... use the tips of your fingers to hit the note as when playing a chord, or do you lay the fingers more flat, using the finger pad?

I've been using the tip but have seen many people do it the other way allowing for a little more room for error i guess.... any thoughts?
i lay my fingers down flat, but it annoys me, because thats how i make my errors, so i want to start using my finger tips, but i dunno why, im just not working at it really =/
you should work on getting the tips of your fingers down on the strings, the tip of your thumb on the back of the neck, and as supple as possible, meaning that you can move it freely with your fingers.

If you use your finger tips then you have much more opportunity for strength, and agility.

I'd recommend learning certain scales that use all four of your fingers.

For example the phrygian mode, (the third mode of the major scale) is the same as the minor scale, except for the flat 2nd step.

E - F - G - A - B - C - D - E

I have to run, but if you want I can tab the scale out for you later.

good luck
I disagree slightly with filthylittleboy, if you have your fingers a little flatter it will be much easier to mute the strings you are not playing. True you wont have as much strength, but if you are playing either on an electric or an acoustic with relatively low action that should not be much of an issue. The muting will be much more productive and make you sound clearer. As for agility there should be no difference between pointed and flatter fingers.

Keep in mind that I mean relatively flatter fingers compared to pointed. You should not straigthen you fingers completely and should still have some bend to them. Almost like how you have your hand when you type on the keyboard.
Stop whining and learn your theory!

Quote by oddhawk676
Yeah, some black guy with a yankees cap walks into the ice cream parlor, and I said "We dont serve your kind here," as in, yankee fans, i guess he thought something else and left.
You should always use the fingertips. The only thing you should be using your pads for is if you are purposely muting, or if you are doing some sort of bar chord. Otherwise, when you use your pads on single notes, the biggest problem is that it's tons easier to accidentally mute other strings. You use your fingertips so they are more vertical and so that other strings can ring without being muted. Somebody who plays licks with mostly their pads is simply a sloppy player. Yeah they might have room for more error for that particular string, but they are screwing themselves over because they are muting other strings accidentally. This isn't an issue with bass, but with a 6-string it is.

Actually, many songs, such as Dave Matthews "crash into me", purposely mutes with your pads. You still play with your fingertips, but your fingers are layed over more so that your pads hits the open string in a particular chord, which, is real easy to do. It you purposely used your pads, this would happen even worse, and at times that you don't want it to.

Open strings stand up off the fretboard higher than pressed down strings, and they are real easy to hit if you don't use your tips. For example, play a C by itself, with your pads, just that one note, then without changing anything, play the open D string. It is extremely easy to accidentally mute that D string. Sure you could miss it while just playing that one note, but in a real musical situation, that's not going to happen.

With that in mind, the ironic thing is that using your tips actually allows more room for error, because you've got tons more room to avoid muting that next string down.
i play flatter but its alot easier to get all of the strings to sound out clearly with your finger tips