4 Killer Exercises To Whip Your Pick Playing Into Shape! Bass Lesson with Scott Devine

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Using a plectrum to play bass!…

Surely not?! 😉

Well actually, if you’re aiming to be a versatile and in demand bass player you certainly should be able to play bass using a plectrum (also commonly referred to as a pick).

Just as an example of how effective using the plectrum can be when playing bass I recommend checking out Carol Kaye, Bobby Vega, Chris Squire, Steve Swallow and Justin Chancellor. All are phenomenal bass players… and all of them play with a plectrum.

Unfortunately playing bass with a plectrum has a certain stigma attached to it. In the past I’ve heard crazy statements such as “you’re not a real bass player if you play with a pick”… which is completely untrue. In the video below I explain where this stigma has originated from – and why you should completely ignore it.

With many of students I’ve worked in the past with I’ve seen constant bad habits and incorrect techniques when using a plectrum. In this lesson I’m going to show you 4 exercises that you can apply straight away to help you clean up your picking technique.

As always, see you in the shed…

Scott 🙂


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Video Rating: / 5


  1. Dean & Patricia Vasel

    What's up with the glove

  2. What brand is your bass bridge?

  3. You seem to put an angle to your pick like I do playing surf guitar. Just picked up a bass and im worried doing that will affect my tone. Should i try flatwounds?

  4. That's the bassist personality of Fractured

  5. simple and ez to do. get your chops back up boys! it's 2019, it's the season to make it. thanks man!

  6. I prefer finger but learned pick. The problem here in the states is that a lot of bad guitarist switch to bass and must use a pick. They just play a simplified version of a guitar riff.
    Now when you expand your listening you disover jems like Carol Kaye and realize she was a guitarist but when she picked up the bass she approached it as a bass and didn't play guitar on bass.

  7. chris squire. you're welcome

  8. Wow, you use a pick? Lame, your not a real bassist…

    jk haha I think it’s great you agree that people should be able to do both. I hate the purist attitude haha, it’s another tool to be used to make music. Love the lessons, as a guitarist coming to bass you have helped me a lot. Ironically I find that playing bass with my fingers does tend to be more fun for me tho.

  9. When I play witha pick it always keeps rotating in my hand/losing grip on it but if i hold it tighter It sounds worse when i hit it on the strings – any tips?

  10. Had a carpectomy on my right hand…partial fusion of the wrist and two fingers reattached, hand is numb across the fingers…..a pick is why I can still play. And in all honesty, a lot of good, really good bassists use the pick. I can kinda play without a pick, but the pain in the wrist is bad….I'd last a set of music and that'd be it for the night. Last time I looked they pay you for three 45 minute sets..lol.

  11. Fuck the anti-pick police. Thanks, Scott.

  12. Should've talked more about one of the most important things when you're starting to learn pick playing, and that is how to mute the string. Not palm muting but just muting the strings after playing regularly

  13. Are there any picks out there that can give you a finger style sound , just switched to pick through elbow problems but can't get that smooth deep sound that's achieved with fingers , been listening to Jon Camp out of Renaisonce and he seems to have managed it but no info on his picks or technique

  14. That lesson would of sounded great if you used a P Bass instead of a Jazz but with a maple neck. The sound you get from a P bass with a maple neck using a pick is insane! A nice bit of 2k grit!

  15. Can someone help me? So I've started to practice with pick and I have hard time reaching the first 3 frets on all of the strings without my wrist hurting. When I play fingerstyle the neck of the bass is way higher almost at 45° so my wrist doesn't bend that much when playing those frets high on the neck. When playing with pick however I find it impossible to hold the bass on a such angles because the pick creates a grinding noise when it isn't hitting the string exactly horizontally.

    I would really like to overcome this issue because I prefer sound of a picked bass

  16. Picking is a technique every bassist should learn. I was recently shocked to find out I sucked at picking when I came across some songs that required picking, considering I shed the noob tag a year ago.

  17. 4:05 after the 3 notes, you filled my head for the rest of my day with processed beats by Kasabian

  18. I noticed keeping it CLOSE IS BETTER,. you can pick us as powerful as up. I only pick up when I NEED TOO. Angle it for speed not parrellel

  19. Any advice for playing things like gallops? Pretty much anything that involves alternating downpicking and alternate picking. I want to play thrash metal, so it would be really helpful to be able to do that.

  20. I have a curious question. Why do you use a glove and if for beneficial benefits where can I usually buy one and one type?

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