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For the pickers...


JDL

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...we all know there are different places that if we use a pick to play on, it will create a different tone. Different positions create different tones, different tones for a different feel, a different feel for a different mood and different mood for a different song.

 

By positions, I'm mostly talking about "close to the bridge," "over the fretboard," etc.

 

My question is, which position do you mostly use? Do you change for different songs? Also, which feel fits your band/personal tone needs?

 

For me, the most part of my technicality is picked by the bridge pickup. Behind it for a somewhat stale tone, and in front of the pickup for more bass feel. I use the more bass feel in a band setting and love the juicy tone I can pump out behind the pickup.

 

How bout you?

 

-JDL

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For the sound I prefer, I like to pick between the P & the J pickups. Exactly in the middle of the space between the two. I am playing an Ibanez GSR200.

 

The problem is, I am not in enough control of my picking hand to keep it in the correct spot all of the time and my hand wanders (I expounded on this problem in another thread, so I won't bore people here with it), so I end up picking in the space between the neck and the neck pickup.

 

I was referred to Carol Kaye's website and she actually teaches her students to pick in that spot. (She has a VERY informative website http://www.carolkaye.com/ )

 

I think the sound is OK when I pick there, but I love the sound between the pickups. So... on songs where I really want to emphasize a certain part, I play in that spot.

 

... connie z

"Change comes from within." - Jeremy Cohen

 

The definition of LUCK: When Preparation meets Opportunity!

 

http://www.cybergumbo.com

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I switch around a lot on my Jazz.

 

- Between the neck and neck pup for a mellower, bassier tone.

 

- Between the bridge and bridge pup for a brighter, clearer tone when I'm playing chords or arpeggios.

 

- Between the pups for a punchy, articulate tone. This is where I play most of the time, changing positions for different sections of a song or even just a few notes.

-Matt M
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Finally - somebody else who uses a pick! :cool:

 

For picking, I'll pick anywhere from the bridge pickup to about 2" into/onto the fretboard.

 

Just like where along the string you play, though, the angle of the pick matters just as much (perhaps more to me).

 

For a "clicky" guitar-like sound, I let the flat part of the pick hit the string evenly. To sound more like finger-picking though, I'll usually NOT let the flat part of the pick hit the string evenly. Instead, I'll hold the pick at about a 45-degree angle to the string, so the pick "rolls over" the string.

 

To help describe the angle of rotation I'm talking about, imagine 90-degrees instead. Instead of the flat part of the pick (still the tip!) hitting the string, let the edge of the pick (still the tip!) hit the string and "roll-over" the string (the tip of the pick is not "sharp", but rounded). In this orientation, the pick is like a "knife" cutting across all the strings (NOT parallel to the body of the bass!), but with a dull edge, and a rounded tip, the "knife" rolls-over the string and does not really cut. 90-degrees is too clumsy, though. By adjusting the angle between 45-degrees and 0, you can get a lot of variety. I actually prefer a picked 0-degree sound with LOTS of treble to slap, but I fully realize others will NOT agree. In either case, I almost always stick with a low-EQ "jazzy" (warm/creamy) kind of sound.

 

I use Fender heavy picks, which work nicely for this, though I've not experimented with other brands. With flat-wounds, this "roll-over" technique sounds a lot like finger-picked round-wounds - only cleaner.

 

Note: The above does not work well on round-wounds, unless you're going for a slap-like sound with the treble turned way-up. The pick does not "roll-over" the string smoothly, since round-wounds are very abrasive, so only the "clicky" 0-degree attack is practical.

 

Speed AND tone. MMMMmmmmmmmm!!

:thu:

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i think i'm the only bass player i've ever talked to who doesn't use a heavy pick. i use a dunlop tortex orange, which is .63mm, i think.

 

i typically pick right over the neck pickup and sometimes stray towards the fingerboard. i rarely pick behind the neck pickup. the pick gives me enough bite that i really like to preserve the low end and don't need to thin out the sound like i would if i were fingerpicking a nasally, bridge-pickup funk tone (another of my favorite tones).

 

robb.

