#1
I've played for about 10 years now and always been a finger style player, but now I'm finding that using a pick brings a lot more out of mod effects and so I'm learning to play with a pick.. but it's not the easiest transition. I find either I hold on so hard my hand cramps, or I hold the pick too loosely and it flies out. Also just in general my hand tends to lock as if I have no endurance.

Anyone have tips for getting used to this style? Building endurance and any proper technique I can be working on?
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#2
Unless your first stringed instrument is an electric bass, and you start from day one with a pick, then learning to play the bass with a pick can seem like quite a challenge. There are a few reasons for this: thick strings, wide spacing, too thin picks, etc.

There does not seem to be a great deal of instructional material on pick technique for the electric bass. You would think that there would be; given that some of the most famous bassists of all time played with a pick. As far as your hand experiencing cramps or muscle spasms; they way to over come this is to slowly and carefully build up strength and endurance in your picking hand. Do NOT try to play through pain. Pain is your body telling your brain that something is definitely wrong. If you ignore it, you could end up injuring yourself seriously. Muscle and/or nerve injuries in the hand are serious business, since you use your hands for so many things every day. This also means that a hand injury can take a very long time to heal. Do NOT try to play through the pain!

You might experience some relief from hand pains by switching to a much heavier pick (like Ernie Ball Big Stubbies - the purple ones are very good). You can also find picks that are very thick and that are made of a dense but flexible rubber material. These picks can give very interesting tones, and they do not cause the awful "clicking"noise.
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#3
This list of tips helped me get used to the plectrum.

1.Switch to a triangle style pick like this or this.
2.Experiment with pick thickness.(I love 1.14mm to 2mm picks but you may like a 3mm or 4mm pick.)
3.Try alternating picking to gain some endurance in the picking hand.
4.Practice finding the grip you need to hold the pick without it falling.
5.Use a lighter gauge of strings when you practice.(Going from .130-.045 set to a .125-.040 set helped me.)
6.As Fatalgear said above don't try playing through the pain.

EDIT:
I forgot to mention if you've a compressor in your signal chain I recommend turning it off. It sounds a bit odd but it'll help with your picking dynamics since the compressor may force you to pick harder than required.
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Last edited by dark Mass at Apr 8, 2015,
#5
When I started playing with a pick I sucked. I just kept playing songs with straight 16's then one day I pick up my bass and playing was a breeze. I think its just a time thing. Muting also really helps btw I use extra heavy Jim Dunlop Gel picks
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#6
Holding problems.

Acupuncture.

The Pick is all about Tone in the end. I have a collection of different ones for different tones, but never use them as I really just use my fingernails.

3 gigs a week can leave little of them to work with.

When I did use a pick for playing around to some Queensryche, I liked the edge attack that gave a nuanced scrape or grind to the sound. It was something that a distortion is not going to do, and in many respects very superior.

I have a huge felt pic that would be great on a Beatles tune with Flatwounds, but I do not like the Beatles so I do the Entwistle twang. With the Fingernails
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#7
Quote by FatalGear41
Unless your first stringed instrument is an electric bass, and you start from day one with a pick, then learning to play the bass with a pick can seem like quite a challenge. There are a few reasons for this: thick strings, wide spacing, too thin picks, etc.


I dunno about that, I played guitar for years before I got a bass, and I found using a pick on bass to feel more or less the same as on guitar.

playing with fingers, now, that's a different story
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