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Did Paul McCartney use a pick when he played on the rooftop?


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#1 Burrito

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 04:32 PM

Pretty much as the topic title says really? Looking at the video it suggests he does. I like the TruBass strings but must confess I have been playing them fingerstyle.


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#2 YouMa

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 04:34 PM

He used a pick on loads of stuff,paperback writer ,I want you shes so heavy.

#3 Happy Jack

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 04:41 PM

It doesn't help that even when he's playing with his fingers it often looks as if he's holding a pick.

I've spent ages looking at old videos of The Beatles and the combination of poor video quality, poor audio quality, and the strange way he holds his fingers when playing, all make it virtually impossible to tell.

Also worth bearing in mind that Macca routinely played a different bassline, or the same bassline in a different place on the neck, when playing live as opposed to in the studio. Check out any video of him playing All My Loving (all inside the first few frets) on TV, then compare it to the record and any decent tab where he played it almost entirely around the 9th-11th frets to squeeze a better tone out of the Hofner.
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Posted 26 October 2009 - 06:03 PM

I never realised he played without a pick. He does keep his hand tight together so it is difficult to tell. Always liked the sound he gets.

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 06:41 PM

Most of the stuff he did was played with a pick so far as I'm aware. I have a few Beatles/Wings books with lots of live pics and he's always using one.

#6 chris_b

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 08:18 PM

Never seen him play without a pick.
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#7 tredders

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 08:59 PM

View Postchris_b, on Oct 26 2009, 08:18 PM, said:

Never seen him play without a pick.

On one of the Anthology albums, there's a version of One After 909 which Macca cocks up. When Lennon berates him, he moans that it's due to him not having a pick with him.
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#8 Burrito

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 09:28 PM

Thanks guys - it was genuine curiousity. I play 50/50 between pick / fingers, My USA P-bass has black nylon strings and they just naturally seemed to lend themselves more to fingerstyle. Sounds fine with a pick as it happens but I prefer the tone with fingers - perhaps I need to play around more and roll back the tone a little?

I like McCartney / Beatles but don't play them much. I was aware he was a pick user but assumed he mixed it up a little.

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#9 EssentialTension

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 09:44 AM

McCartney without a pick:


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#10 EssentialTension

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 09:47 AM

And without a pick again:


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#11 Happy Jack

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 10:51 AM

Extraordinary!

I've been a major-league Beatles fan since the mid-60's and I've never before seen Macca on a double bass.

Ta very muchly Dave.
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#12 EssentialTension

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 11:07 AM

View PostHappy Jack, on Oct 27 2009, 10:51 AM, said:

Extraordinary!

I've been a major-league Beatles fan since the mid-60's and I've never before seen Macca on a double bass.

Ta very muchly Dave.
Neither had I, I found it accidentally looking for the bass lesson clip which I'd seen before.

And not merely any old double bass!!

I've heard that McCartney owns this one too:

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