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Originally posted by pumpcat:

I switch around a lot on my Jazz.

 

- Between the neck and neck pup for a mellower, bassier tone.

 

- Between the bridge and bridge pup for a brighter, clearer tone when I'm playing chords or arpeggios.

 

- Between the pups for a punchy, articulate tone. This is where I play most of the time, changing positions for different sections of a song or even just a few notes.

What he said.
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personally, i prefer fingerstyle, but when i do ply pickstyle, it depends on the bass i use

 

i get a lot a pick noise (from the pick hitting the strings and less note) on my jackson c20 because the pickups are partially microphonic (tap the plastic case and sound is amplified)

 

i thus try to play as far away from the pickups as I can while still getting the tone and playablity i want

 

- for fenders, stingrays, and other basses with nonmicrophonic pickups, i play just between the front side of the neck heel and the neck pickup to get a more controlled sound while getting a lot of string vibration (for trebly solos i slide down to the bridge pickup and play harder)

 

thats all folks,

 

peaceOUT

.~.
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Well, I started on guitar when I was a wee lad so my picking technique is waaay more developed than my plucking. Let's not talk about slapping, shall we. ;)

 

I usually hover around the middle pick-up place for a full yet articulate tone. If it's a ballad or something without a lot of whole notes I'll play the neck more and let the notes bloom. If it's faster, with a lot of runs then it's the bridge. I find excess low-end on a speedy tune is a sure-fire way to kill the vibe and turn a flurry of notes into mush.

 

PhilMan99's got a great point about the angle of the pick itself. Normally, I figure I'm hitting the string somewhere between 0 and 45 degrees. When I first started bass (and now and then for fun effects) I used a sort of tremolo pick scrape thing (a very quick, back-and-forth, continuous scrape close to the bridge) to get a cello kind of sound.

 

Also, though it's not directly a pick thing, I've found using a capo and picking open strings and high register notes makes for some cool guitar-meets-bass chord sounds, especially when played close to the bridge.

 

And yeah, Dunlop 1mm, pondering even heavier...

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When I do pick, I pick mostly between the P and J pickups when picking. I also sometimes palm mute the strings to mimic classic tic-tac bass tones (like on Patsy Cline's "Crazy").

 

Preferred piece? Purple Dunlop Tortex in the triangle form, @ 1.24 mm. I also use 2 mm Dunlop Stubbys. These picks are very glassy sounding. Great for clangy, metallic tones.

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I dunno where I pick...

 

Mostly the strings. Sometimes my nose. Usually both at the same time.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Originally posted by CMDN:

I dunno where I pick...

 

Mostly the strings. Sometimes my nose. Usually both at the same time.

CMDN, be careful not to get things from the nose on the strings, the strings may not last as long. :D

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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Originally posted by robb.:

i think i'm the only bass player i've ever talked to who doesn't use a heavy pick. i use a dunlop tortex orange, which is .63mm, i think.

 

i typically pick right over the neck pickup and sometimes stray towards the fingerboard. i rarely pick behind the neck pickup. the pick gives me enough bite that i really like to preserve the low end and don't need to thin out the sound like i would if i were fingerpicking a nasally, bridge-pickup funk tone (another of my favorite tones).

 

robb.

My long lost brother! :thu:

I play the same pick in the same position (a little in front of the p.up) !

I never play near the bridge pick-up (oh yeah, I forgot, I don't have a bridge p.up :) )!

The thinner pick works great for up, down picking.

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

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I play with a 1.00 mm blue Tortex triangle, much as Jason Newsted does, picking just about the same place on the same strings. Coincidence? Yes.

 

I pick almost right over the coils on my Stingray, other times I get closer to the bridge palming it, and I have scratches in the crud on my neck up to about the 17th fret, so I guess I pick there too.

\m/ Timothy Lyons
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i started using a thinner pick when i realized that's how flea got the sound he gets on "parallel universe" on "californication". and then i realized that many great studio pick tones are gotten with a thinner pick.

 

heavier picks make more "plinky" tones that aren't nearly as full as a thin-pick tone, so i generally avoid them, but i still have my dunlop 2mm big stubby in case i need it. if nothing else, that's a very comfortable pick.

