#1
Hey guys -- today I picked up a Washburn T12B Taurus bass. It's used but in great shape and should serve for the metal album I'm recording. The best part is that I only had to drop $70!

Anyway, I have a few basic questions. First, since I tune my guitar to C# Standard, should I also get appropriate strings and setup the bass the same way? (Only 1 octave lower, of course.)

Next, what do you guys recommend as far as playing goes -- pick or fingers? I've been playing guitar for 18 years, but mostly use a pick. I can do a clawhammer style with my fingers, but that's not really what bass players do, from what I've seen. The music I play mostly is black/death metal with lots of tremelo picking and furious riffing. With a pick I can match my guitar speed on the bass but with fingers it'll take years to get there. I have no aspirations of becoming Alex Webster, but I want to at least fill in the low end on my songs. Is it bad to use a pick? Thanks for any advice!
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#2
DR makes a series of strings called the DDT: Drop-Down Tuning. These are designed for people who like to tune down a great deal, so they would be worth investigating for your bass.

The whole "Pick or Fingers?" thing has been done to death, but being new to the bass, your question is quite reasonable. There is no "textbook answer" to that one, though. Some people can play blisteringly fast with their fingers, and if you are one of them, then finger style is probably the way for you to go. If you are not capable of doing that, and if you play a lot of fast eighth and sixteenth note runs on one or two strings, then a pick might be a better choice. String skipping with a pick on the average electric bass is more difficult than it is on guitar because of the wider string spacing on the bass. Your best course of action is to try both and see which one works best for you.

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#3
Lots of tremolo picking is definitely easier with a pick. I almost exclusively play fingerstyle, but when it comes to slayer or fear factory or something with that kinda speed, I get the pick. Playing with a pick you'll get lots of punch and less low-end than if you play fingerstyle, but really, for death/black metal I'd reccommend the pick.

With the strings you're probably best of with a set of 115/120 down to 060/065.
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#4
Thanks for the responses guys! I'm having a great time learning this instrument! I'm not abandoning using my fingers at all, but, like henrihell said, the pick makes it a lot easier to keep up with my guitar riffs. I'm also learning some slap, a la Flea style. It's amazing how many bass lines are coming to me while messing around!

Part of my problem is that at least in my main genre, black metal, it's really hard to hear what exactly the bassists are doing. I'm not sure how to write my bass parts, other than mimicking what I'm doing on guitar an octave lower. Does that sound like a decent formula?
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#5
Just play root notes and throw in some chord tones when there's space in the mix, maybe the odd fill here and there. As a 'rule', the bassline should be closer to the drums (particularly the bass drum) than the lead guitar.

If you want to cut through the guitars, use a pick.
#6
Yeah just play the same notes as a rhythm guitar would and then build around that. Play around with octaves and lead into the next riffs with creative runs and stuff like that.