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3 Benefits of Picking Dat Bass

September 21, 2013

ImageThere is a certain dogma among musicians that “real” bass players play with their fingers, and losers play with a pick. That’s a load of crap and here’s why.

First of all, hating on someone for the WAY they play their instrument is stupid. It’s the SOUND that matters, not the techniques. Who cares how the sound is achieved? That’s like saying that Def Leppard’s drummer is a poser because he only has one arm.

Playing bass with a pick is a perfectly legitimate option and here’s three reasons why.

1) Tone – Like anything on an instrument, the sound and tone you’re getting is most important. The sound of a picked bass is different from a finger-played bass. If someone likes the tone of a picked bass, then there’s only one way to get that sound.

2) Attack – This is kinda the same as number one, but the sound of a pick hitting bass strings gives you a loud consistent “attack” that really cuts through. It’s not impossible to do the same with your fingers, but human flesh will never sound like a metal/plastic pick.

3) Pros Do It – While I’m not typically one to say, “other people do it so it must be okay,” but tons of awesome bass players play with a plectrum. In fact, players like John Paul Jones, John Entwhistle, and Sting use both fingers AND picks. Why? Because different songs call for different tones. And it’s okay.

Don’t Limit Yourself. Each method is perfectly legit, and if I were you, I’d become proficient in both! If a songs call for the fingers, it’s great to be able to do it. If another songs is begging for some sharp attack, then bust out the pick. Sure, you can have your preference, that’s fine. If you never play with a pick in your life, that’s fine, too. But the hate has to stop. Playing with a pick is perfectly viable so embrace it, my friends!

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