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

Fingers Or Picks?


BigKahuna855

Recommended Posts

I Usually play music with my fingers and untill recently had never even touched a pick. Whats your opinions on using picks/fingers. also, does anybody know which would be the best for playing punk rock music??

"I'm thinkin' we should let bump answer this one...

Prepare to don Nomex!"

-social critic

"When I install my cannons, I'm totally going to blast their asses back to the 16th century; Black Beard style"

-bumpcity

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 78
  • Created
  • Last Reply

If you're doing punk, don't use a thin pick. Don't use anything less than a 1mm thick pick. Any less wil wear out too quickly. For that matter, you'd certainly want heavier strings as well (say, .45-.110 for a four string), but only if you can handle them.

 

I've done punk with my fingers, though. I usually just crank the gain a bit on my amp to let it distort a bit, or use an overdrive pedal, and push the trebles until I get a nice clangy tone, which a lot of rock and metal bassists love, not just the punk guys. I play that stuff with a mid 1980's Yamaha BB300, which has some stainless steel strings right now. Perfect.

 

Doing punk this way makes me feel like a rockabilly dude who sold his upright for a hot sounding Precision bass, and an Ampeg SVT + 8x10 stack. Fun, isn't it?

 

What punk bands are you into BTW? I'm mostly into the classic guys (Fugazi, Misfits, Minor Threat, Exploited, Black flag, etc.), though I like some of the newer acts too.

 

I'm not a total punker, but I like the attitude.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally prefer the sound of fingerstyle, so I use my fingers. I feel that I can get all the versatility I need with different playing positions and EQ tweaking.

Rig:

 

Ernie Ball Musicman Sterling

Fender Deluxe V (Bartolini pickups and BTB-01 preamp)

Schecter Diamond Series Model T

Eden WT-400

Avatar B410 NEO

Boss ME-50B

 

The Mac - My cover band

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Predominantly fingers, digits, falanges. Occasionally a pick. If we're talking bass playing, that is.

 

For ice climbing, I prefer a pick to my fingers.

 

For quarry work, I prefer a pick to my fingers.

 

For my nose...wait, I think I wrote about this before ;) ... maybe in this thread or this thread or this thread ? :P:D

 

Hey dcr, when do I get my wiseass prize? :D

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As soon as you learn to spell 'phalanges'. And I prefer to use the whole finger, flesh & all, rather than just the bone, or phalanx.

 

I believe it's now you who owe me a wiseass prize. :D And Erik who owes me a geek prize... :freak:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I play standard gauge strings with a .6mm pick. I've tried heavier picks, and have found the .6mm works best for me.

I firmly believe in the Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE, and now the Stooges) approach to bass; What ever it takes! :)

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by dcr:

As soon as you learn to spell 'phalanges'. And I prefer to use the whole finger, flesh & all, rather than just the bone, or phalanx.

 

That's what I get for copying the word from the title of another thread instead of doing my own work. Does this mean I plagiarized? :confused:

 

At least I am sure that I will not be using the word "phalanges" in my dissertation. What a relief! :P:D

 

Perhaps, dcr, you can accurately guess which of my phalanges + "flesh and all" I am holding up for you in front of my computer screen. Consider it your "wiseass prize"... :eek::P:D

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How punk is it to ASK PERMISSION on whether something is acceptable? Maybe there's a PUNK GUIDEBOOK out there somewhere to conform to ; }

 

But if it matters, maybe it's smarter to study the playing habits of some of the punk bassists and what sounds they seem to be making. But even that seems lame somehow.

 

Because I hear picks are VERY cheap to experiment with ... Or you could just say "Ef 'em all, I DID IT MY WAY - with my vibrator-powered Slinky." ; }

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Sweet Willie:

Perhaps, dcr, you can accurately guess which of my phalanges + "flesh and all" I am holding up for you in front of my computer screen. Consider it your "wiseass prize"... :eek::P:D

I can just feel the love in this place... :D

Rig:

 

Ernie Ball Musicman Sterling

Fender Deluxe V (Bartolini pickups and BTB-01 preamp)

Schecter Diamond Series Model T

Eden WT-400

Avatar B410 NEO

Boss ME-50B

 

The Mac - My cover band

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by bassplayer7770:

Originally posted by Sweet Willie:

Perhaps, dcr, you can accurately guess which of my phalanges + "flesh and all" I am holding up for you in front of my computer screen. Consider it your "wiseass prize"... :eek::P:D

I can just feel the love in this place... :D
I mean, c'mon, let's face it -- a pick just wouldn't do in that particular situation! :freak::eek::D

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't stress enough how much I love finger-plucking and despise playing bass with a pick.

 

Don't get me wrong, in that I don't dislike other bassists who use a pick, but I just can't stand to use them.

