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Baloney Balderdash

Pick, fingers or both? - also if pick, which do you use?

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Posted (edited)

So out of curiosity, who use finger picking and who use a pick, or if both, which do you prefer, and what is/are your favorite pick(s).

Personally I can play both, but by far prefer the tone I get from using a pick, that specific snappy emphasis on the attack that you can't really replicate exactly alike by other means.

On guitar strangely enough I prefer using my fingers.

I also actually prefer my pick to be fairly flexible, and my favorite pick for bass is a Dunlop USA Nylon .73mm :

dunlop-nylon-guitar-pick-73mm-2.jpg

The one I use now is just perfectly worn to have a fairly round tip, exactly as I prefer it to be, and I have prepared another one, aiming for about the same roundness of the tip, by using fine grained sandpaper. 

This is how I prefer it to be:

Bass-Pick-Round-Tip.jpg

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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I mainly use a pick.  A Jim Dunlop like your one but the black 1mm version.  I used to exclusively play with a pick but over the past 4 or 5 years have gradually started to play more with fingers on those songs where it is more appropriate.  But if I need speed and/or accuracy I absolutely need to use a pick.  It is what feels most natural to me.

I very occasionally use my thumb to pluck, too.  

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I vary my technique a lot but seem to be doing a lot of pic playing at the moment. 1mm custom design ones. 

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Fingers...I haven't bought a bass pick in, oooh 30 something years... 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

I also actually prefer my pick to be fairly flexible, and uses a Dunlop USA Nylon .73mm for bass

Those are the best I've tried. 🙂

Any thinner sounds weak and 'clicky'. Thicker ones sound good, but they turn in my fingers, and/or I tend to drop them too often. 😬

Edited by Ricky 4000
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Always used fingers, Never could get on with a pick.

I failed an audition for a Status Quo Tribute band once because I didn't use a pick! :D

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Pick for the last five years after an accident damaged my right hand. Only pick I use is a Dunlop 3mm, I can't grip anything thinner.

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Both for me. Stunning generalisations being that I use a pick for heavy rock / metal and fingers for lighter styles, a pick for 4 string and fingers for 5 / 6 string, and fingers until I feel like I'm risking a blister, then switch to a pick irrespective of style - just use the thicker back edge and play softer.

There are a few tunes where I'll palm the pick for a while and play softer sections with fingers then go back to the pick when required, so I like a fairly big pick that isn't going to slip through my fingers and hit the deck. I use 1.26mm acetal picks most of the time, but will occasionally use a 1mm red big stubby if I want a really clear attack when recording something fast.

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When I started I used a pick, then switched to fingers (after not being able to play certain songs with a pick....) Now I am back to pick as I feel I can get a better sound....
As for what I use......depends, I generally have a few in rotation
Most are Dunlops (0.96, 1.0 1.14)
A load of random ones acquired over the years at gigs/as gifts etc
I also have a few I've made with a pick press (current ones are made from waste plastic packaging from work, so not entirely sure what it is or exactly how thick.....just that it is better than old debit card or milk bottle...!)

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Much prefer fingers.

Pickwise, for bass my favourites are my 'Lemmy' branded ones that measure up as 1.17mm, held fairly loosely. Thinner ones just don't seem to deliver much more snap than I can get with my fingers.

For guitar ideally 0.5mm Dunlop nylon picks for strumming, small hard picks for lead.

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Dunlop 1mm triangle picks, either Tortex or Ultex. Tortex gives a fuller sound, Ultex a tad scooped.

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Both for me. Some bands will be mainly plectrum, some mainly fingers, some I have a plec in my back pocket to whip out for certain songs. All just depends on the sound and feel I'm after for a band or song.

I've settled on 1mm Dunlop Max-Grip. I ordered a pack by mistake, but they are nice and grippy, feel right, and make a sound I really like.

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Mostly fingers for me - all of my practice time is spent playing fingerstyle unless it’s for a certain song where I want the sound of a pick.

for me it’s a green tortex (I think it’s 0.8mm).

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Fingers are primary for me, although some songs I play require a pick tone. 
I use delrin 1.14mm custom prints from Scott Clayton and also John petrucci jazz ones when I fancy a change 😂

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Always a pick as my hands are not great so cannot play with fingers anymore I normally use the medium Fender celluloid picks but have started using the Boss green picks also 

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When I started out, I tried playing with my fingers, but failed miserably, so moved on to using a plectrum. Used them up to the late 90's when I pretty much switched to guitar. The favoured pick's for bass were... Dunlop Nylon's 0.73mm.

Used Dunlop Tortex 0.60mm for guitar (the orange ones). 

When that band finished, I kind of lost interest in playing guitar, so started playing bass a bit more. As most of my bass "heroes" were finger-style players, I started working on my bass technique, took it back to bas(s)ics, and re-learned playing with my fingers. Still using fingers for bass, plectrum for guitars.

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Mostly fingers, but can play with a plectrum as well, though not as fluidly. I learned to use a plectrum just in case a paying gig required it. So far, it never has!

If using a plectrum my main pick of choice is the Jim Dunlop Tri Stubby 1.5mm (the red one). The 2mm Stubby or the blue Dunlop Tortex 1mm pick is fine as well. On guitar I use the green Dunlop Tortex .88m or the blue 1mm, basically whichever one is nearest. 

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99% fingers.

Unfortunately I have a hand injury that is forcing me to use a pick for the next 6 months - year.

I've bought about a million different ones to try out including leather and felt ones to try and get a finger tone again.

 

I don't have anything against picks and for some things I really like them, but I play a lot of big band and finger tone works better for me.

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I grew up on pop-punk bands so I was pretty much all pick for the first few years. Now I'm maybe 75% fingers and 25% pick, mostly depending on song or how I'm feeling. After a lot of searching (which was fun in itself!) I decided on the Dunlop Gator Grip 1.14mm.

 

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Both. Dunlop 1mm pick. Depends on the song. Generally if the original bassist used a pick then so do I with our cover.

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I've used mostly picks for most of my playing life, favoring the Dunlop Tortex 1.14 mm triangle, they last forever and give a very nice thick sound. I also sometimes use wooden Dugain picks for a softer sound, for example on fretless, and the same Dugain for the occasional guitar playing.

 

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all my bass playing heroes use a pick J J Burnel Bruce Foxton, Macca and playing in a punk band I've never even considered using fingers, I did try when we had to learn  Stand By Me for a wedding but volume issues got in the way for just for one song, although I could have done it, and I can finger pick on acoustic guitar, when I see other bass players using fingers it never looks as cool to me (personal preference I know) and usually, but not always, the bass sounds a bit woolly to my ears.

I use a luminous .94mm nylon Dunlops, used to use black 1mm but if I could never find them at dark pub gigs 😊

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