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Was Bass Originally Made to be Played with a Pick?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 140 ✭✭ Mar Mar Marmalade


    Most ignorant thing I've heard from a musician is that Bass 'isn't mean't to be played with a pick'. Doesn't make much sense to me, but I'm going to get into that. Do you believe that when Paul Tutmarc created the first Bass he intended on using a pick? Bit behind on my music history so I'm not even sure if guitars were played with picks back then! :confused:

    Been playing bass for a good few years and always wondered this. Someone fill me in.


Comments



  • I think he 'intended' for people to enjoy creating with the instruments he made, be that bowed, plucked, picked or tapped. Working as a musician is as much about getting along with other people as anything else even the ignorant ones.




  • I've heard this type of thing time and time again and it really doesn't make any sense. Play it with your toes if it works out well for you, it really doesn't matter. For myself I play with my fingers, but that's just me, I have found that works best for me. Everyone is different.




  • You should be allowed play an instrument anyway you can! I was just curious as to whether he intended it to be played with a pick or fingers or..

    *Edit*

    Or as Shaki says he might have intended for it to be played anyway possible.




  • As others have said, people should play the bass in whatever way they like, once they can acheive the sound they want. I have seen fierce debates on bass forums about pick versus fingers. Some say "real" bassists only use fingers. :rolleyes: I can not understand why the word "versus" is used.

    As for how the bass was origanally meant to be played : I am not sure about Paul Tutmarc, but a certain Mr Fender put finger grips (later came to be known as thumb rests) beneath the strings on his first basses. The idea was that the bass could be plucked with the thumb, while the finger grips anchored the fingers. These days the finger grip is above the strings and used as a thumb rest.

    Bottom line...whatever works for you. ;)




  • I can play both styles but i prefer using a pick.As has been said above,play however way you like.This whole thing of real players use their fingers is just plain nonsense


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  • As to the intention of the inventor of the electric bass, I would imagine it was intended to be played with your fingers as it was supposed to replace the stand up bass in studios and traditionally that was played with your fingers. However, I can't imagine there being a rule that it couldn't be played with a pick, just that a lot of the jazz guys who started playing it way back when would have been finger players. I think a lot of the pick players would have come later in the rock n roll era, could be wrong on all that I am just guessing here.




  • Play the way you want to play, hold the pick the way you want to hold it...etc,
    Some tunes are suited more for fingers then picks or vice versa, i think...finger playing can be more versatile....




  • backtobass wrote: »
    Play the way you want to play, hold the pick the way you want to hold it...etc,
    Some tunes are suited more for fingers then picks or vice versa, i think...finger playing can be more versatile....

    Not what I asked but sure, cheers.




  • Not what I asked but sure, cheers.

    Your very welcome:D




  • ma not answer your question, but it's interesting anyway!


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  • Gaspode wrote: »
    ma not answer your question, but it's interesting anyway!

    Ah! Thank you very much! That was really cool and interesting :)




  • There are amazing bassists who play with a pick:

    Joe Osborn
    Carol Kaye
    Chris Squire
    Bobby Vega

    Ultimately it dependson what sound you are after. Bobby Vega, for example, wants you to hear the percussive sound of the plectrum when he plays.

    Anthony Jackson started off playing fingerstyle like his idol James Jamerson. He then made a dedicated decision to become as good at playing with a pick as with his fingers. The result was that he could play terrifying unison lines with guitarists like Al Di Meola.

    So rather than choose one style over the other, why not learn both?




  • Hendrix playing with his teeth did'nt do his career any harm, whatever works,works.




  • I play it just like my idol




  • I play it just like my idol

    How many knobs are there on that bass ? !!! ;)


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