#1
played guitar for a year or so and am pretty good at finger picking, now joined a band to play bass. finding playing bass with a pick easy but have tried playing with my fingers and cant get it to sound right. why is it that some of the best bass players (flea from chillies and Chris Wolstenholme from muse are personal favorites) always seem to use fingers over pics, what are the pros and cons?
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#2
It's all preference man. Some "hardcore" people like to claim that playing with a pick is a sissy way to go about it, but man its all your choice. Finger picking usually sounds better imo, though.
#3
Depends on what you like. Genre doesn't play that much of a part, unless its extreme jazz or something of the like.

I say learn both well, then decide.
#4
You can also do more with your fingers. Its not easy slapping for a part of a song, then picking then slapping again since ypu'd have to drop the pick. Plus unless its super thick they can sometimes break. But picks are still a viable choice.
#5
I use both, but prefer fingers at the moment.

But that may be the lack of 2mm's talking.

They give different sounds, a harder attack with a pick and a smootherish sound with fingers.
#6
i know that slaping is a tech, but all my playing with my fingers seems to sound slappy, like im giving it too much power even when its gentle, cant seem to get that consistent sound like i can with a pic, am i just being crap?
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#7
Ronnie is right, the two give different tones but it's harder to do certain techniques while worrying about a pick.

Also for me fingerpicking sounded TERRIBLE when I first started bass, even if you have the right mindset you have to wait for your body to develop to match. So no you're not bad just new.
#8
Depends on the sound you're looking for and also the song i guess. Fingers will give you a 'warmer' sound and the pick will give you a 'sharper' more metallic song, i think.

I would learn both methods and switch according to the style of the song you're playing at the moment.
#9
I started with a pick and then moved to strictly fingers. I was really bad at it at first, but I always used my fingers doing practice and now I am better than I ever would have been with a pick. I think that if I never switched to fingers I would have never learned to slap or pop. Playing with a pick can only go so far in my opinion.
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#10
The only picks I play with are made by a friend. He makes em up to 5mm I use a 4mm on bass and a 1.2mm on Elec.
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#11
Seems to me that playing without a pick allows more freedom of movement, (ie. u can slap, finger pick, strum, hand slap) and also you can produce the tinny sounds by clipping the string wiv tip of ur finger or fingernail, if u practice (this can half-replace using a pick).
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#12
Quote by mozzay
i know that slaping is a tech, but all my playing with my fingers seems to sound slappy, like im giving it too much power even when its gentle, cant seem to get that consistent sound like i can with a pic, am i just being crap?


My fingerpicking with bass used to sound "slappy", too. I just practiced for a while and for the most part, it went away. You just have to learn to angle your fingers in a way that they're not pushing the strings down against the fretboard. Just start off playing slow, and once you can do that without that slapping sound, gradually speed up.
#13
to finger pick you just need to practice and it'll come. i used to be a bass purist and only played with my fingers however, i play alot and get blisters on my fingers from the amount of playing so i needed to learn to play with a pick well. i now think that a good palyer should be able to use both. though i prefer fingers most of the time i like a pic for some songs/solos i play
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#14
Quote by mozzay
(flea from chillies and Chris Wolstenholme from muse are personal favorites)



the greats, the real greats, not those guys, are guys like Jaco, and Stanley, and Victa and Geddy and Colonel Claypool

and ive never seen any of them use picks...claypool once, but he tossed it to the audience


IMO it takes more skill to play with fingers than a pick, and there are a ton of things that you cant do with a pick

i honestly dont see the point to a pick...can sum1 explain it please?
#15
it's just adding options man
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#16
Quote by Ragafusion
i honestly dont see the point to a pick...can sum1 explain it please?


different sound, different technique, different feel.. and above all, the opinion of the player.

remember kids, don't be ignorant!
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#17
Quote by Ragafusion
i honestly dont see the point to a pick...can sum1 explain it please?


Your fingers cannot emulate the sound of a plectrum. The attack stage of the signal is faster, giving the sound a harder, more agressive edge.

Your rounded fingers cannot do that.

Therefore, if you want that sound, you have to use a plectrum.

Ya follow?
#18
when fingerpicking, make sure you dont "pluck" the string. you will want to graze your finger over it, if you will, with a small incline. the greater the bend or incline you finger has, the more attack you will add. after you master this you will be fine.
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#19
I've been using a pick because my index and middle fingers produce diff sounds.
the former has a stronger sound while the middle finger seems to just brush the string a fair bit.
Any suggestions btw?
my theory,
pick=more consistent sounds
#20
I use picks because I like the sound but I get heat from my band because Cliff never used a pick so I shouldn't have to but I don't care I like the sound....
:
#21
Quote by Stumpo
I've been using a pick because my index and middle fingers produce diff sounds.
the former has a stronger sound while the middle finger seems to just brush the string a fair bit.
Any suggestions btw?
my theory,
pick=more consistent sounds



Try to angle your hand so that you're hitting the string with the same part of each finger.
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#22
I use a pick occasionally but mostly fingers. I enjoy playing bass with my fingers more, and its harder to cross strings with a pick I've heard.
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#23
finger bass is much better because for one thing pick is used with guitars and it jus seems easier to use fingers with a bass rather than a pick
#24
I find you can get more sounds out of your bass with your fingers, like you can really attack or play really soft, you can do this with a pick i know but playing softly with a pick still sounds too bright to me sometimes. And playing with fingers is generally quicker
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#25
I play with both. I used to play exclusively with my fingers and then I heard Justin Chancellor from Tool and DD Verni from Overkll. They botrh use picks. I like the clank they get so I learnt how to play witha pick. I can go faster with a pick now too
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#26
Um, momsy bassit will realize that there is no reason to say "i only use pick" or "i only use my fingers"

Different songs require different technics, When you want a pounding bass line that really drives the song use a pick when you want more melodic sounding use finger and when you want funk use slapping and popping.

In general I prefer using my fingers, I am more agilie with them, I find it's easier to switch fast between the strings with fingers cause you've got 2 wheres as with a pick if your on the E string one note the next your on the G string and then to the D sting really fast it's just easier with the fingers cause all you ddo is move your fingers. With a pick you have to move your hole wrist.

But really you should be good at both techniques.