Welcome to the world of Bass picks! Now you may or may not be aware but there’s an age old debate between musicians and bassists alike. This is the debate regarding using fingers or picks when it comes to bass. Many (purists) believe Bass should not be played with a pick while others believe in picks. Whether you agree or disagree, bass guitar picks are here to stay.
Just like guitar picks there are a ridiculous amount of options out there. Where do you start you may ask? This guide will hopefully educate you when it comes to bass picks. Just remember, there is no right or wrong when it comes to bass picks.
What Gauge or Shape Bass Pick Do I Need?
Basists generally use thicker picks as they improve your control and overall tone of the string. Although some Bassists do like thinner picks for a different sound. A gauge of 1mm is a good place to start. When it comes to shapes there are once again a fortune out there but the two most popular shapes are the Triangle (Tri-tip) and the regular shape. Most brands give you an insane amount of shape and gauge options for bass picks. We have more about guitar pick gauge here
What Material Should my bass pick be?
I will be writing a blog post soon which will delve into each material in-depth. For now I will list the most common materials on the market. They are Tortex, Ultex and celluloid. Keep an eye out for my blog post about pick material. For a more detailed explanation of guitar pick material, see out guitar pick buyers guide here
The Top 5 Bass Picks on the Market
Dunlop Ultex: This pick has a sparkly and transparent sound. What does transparent mean? simply put, it makes less noise! Its exceptionally durable and should last a lifetime…unless you lose it in the washing machine. Even the heavier gauges of this range weigh next to nothing. Gauges include: 0.60, 0.73, 0.88, 1, 1.14.
Stubby Bass Picks: These picks are really popular among bassists and surprinsgly popular among guitarists too. They’re thick! The lightest gauge is 1.5mm! It’s made from some material called “Lexan”, got an awesome moulded grip and your tone will cut through the mix.
V-pick: The whole V-pick range is the best kept secret on the guitar pick market, I say it’s a best kept secret but a lot of people know of them. Played by greats such as Santana and Zz Top this pick is great for lead and rhythm. My on gripe is it’s transparent so chances are you’ll probably lose it haha!
Dunlop Tortext Bass Picks: This pick has a sharp tip and makes for exceptioanlly accurate playing. It’s literally a part of Rock history. It’s got a fantastic grip and great sound. It comes in an insane amount of options regarding shapes and gauges.