Author Topic: About Face  (Read 1002 times)

Happy Face

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Re: About Face
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2017, 06:06:08 PM »
Now and then I fool with a pick. Learned finger style but once had to use a pick on the road thanks to some negligence.

But at this point I'd really miss the finger muting stuff I've stumbled into. Both hands at work, but I can still sound pretty sloppy on tape
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Highlander

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Re: About Face
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2017, 04:12:46 PM »
Ah, harvester of picks!

Always loved that riff, it was industrial before industrial was invented.

Did someone mention slapping?

We both have a predilection for their rhythms, but they jumped the shark with that last one though... :mrgreen:
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slinkp

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Re: About Face
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2017, 07:04:47 PM »
I've always been a mix-it-up guy ... do whatever suits the sound and feel of the song!  If that means learning a new style after many years of playing, great!

I haven't added much new in a while.  I do seem to use my thumb a little more than I used to, don't know why. I play pretty conventional two-finger style most often, but also use pick a lot. I'll change hand position too for different sounds and feels. I can still do a light percussive fingerstyle up near the neck that I developed from watching Entwistle at a young age, though it doesn't always find its way into a song. Sometimes just for accents.  Once upon a time I slapped a lot, and still sort of know how, though I don't bring it out as often... sometimes for a big finish I'll thumb-slap the last note.

amptech

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Re: About Face
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2017, 09:57:04 PM »
I find myself learning to mute with my palm while plucking with my two regular fingers these days. We have this surf band going these days, and I just can't learn to play tight With a pick! Usually I pluck near the neck, so this is something new to me.

Dave W

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Re: About Face
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2017, 10:51:40 AM »
I'm in the zone when playing fingerstyle. For me, pick playing requires more deliberate thought, but sometimes you just have to have it. Slap? Never.

Psycho Bass Guy

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Re: About Face
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2017, 08:41:09 PM »
 It's not a simple matter of switching just the plucking implement; my bass is slung low out of necessity. My arms are very long and resetting my strap for pick playing standing just doesn't work for me because I'd have to commit to doing a whole set with a pick. I can do fine playing pickstyle seated, but I've played too aggressively fingerstyle for too long to be able to impart the same dynamics into pick playing anywhere outside a studio. I can slap, but I don't play any songs where it would work musically. Jamerson didn't slap either.

westen44

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Re: About Face
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2017, 05:02:42 AM »
Even since I was a teenager, there have been two things in the bass world that have never completely made sense to me.  1.  The bias that a lot of people seem to have against pickstyle playing.  2.  The hoopla over P basses. 

patman

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Re: About Face
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2017, 12:13:57 PM »
I always thought, when amplification was cruder, it was harder to screw up the eq on a p-bass...

Dave W

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Re: About Face
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2017, 06:01:46 PM »
It's still hard to screw up the eq on a Precision. The tone may not be your cup of tea. but it's easy to make yourself heard.

The anti-pick sentiment is based on jealousy, going back to the early days of electric bass. Some upright bassists sneered at the idea and thought it would go away if they refused to play it. Guitarists took it up and took a lot of jobs away from them. Putting pick players down was their response. Of course, very few upright players who successfully made the transition ever did this. But it continues to this day because there's never a shortage of jealous second-rate losers.

Don't like pick tone? Fine, that's just a matter of taste (just as I don't like slap tone). Think that a pick player isn't a "real" bassist? You're a loser.

uwe

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Re: About Face
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2017, 01:16:05 PM »
Is that really an issue still today? It's been decades since someone has questioned that I play with a pick, these days it's more "oh, you play with a pick, nice!". Lots of drummers and guitarists seem to like it because they can locate it better even if the music is loud.

Like most pick players from my generation, my choice for it came out of sheer necessity. Until several years into bass playing, I simply never had a rig that could have projected finger playing as audibly as playing bass with a pick (with the treble cranked up high - something I have stopped doing these days). By that time, I was too impatient to relearn playing with fingers. That a lot of my role models (Glenn Hughes, Roger Glover, Nick Simper, Jim Lea, Martin Turner, Alan Lancaster, Gene Simmons, Macca) all played with a pick (for probably the same reason: getting heard!) probably had something to do with it too.

I still hold though that finger playing - with all its micro-inaccuracies and varying emphasis on notes - sounds more human and invites more inventive and intricate rhythmic playing than pick playing. There are rhythmic subtleties in finger playing that you just don't come up with as a (solely) pick player. Pick playing, otoh, is more attention-grabbing, assertive and your melodies cut through better. Perhaps it also leads you to more melodically adventurous playing simply because you are not so focused on your right hand.

These days, what a right hand bassist does with his left (fretting hand) is in any case more important to me than how he hits the strings. The only thing I don't really like that much is that Rocco Prestia-style ultra-fast-sixteen-notes-finger-playing which to me sounds simply nervous and rhythmically overly busy without setting real rhythmic signposts as you would if you played the same run in quarters or eights. Give me Bernard Edwards in comparison anytime. There I said it. But of course he has (both have/had) immaculate technique.
It ain't no country until Dave sez it is!

slinkp

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Re: About Face
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2017, 02:29:14 PM »
Nobody ever has to apologize for preferring Bernard Edwards to (insert bassist here)!  That guy was top tier in my book, and it could be argued with the periodic resurgence of Chic-influenced and/or Nile Rodgers-produced pop music that his influence now spans generations of funk/pop bassists.

Pretty good breakdown of pick-vs-fingers history, too, Uwe, I think that's a pretty common experience.

Dave W

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Re: About Face
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2017, 10:27:38 PM »
Funny, I have to be more focused on my right hand when using a pick.

patman

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Re: About Face
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2017, 07:22:44 AM »
That goes away with practice and familiarity

uwe

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Re: About Face
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2017, 07:55:58 AM »
Right, same with me when I play with fingers. But once you have settled for either the light or the dark side, it all falls into place and you don't worry about your strumming hand too much anymore. I have become more nimble over the decades with my right hand (though there are still plenty of ultrafast runs that don't come easy for me) and I play with a much lighter touch - the way Uwe dug in, say, 30 years ago, he'd laugh about the "feather touch" of Uwe today. At the same time, my fretting hand has become much stronger and forceful and - nothing conscious - I almost constantly do finger vibrato or bend notes.
It ain't no country until Dave sez it is!

Pilgrim

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Re: About Face
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2017, 08:17:34 AM »
Probably because I learned on upright, I'm still trying to learn to use a pick - at all. I can do it but with no speed and marginal accuracy. And adding vibrato is second nature on slow tunes, as it's practically a reflex.
Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)