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A (Somewhat) Definitive Guide To The Matthew Garrison Technique And Playing Ramps

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. Mr.Typhus


    Sep 14, 2004
    I have a friend that plays with this technique without a ramp. I bet that ramp helps alot, but you can do it without if you just practice :)
  2. jtommey


    Feb 12, 2014
    Austin, TX
    From my experience the ramp is not important for the 4 - finger technique. It only come into play when playing regular finger style. It only give you more variations in tone when you are anchoring your thumb on it and as you hand is floating above the strings when playing with 4 fingers it doesn't matter.
  3. Need some help guys, I've been playing like this for a while, but I rarely use all 4 fingers all the time. If it's a more rhythmic groove, I'll usually stick just my thumb and index. If I'm playing triplets, I'll play thumb, index, and middle. I'll pretty much only play thumb, index, middle, and ring when I need to play really fast and on one string.

    Lately I've realized I usually always start a line with my thumb, and if I done realize I started with another finger, I screw up. I also have a hard time crossing strings with all 4 fingers.

    For the next little while, I want to only play thumb, index, middle, and ring no matter what. Just keep that order going, and there will be times I start on index or middle or ring or thumb, but I want to just stick to this order so that it becomes a subconscious thing, and I can do it well no matter which finger I start on. This will also improve string crossing, and maintain a strict alternating order (T, I, M, R, T, I, M, R, etc)

    It almost seems like I'm relearning the technique though as I can't play any song really, just simple odd numbered rhythms, to force myself to lead with different fingers, but it's coming too slow to me. Anyone have any tips?
  4. flameworker


    Jun 15, 2014
    Landenberg, Pennsylvania
    one day....
    Thanks for this, i just started checking out Matt Garrison technique and this summed it up well. It's hard.

    my ring finger is blistered and bleeding and ive only been trying it an hour or too. dang. Sounds so cool tho. Props. I went right to Mike Flynns page.

    This is going to take a while. How important are the ramps?
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  5. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    I just started working on learning this technique. I'm not sure if it will be my "Go to" technique or a "Special Effect" technique but it will be interesting to see how it evolves for me personally. Since I'm playing one of the last Fender Steve Bailey Jazz Basses made I'm not particularly inclined to put a ramp on it.

    Rev J
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Posted this in another thread earlier so I figured I'd post it here. A ramp demonstration video.
  7. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    The big snag I've run into (no pun intended) is that I keep getting my C string caught between the end of my thumb and thumbnail. I'm also having a bit of a hard time integrating my ring finger which is strange since my standard technique is R-M-I.

    Rev J

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