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Old 06-23-2009, 09:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kamikazi Kat View Post
I've been playing bass guitar for a fairly short time and I occasionally catch myself using my thumb in combination with my pointer and middle finger to pick. Is this bad technique to learn, or is it good to be comfortable using your thumb as well as your fingers to pick?
I say, the more fingers you are able to use, the more versatile of a player you can become. I've always been a finger player. Until recently, I never used a pick. But I wrote a song part that just cuts through a lot better with a pick, so I keep one stuck on the bass that I use for that song.

I still can't really use my plucking hand's pinkie finger.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:04 AM   #12 (permalink)
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A lot of bassists start out using their thumbs to pick the strings. I wouldn't worry about it, I think it just comes down to experience and getting used to using your forefinger and middle finger. Practice makes perfect! The 'proper' technique often comes with time.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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it took me a very long time to start using a pick with my bass. i always followed the misguided ideal that 'real' bass players only use their fingers. using a pick provides a distinct attack and an ability to play runs with a different kind of aggression than your fingertips.

it's not something i use a lot but i found i was also able to pull out way more harmonic sounds while using a pick as opposed to my fingers.
I echo this.

Using a pick on a bass isn't a beginner's stigma. It's a method of achieving a specific sound. If you're looking for a uniform tone with high attack and a lot of high/mid string frequency response, picking is the way to go.
I just don't like the way picks can limit your natural dynamics.

To me, dynamics in playing ANY instrument is just important as what you're playing in the first place.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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James Jamerson the bass player for The Funk Brothers, Motown's dedicated studio band, was one of the best most influential bass players everand he used one finger.
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:35 AM   #15 (permalink)
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James Jamerson the bass player for The Funk Brothers, Motown's dedicated studio band, was one of the best most influential bass players everand he used one finger.
Possibility is awesome.
But we can't all be James Jamerson and use one finger to do the same things even little ol'e Stu Hamm does.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Possibility is awesome.
But we can't all be James Jamerson and use one finger to do the same things even little ol'e Stu Hamm does.
Stu Hamm has to have more than ten fingers, he just has to.
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
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the only problem you might have is that it may hinder your speed just a little...
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Honestly its best to be as versitile in your playing as you can... It will help you out later if you can use everything in your toolbox to play with instead of just being set to finger picking.
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Smile Finger picking on bass.

Hi there,

I have had a Tacoma acoustic/electric bass for a few years now and have evolved a way of playing it that is more like finger picking on a flat top guitar. I use my thumb mainly for the E string and my first, second and third fingers for the other three strings.This is great for African style bass playing I find.

Whether a certain method is correct or not does not really matter. Who is to decide what is correct? Sometimes, a certain technique is needed to achieve certain sounds, especially where speed is involved but apart from that, there need not be rules. It's the end result that counts.

I always think of it as a blank canvas. Whether you splat paint on or use a teeny,tiny paint brush and make really precise marks, there is always something there that didn't exist a few moments ago. Same with music. It's all about creating sounds, whichever route we use to get there.

Gordon.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:04 PM   #20 (permalink)
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In response to the original question:

Whatever way you feel comfortable playing, just go with it. There aren't any rules.
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