#1
Do you use a pick, or play with your fingers?
Just noticed that Shavo (of SOAD, who is my favourite bass player in history)alternates. My ex-bassist used a pick.

Just curious.
#2
i guess different techniques for different genres of music.

picking i think will give u a more driven tone, harder hitting. but using your fingers will give you a slightly mellower, natural tone.
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#3
Personally I perfer to use my fingers, though of corse, it's all a matter of personal preferance and how you like your sound.

I like the more 'blunt' sound you get when you play with your fingers, I also like the feel of it alot more than using a pick, though when you wanna do the super fast parts, or some good flashsy parts, using a pick will make doing them alot easier (Though flamenco techniques work as well).

I play classic-styled metal and hard rock, in case anyone was wondering.
#4
well im a "part time" bassist. which means i play bass in 2 bands, lead guitarist in the other. and i never use a pick with bass.i hate it, it feels awkward, and isn't really worth the slight sound difference.
#5
Man this is an old debate. There are people who think using a pick is blasphemy. Whatever. I think being proficient with both fingers and picks is essential, especially if you play in multiple bands.

Sometimes I'm doing my thing and I think "Damn this song would sound better if it were picked." I grab one from my pocket and jump right back in. I usually get a nod from one of the guitarists, a mental way of saying "I definitely agree with what you just did, man." Sometimes I switch during a song. I'll be picking then I come up to a part and think "Woah, I need to groove in this next part." I put the pick between my teeth and groove with my fingers.

It is all about necessity.
#6
i use fingers, if you simply play down really close to the bridge you get pretty much the same sound as using a pick anyway.
i use a pick sometimes, depends how im feeling.
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#7
im kinda both i can play that much faster and more accurately across more strings with my fingers but with a pick i can play more complex rhythms on single strings
#9
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#10
Quote by Smidgelton
Man this is an old debate. There are people who think using a pick is blasphemy. Whatever. I think being proficient with both fingers and picks is essential, especially if you play in multiple bands.

Sometimes I'm doing my thing and I think "Damn this song would sound better if it were picked." I grab one from my pocket and jump right back in. I usually get a nod from one of the guitarists, a mental way of saying "I definitely agree with what you just did, man." Sometimes I switch during a song. I'll be picking then I come up to a part and think "Woah, I need to groove in this next part." I put the pick between my teeth and groove with my fingers.

It is all about necessity.


Amen to that brother.
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#11
Quote by Smidgelton
Man this is an old debate. There are people who think using a pick is blasphemy. Whatever. I think being proficient with both fingers and picks is essential, especially if you play in multiple bands.

Sometimes I'm doing my thing and I think "Damn this song would sound better if it were picked." I grab one from my pocket and jump right back in. I usually get a nod from one of the guitarists, a mental way of saying "I definitely agree with what you just did, man." Sometimes I switch during a song. I'll be picking then I come up to a part and think "Woah, I need to groove in this next part." I put the pick between my teeth and groove with my fingers.

It is all about necessity.


I put mine behind my ear or in the gap between body and pup if I ever do that
#12
Quote by Deliriumbassist
I put mine behind my ear or in the gap between body and pup if I ever do that


I tried that - didn't work for me. I can't really stick picks in my teeth - I sing lots so I generally throw them into the audience once I'm done using them and have a stash blu-tacked to my mic stand. It's all great but it means that when I use them I'll go through picks like a crazy person.
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#13
Quote by Felkara
I tried that - didn't work for me. I can't really stick picks in my teeth - I sing lots so I generally throw them into the audience once I'm done using them and have a stash blu-tacked to my mic stand. It's all great but it means that when I use them I'll go through picks like a crazy person.


I sing a lot too, which is why they don't go in my mouth... plus I don't know where my hands have been

I once lost my favourite plectrum for a week... it dropped out from behind my ear when I was washing my hair.
#14
Quote by Deliriumbassist
I sing a lot too, which is why they don't go in my mouth... plus I don't know where my hands have been

I once lost my favourite plectrum for a week... it dropped out from behind my ear when I was washing my hair.


Dude, that's kinda weird...
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#17
Well i've played rhytem & bass guitars in my band over the space of a year & have to say i prefer a thin pick but it's just cause i'm used to it, i even sometimes use fingers
#18
Quote by Deliriumbassist
It is weird... thing is, I wash my hair every damn day... I must have been a bit overzealous that day


Yeah but dude, how'd you manage to leave your pick in your hair so that it only came out when you washed your hair? I'm so confused...
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#20
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I've got longish hair, and I put it behind my ear.


Oh, I get it now. Bad luck that, eh?
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#21
The lead guitar player in a band I was once in would stick his pick to his forehead when he was finger picking or doing complex solo work and it would stay stuck until he took it down. He wasn't afraid to do it live either. He always got a lot of laughs and weird looks. He was just kind of a weirdo like that.
#23
I alternate. My second last gig, 3 of the 5 songs I played required a pick. On the last gig, only 1 did.

I can understand people crying 'Guitar! Guitar!' when they see some teenager downpicking root notes on an Ibanez, but I use a pick when I want to get a certain sound. Specifically, I never play with my fingers when the distortion's on unless the guitar player is soloing and I stomp on the distortion to fill the space. That is, if the song has distortion on the whole time, I use a pick.

Also, on my P-Bass with flatwounds, I quite love the sound I get when I use a pick. It's just too boomy and undefined when I play with fingers (not as bad as a Gibson, though). A pick makes it nice and bouncy.

There's one song where I use fingers to percussively spank the strings my smacking them over the fretboard while adding hammer-ons. It's a really clacky and cutting sound with the distortion on. That means I have to switch from pick to fingers on the fly while I sing. I do that by holding the pick with my ring finger and pinkie on my right hand. If I need to get the pick back, I slide it over with my thumb.
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#24
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#25
I use to use a pick exclusively, but I remember, one day, I lost my favorite pick for about a month (i've literally had this pick since I started playing), and that whole time I refused to play with a pick, so I in that time I got fairly proficient with my fingers and now I use both fairly evenly.
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#26
I do both. They both have there advantages. Pick you can go faster imo. With fingers your hand is free to go right into slap and pop.
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#28
PIck sounds bad imo. Less control than with the fingers. And since I use quite a bit of tapping it gets in the way of that. YOu can also get a decent picked sound just by using downstrokes on the fingernails.
#29
Quote by Ibanez20th
PIck sounds bad imo. Less control than with the fingers. And since I use quite a bit of tapping it gets in the way of that. YOu can also get a decent picked sound just by using downstrokes on the fingernails.

ive always wondered why bassists dont use a thumb pick for just this reason.
#31
^ i just put it on my thumb and hold it like a pick, then when i need to use my fingers, my technique doesn't change from how i usually play.
#32
perhaps. But how do you slap with a thumb pick on.

And no with classical guitar your constantly using your thumb. Pick does definitely destroy technique there.
#33
Pick all the time for me. Bit less comfortable, but I far prefer the tone you get.
#34
I learned how to play bass using a pick. In fact I didn't even know you were "supposed" to use your fingers till about 3 months after I had my first bass. Honestly I think it is all a matter of preference. Some people are elitist and claim that picks go against the proper way of playing a bass and are an easy route to take. however, I know a few bassists who suck at playing bass with a pick and use their fingers pretty well.

It all comes down to a personal choice I think. I play with a pick for punchy sounds and for fast note playing. I use fingers in just about every other situation.
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