down less since I can 'feel' the bass better. And with fingers, I kinda lock my arms into position, which is something that isn't the case with a pick.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#25
there are differences between picking on guitar and on bass. obviously you have to pick alot harder on bass, but also (although this might just be me - i remember discussing this previously on this forum) I find I do mostly upstrokes on bass, compared to downstrokes n guitar.
and my string skipping is weird; wheras on guitar I would literally just skip over the strings, just passing really near them on a down stoke, on bass I move my hand In, like, an arc, and bring it back down to meet the next string - It's hard to descirbe, kind of like the wrist motions those guys with the sticks who stand in front of orchestras make...

It's completely diferent for me - If I've been playing bass for a while, then pick up a guitar I have trouble playing it, If I've been playing guitar for a while and pick up a bass it also takes a few days to get it back.

EDIT: i think the difference is you get "under" the strings with a bass, and pull out, with a guitar you just kind of... hit the strings.
Last edited by jimRH7 at Mar 13, 2009,
#26
Uhm... Speech on pick vs. fingers? That's odd) What's your target audience?)

I'm gonna speak for myself. The only time I've used a pick (and it was a pain...) was when we did one recording. I had borrowed an 80's japanese P-bass and played with a pick. Helped create a truly unique sound.

Other than that for me - no use.
#27
I'm not going to pull any punches.

A speech about the subtleties of bass is an awful idea. Who the hell cares? I'm a goddamn bassist and I don't care.
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#28
Quote by Ivanator
I'm not going to pull any punches.

A speech about the subtleties of bass is an awful idea. Who the hell cares? I'm a goddamn bassist and I don't care.

-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
Marshall 1960a Cab
Woods Acoustic
-Bass Gear-
Spector Legend 4 bass
Washburn Bantam bass
Hartke HA2500
Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play
#29
*reported*

Three days after the original post, this remains the threadstarter's only post. This is a disguised troll.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..