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Topic: Picking Up a Pick

  1. #1

    Picking Up a Pick


    I'm just wondering how long to allow for a guitar player to go from fingered playing to picked, and vice versa. Specifically, can a guitarist holding a pick switch to playing with his fingers for any lentgh of time, or does he really need to put down the pick and pick it up when he needs to use it again? The part is relatively simple, for a bass guitarist, the line based on a descending scale in the upper to mid range.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Suburban NYC

    Re: Picking Up a Pick

    Hi EJR,

    Is it a guitar or bass guitar pick-to-finger picked part? I'm not sure which you are referring to.

    Guitar was my 1st instrument and most guitarists will simply put the pick in their mouth when challenged with a fast switch from pick-to-finger picked (or visa-versa). Have done it many times !

    At a medium tempo it can easily be done (in either direction) in a half measure or so.

    I'm assuming there is no change in instrument (I.E., electric to acoustic steel string, etc).



  3. #3

    Re: Picking Up a Pick

    The part is for an acoustic bass guitar.

  4. #4

    Re: Picking Up a Pick

    If the part is for an acoustic bass, then why tell him to use a pick in the first place? Most bass players that I know tend to use one or the other, but rarely both in the same song. Are we talking an upright bass...or a literal bass guitar? If it is an upright, then they would not use a pick at all.

    Anyway, as far as a guitarist goes...I will use a hybrid picking technique...picking the low notes with the pick and catching the upper notes with the remaining fingers. For that matter, I have seen people use the same technique to speed up solos...a la Al DiMeola.

    I never could get it down well enough to sound amazing! Sort of like using a slide...never could get that down either. Grrrr!

    Prowland the posting Ninja

  5. #5

    Re: Picking Up a Pick

    The score is for a musical (where doubling on many instruments is common and necessary). The bass player primarily plays an upright bass, but switches to the bass guitar on a couple of the quiter numbers. Both instruments will be amplified in the theater.

    The idea of switching between picked vs nonpicked came about because I have sampled instruments for each and each sounded better than the other in different selections of the number. I just wanted to make sure that it was do-able in performance because the transition between the two is not a long time (though I think it will work.)

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