Jump to content

Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

"My Generation" Pick, Fingers or Both?

freddy bloggs

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 15
  • Created
  • Last Reply
Well, as far as I can hear it, he used a pick on Live at Leeds. It's almost unintelligable to me on the recorded version. I do it with a pick because of the sheer speed of the bass solo as heard on Live at Leeds. Lord, the man could play, rest his soul. Anyway, I'd say to just use waht's best for you, and hopefully, an insightful member of the community will know exactly what John did.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A little insight to why it may sound that way to you:


I've found it easy to fool people into thinking I am playing with a pick. A little bit of 'nail, and letting the amp do much of the work so that the volume difference between 'nail and average 'pad strikes is not that great. And the right EQ/rig. With my usual rig, some boost at anywhere from 2K Hz to 3.5K Hz does it. With a tube in front it's pretty convincing.


Man, if I play with a pick when I've got that EQ on my rig it just HURTS that there's that much BITE ; }

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seen him live and on film. Never saw him play with a pick. It's amazing to watch those long right hand fingers churning away across the strings!


Remember, as we've seen in another thread, he was pretty ambitious and experimental with his gear and all of that contributes to the sounds you hear.



Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did a search about John and the My Generation recording and found some interesting facts as told by Mr. E himself.


The final version we're all familiar with was the fifth take. The first two takes were scraped. It was on the third take that they decided to put the bass runs in, and John wanted a Danelectro bass, which had thin strings, for the sound he wanted. They went and bought one, and he broke all the strings! No one could find any music supplier who had the strings he wanted, so he sprang for another Danelectro bass. Broke strings on the fourth take, and with the pressure of the session, spent another 60 pounds on a third Danelectro! They finally got it on the fifth take.


Holy Guacamole! I've maybe broken 5 bass strings in 25 years of playing! He said he hated spending the money for these basses, but I think we're all glad he did.

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

John E. was actually quite adept with either finger style or the pick. And yes the tapping, or "typewriter playing" as he called it can be mistaken for the sound of a pick. More often it takes on it's own unique timbre.


I've seen footage of him playing both ways - including My generation. So it really depends on the take. The original, Danelectro, take was, I'm almost sure, done with a pick.


The guy had such an arsenal of techiques and combined with his monsterous sound it's very difficult to tell exactly what he's doing.


My two cents.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elements of the Entwistle sound -


- aggressive three-finger right hand technique

- Rotosound strings

- guitar amp for highs

- extremely low action


John always wanted to be heard. He wanted an "out front" kind of sound. He started out as a brass player and got used to a clarion tone that cuts through on stage and on tape.

The Black Knight always triumphs!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Read a quote recently by Entwistle in that he said he used a pick on "Heaven & Hell," "Magic Bus," "Shakin All Over," and, you guessed it, "My Generation" on Live at Leeds. Both methods work fine, I think it's jsut a matter of preferance.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...