 

I will give you all a reason why:

 

I was trying to play along with the James Brown song "Super Bad" (I think that is the official title). Anyhow, I was having trouble grooving as the bassist on the record was. I started plaing bass after 6 years of trombone. I am not used to playing behind the beat as the bass player was on the cd, and I had to utilize the beauty of playing finger-style in order to do so. I was able to play exactly how it is played on the record by using more of my finger to pluck the strings with. It made the notes seem longer and a bit drawn back by the way I let more skin touch each string.

 

With a pick, however, not only would I have not been able to make this discovery, but it wouldn't have been possible in my mind. Sure, talented pick players get good sounds and good grooves, but personally, I will stick to the finger-style method I have learned to love so dearly.

 

peaceOUT,

 

Germain

.~.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by bassplayer5217:

I was trying to play along with the James Brown song "Super Bad" (I think that is the official title). Anyhow, I was having trouble grooving as the bassist on the record was. I started plaing bass after 6 years of trombone. I am not used to playing behind the beat as the bass player was on the cd, and I had to utilize the beauty of playing finger-style in order to do so. I was able to play exactly how it is played on the record by using more of my finger to pluck the strings with. It made the notes seem longer and a bit drawn back by the way I let more skin touch each string.

It's funny that you mention James Brown. My teacher has given me music to some of his tunes to help me "correct" my right hand technique. That involved using more of my fingers when plucking and plucking more aggressively. Also, playing nearer the bridge seemed to help with the JB tunes. The tunes I learned were "It's Too Funky In Here", "Body Heat", and "Get Up Offa That Thing". :thu:

 

On a side note, this week I'm learning "What Is Hip?" by TOP. :eek:

Rig:

 

Ernie Ball Musicman Sterling

Fender Deluxe V (Bartolini pickups and BTB-01 preamp)

Schecter Diamond Series Model T

Eden WT-400

Avatar B410 NEO

Boss ME-50B

 

The Mac - My cover band

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Germain,

 

First of all, "Super Bad" is exactly that as a tune. I love the tune; I love the groove! :thu:

 

Secondly, "fingers or pick" is not really an either or situation -- it can be a "fingers and/or pick" situation. Don't be too quick to never pick up a pick. You may find you have the same James Brown type of experience with a tune you're learning where playing it with a pick does you and the tune right! ;) (This from a player who hardly ever picks up a pick.)

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, with fingers one can actually draw out the timing of the attack since more picking area is available, and some neat timing tricks seem to come pretty naturally once one develops there fingers.

 

But James Brown ain't punk.

 

I've worked with picks enough to be able to use them effectively. But with my rig and a little nail contact I can get all the sharp plectrum contact sound I need and then some without a pick. So the only thing that stands in my way is the way a line is constructed; picks allow faster repetitions easier, and that ionfluences the design of the basslines for the style of the music. Then, I sometimes put first or second fingerpad against thumbpad and use the two as if holding a pick and upstroke/downstoke using plenty of 'nail contact.

 

I have a few picks sitting on top of my rack in a little accesories pocuh that travels in my bass case to all gigs and jams (along with an dremel-tool modified E-Bow and a slide). But I must admit I have't had to use them for ages to do the plectrum nasties.

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use both in different cases,but I prefer using your fingers and trying to get good at that technique,even the sound when using your fingers is good and warm,I use a pick for metal and playing fast stuff that I cant play with my fingers,listen to the forum on this though when playing punk,but think of one high point when using your fingers,if you drop a pick at a show or rehearsal you can pick right up with no flawand no swet off your back.
Pete Combs...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i don't play punk, nor claim to, but i play with a pick fairly regularly (just to keep sharp on it). there are certain songs that i don't like to play without a pick - not because i can't - because i need the sound i get with a pick. so what i'm saying is do what you need to do in order to get the sound you need to have.

 

i'm thinking about two great players in this one: flea and traa daniels (pod). flea always plays with a pick, traa never does. flea grooves. traa grooves. who's better? who cares? they both do what they need for the music.

 

andrew

i play for an audience of One
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome back Greenboy !

I hope ya hang ! - it's the well read sarcasm & experienced know how that I miss, there's a ton of crap to wade through here, but a slap in the Damn "reality face" helps make some of us smile and move right along ...........

 

:wave:

I'm Todbass62 on MySpace
Link to comment
Share on other sites

flea always plays with a pick,
Uh, actually Flea has only recently begun playing with a pick. He discusses this in the Aug '02 issue of Bass Player.In fact, it is the first question he addresses in the interview. Just FYI

 

Cheers

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by jeremyc:

Flea always plays with a pick?

 

That's a surprise to me, as most of the stuff I've heard out of him was slapped. :confused:

Come on Jeremy, catch up! Flea has slapped on less than 10 songs across the last four albums, so that's less than 1/6 of the tracks - maybe not a country bassist yet but certainly not the thrash funker he once was. On the other hand, he's only used a pick on about 4 tracks out of all their recorded output.

 

I slap well and I'm not too shabby with a pick yet 95% of the time in a band context I find fingerstyle works best. YMMV.

 

Alex

 

P.S. Haven't we discussed this before?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

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

×
×
  • Create New...