I was a pick player 99% of the time prior to starting B2B. Now I’m almost halfway through, I notice my finger speed has increased tremendously, and I rarely grab a pick anymore. That’s exciting for me! Just another one of the skills I wanted to improve upon.
I’m kind of the opposite - I use my fingers exclusively to pick. Always wondered how hard it would be to use a pick instead of fingers. Any insight into this?
My personal experience is this: I used a pick because my timing with fingers was not good. I tend to play glam and hair metal from the glorious 80s. You can definitely tell the difference in sound between fingers and a pick. Also, I had to find a pick I liked, and settled on a 3mm Big Stubby by Dunlop.
I suppose I would say it depends on the music you want to play. If the source used a pick, I would say try doing it that way. If not, you are already ahead of me with using your fingers Not sure if this helped your question.
I think one of the biggest differences between the two is muting. With proper finger style, you get a lot of muting “for free” whereas with picking you have to be a wee bit more mindful.
Disclaimer: I barely play with a pick
I was the opposite. I started with a pick and never had a problem with it, and tbh didn’t even know string muting was a thing Learning to play with fingers it was like I never knew how to play the instrument in the first place; it, muting was a foreign concept to me XD
And contrary to some pick users, I used a pick that was about .73 or less iirc That way it snaps percussively past the string and I’m ready for the upstroke. Big stubbies and modern jazz-styles have rounded or beveled edges so they slide past the string, at least.
As for @dtyscrt I noticed the same thing, way, way faster on my plucking hand than I ever thought I would be
I’d love to be able to use the pick but it’s a slow process for me. I’ve summoned my inner Bobby Vega but I’m no where near gig ready. Lol.
It’s funny. I have been finger playing exclusively for a few months now, and then when I got a guitar a few weeks ago I went back to picking, and I’m so much better than I was. How’d I get better with a pick while not using one? I don’t know.
I’m not sure if I like .73 or .88 better, but I like how they dig better than my thicker picks.
Want to learn how to use a pick?
Restart B2B and only use one. Work out the muting slowly as you go. Muting really is the key. The consistent picking will come just like plucking did.
It’s not hard, or harder, you just have to give yourself the latitude to learn it Vs expect it will come quicker than plucking.
Same goes for slap.
You kinda start at square one and are upset you don’t get to square 10 quickly so we don’t give it the attention needed.
I was 50/50 for a long time but I’ve been probably 75-90% pick for a while now, a year or so at least. Muting is different but both have some muting methods the other doesn’t.
I like the tone with a pick a lot more.
Never really bothered with a pick as it left with far less control over plucking, and I don’t see it as being very useful or advantageous for what I play.
It’s kinda funny. I spent the last few weeks with a pick on “Bathroom Window” and now plucking with my fingers seems odd! I am glad I took the time to wrangle the pick (and the compressor pick playing sorely needs when recorded) so I have more options now for tone.
Another step in the long long bass journey of expanding horizons.
Experiment peeps, and the most important thing is, if it feels odd or doesn’t sound good, that means there is an opportunity to nail something just like you did when you first picked up a bass and could barely tune it. Keep pushing and trying new things.
A bassist I admire is Haraguchi-san of Nemophila. Some songs she plucks, some songs she picks, she is proficient with both, but lets the song dictate which is best. I hope I can get to that place.
I think this describes most bassists.