 

robb.

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On the subject of picking, has anyone got the hang of tremolo picking like Dick Dale? I'm getting steadily closer but I'm wondering if I'd be better off with a more flexible pick (at the moment I'm using a blue Dunlop tortex, 1mm, I think).

 

One more question - those of you that play with a pick, do you predominantly play rock music (and variations upon the heavy(-ish) with noisy guitars theme) or are any of you funk/soul/jazz/(reggae!) players?

 

Alex

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though it's not as fast as dick dale style tremolo picking, the aforementioned "parallel universe" is tremolo picked. read my post above to elucidate further.

 

i use a dunlop tortex orange, .60mm. it's not entirely insubstantial, but it flexes just right for medium-light bass strings. it gives me less "plink" and more "schproing". tortex is nummy.

 

robb.

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Originally posted by robb.:

i use a dunlop tortex orange, .60mm. it's not entirely insubstantial, but it flexes just right for medium-light bass strings.

What is medium-light? 40-100? (I hate the confusing way string sets are named - does anyone play heavy gauge? Another pet hate is describing tempo as slow, moderate, fast etc. Give me BPM dammit!)

 

When you're playing Parallel Universe do you still pick between/over the neck pickup and the neck or do you shift further towards the bridge?

 

Alex

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Originally posted by C.Alexander Claber:

On the subject of picking, has anyone got the hang of tremolo picking like Dick Dale? I'm getting steadily closer but I'm wondering if I'd be better off with a more flexible pick (at the moment I'm using a blue Dunlop tortex, 1mm, I think).

 

One more question - those of you that play with a pick, do you predominantly play rock music (and variations upon the heavy(-ish) with noisy guitars theme) or are any of you funk/soul/jazz/(reggae!) players?

 

Alex

In my dance band, we play softer tunes, and I've used a pick there. Haven't done too much plectruming with jazz, though. I still prefer the ol' digits action there.

 

Yeah, the Brits got the term right IMHO. Plectrum, not pick. :)

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Originally posted by C.Alexander Claber:

What is medium-light? 40-100?

i actually sort of posted that as a joke, since i'm tired of writing out string gauges. i prefer .045 .065 on top and .080 and .100 on the bottom.

 

When you're playing Parallel Universe do you still pick between/over the neck pickup and the neck or do you shift further towards the bridge?
that's a good question. let me go play it and i'll get back to you. :)

 

robb.

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I play where i think it suits the sound best, i just use fender heavy picks (not the clear ones though cos they snap so easily.) On to the rhcp song i originaly played this with my finger nail, the finger is sideways the fingernail is pointing up the fretboard, this is how i originaly got the right sort of sound for it (please do not try this if you bite your fingernails as this will end up really hurting) but i guess a thin pick would work better and not hurt as much, or you can just play double finger really fast like the guy from iron maiden, this is how i play it now but it starts to really hurt after about 10 minutes (i've been practicing) Laters.

Nic

"i must've wrote 30 songs the first weekend i met my true love ... then she died and i got stuck with this b****" - Father of the Pride
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Originally posted by robb.:

i think i'm the only bass player i've ever talked to who doesn't use a heavy pick. i use a dunlop tortex orange, which is .63mm, i think.

 

i typically pick right over the neck pickup and sometimes stray towards the fingerboard. i rarely pick behind the neck pickup. the pick gives me enough bite that i really like to preserve the low end and don't need to thin out the sound like i would if i were fingerpicking a nasally, bridge-pickup funk tone (another of my favorite tones).

 

robb.

I use the same picks. However, I rarely use them on my bass, just the skinny stringed monster. :)
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I use the same picks as robb, orange (.63mm) Tortex. That's the only pick I've used for the last 14 years or so. I use a pick almost all the time with my Rics, which sound great picked. I rest my hand on the bridge pickup covers and play between the pickups to get a heavy bottom with great attack. Interestingly, I've found that my Zon V doesn't respond nearly as well to a pick, so I always play it with my fingers.
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