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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. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Even if it were chambered, I don't see how much effect it could have- the pickguard would have a far greater effect of the sound as it's much bigger and screwed down at almost a dozen points, and I wouldn't imagine that would have a huge effect. Strange.
     
  2. Tom7

    Tom7 I'm so bright, my mom called me son! ;-)

    Jan 31, 2000
    Eagle River, Alaska
    I'm with Bryan on this one; I am very surprised that your ramp had any audible affect on your tone.

    My Fbass AC6 has chambers, and this ebony ramp doesn't change the tone at all that I can detect.

    I have it attached with tape on the SIDE EDGES of the ramp, so it is actually taped to the pickup and the fingerboard, not to the body of the bass.

    [​IMG]

    Likewise, my plexi ramp on my Fbass VF5 has no audible affect on my (nonchambered) VF5... which has dual single coils (and a pickguard) like your Sadowsky.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Hey, I agree with you, but still, I messed around with the setup and stringing for quite a while before realizing that whenever I had the ramp mounted, the instrument sound closed and muffled.

    The wild card here I guess is that I could be getting fooled by my ears or by my technique changing when I play with the ramp on. All I can say is, I really really don't think that is the case. Anyway, I'll revisit this over the coming weekend and see if I can figure out what's really going on. I'll report back with any discoveries.

    By the way Tom7, that AC6 is beautiful! :eek:
     
  4. Tom7

    Tom7 I'm so bright, my mom called me son! ;-)

    Jan 31, 2000
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Oh, I didn't mean to imply that the sonic change wasn't happening -- I bet it is -- I'm just surprised it is.

    In fact, you make me want to remove my ramps and listen more carefully.

    Fortunately, I have recordings of these two basses from before they were ramped, so I can redo them with the ramps and listen more carefully... that way I don't have to take the ramps off and get them on again.

    But you really make an interesting point about the difference the technique makes in the tone. That's something we probably don't talk enough about really.

    There are somethings I play in some styles just for the tone, not so much for the speed or other benefits of the technique.

    And thanks for the compliments on my AC6. I do appreciate it. Usually when a TBer talks about my AC6, it is to lament that I covered up the pretty rosewood with that ebony block. :-/
     
  5. Archaeobass

    Archaeobass Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2008
    Sunnyvale, CA
    My hand naturally falls into a T-I-R-M pattern when using a four stroke technique. I attribute this to having adopted a three finger plucking technique some 8 or 9 years ago. I lead with my index, follow with my ring and end with the middle. I think I started doing this subconsciously because the tips of my ring fingers are a little crooked in the direction of middle finger. If I lead the ring finger with the middle finger, it rubs uncomfortable. If my ring finger is "reseting" when my middle finger strikes, there is no rubbing discomfort. Funnily, I often use a thumb-index-middle three finger stroke as well, for staccato runs and triplets with my ring finger tucked in my palm. Otherwise, my middle finger is almost always the last finger to pluck.

    In terms of four fingered plucking (which I am still working on - slowly) the consequence has been that I have two closed "groups" of fingers, since my thumb and index and my middle and ring fingers make natural pairings based on my original awkward plucking approach. This is great for string skipping and staccato grooves - for instance, the relatively "easy" head to "River People" always felt rather calisthenic to me with all the string crossing. Now, with my four finger approach, I lead with my thumb and index on the low note and my ring and middle fingers on the octave. Makes it a breeze - and I no longer feel compelled to double-thumb it.
     
  6. Hey - it's been a looooong time since I added anything to this thread - apologies as I already posted this over in the recordings forum but here's a new vid with some more 3 and 4 finger picking idea on:



    I'm hoping to make a new more advance instructional vid soon detailing some of the more tricky things when playing this way.

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  7. kaifreeza

    kaifreeza

    Feb 27, 2006
    Hi guys. Just beginning to practice this technique.
    I want to show you my new bass, made by the chilean luthier Claudio Nuñez. As you could see... the pickups are covered completely with the ramp.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Nice- the fretboard (and ramp) look completely flat!
     
  9. kaifreeza

    kaifreeza

    Feb 27, 2006
    That's right: very comfortable to play.
     
  10. kaifreeza

    kaifreeza

    Feb 27, 2006
    Any advise about the Dominique di Piazza method and the pocket picker??

    And please for the most advanced players...show us tips and more videos!!
     
  11. Just a quick question, is it just me or does everyone who does this technique have wide spacing at the bridge like 19mm, I meangthe only guy who does it and dosnt have wide spacing is hadrien .

    Another question is is there really that big a difference between 17.5 and 19mm . Sorry for the noob questions . And is chording that mush more difficult >>
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    One of my basses is 18.8mm and the other is about 17.8mm (Hipshot adjustable bridges with the string spacing adjusted to the tighest position), although I did this on my Bongo 5 as well, which had 17mm. I actually prefer 17-18mm spacing. While 17.5mm and 19mm may seem noticeably different if you pick up a bass with one spacing then immediately pick up a different bass with the other spacing, it's not that big a difference once you get used to playing with either. My hands are smallish, and chording on a 6-string bass just under 19mm isn't difficult.

    Spacing at the nut is a different issue- I prefer that very tight, although it has almost no effect on your plucking hand.
     
  13. Cool . Thanks bryan . I asked this because I'm going in for a carvin Bunny Brunel bass and its wide spacing and asummetrical neck is a higly advertised aspect . So just wanted to enquire . Thanks./
     
  14. Kobaia

    Kobaia

    Oct 29, 2005
    Denton TX
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amp Gruv Gear and Mono Cases
    Janek, Matthew Garrison both have very tight string spacing. I've played both of their basses while i was taking lessons with them. Matt has tiny hands through. Janek has average sized hands but prefers to have tighter spacing.

    I personally have 19mm spacing, and love it. But i have huge hands i can bar all 6 strings at the 12th fret with my index finger. i'm not sure if there is anyone i've met other than Matt and Hadrien who has this technique and chords down as well as i do.
     
  15. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    Does anyone else use reverse so to speak, thumb, ring, mid, index? I find the flow in that direction much more natural for me, I think Hadrien Feraud plays it this way, I found a little youtube interview a while back but it seem's to have gone, anyways, just wondering if this is the way it works for anyone else here? ; )
     
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    A couple folks have mentioned it in the thread if you go back a few pages.
     
  17. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    Ah, I see, I've found it useful this way for string crossing and skipping purely because the ring and mid are positioned with more coverage across the string range (for certain stuff), long time since I used a hair band on the headstock, I'd forgotten how efficient it is for open muting ; ) Anyways, thankyou.
     
  18. Hey I know Janek has very tight spacing but I think Matt has 19mm spacing which is I guess wider than average .

    Another question, 33" scale length ?? How big of a difference does that make ?
     
  19. Kobaia

    Kobaia

    Oct 29, 2005
    Denton TX
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amp Gruv Gear and Mono Cases
    Matt has tight spacing. He uses 33 inch scale and light gauge strings just so his bass is the easiest thing to play.
     
  20. Marsvoltian

    Marsvoltian

    Feb 22, 2010
    Garrison developed - or at least exhibits - another technique or so ive heard, involving scraping of his nails near the bridge. I have yet to find evidence of him doing this but at a Victor Wooten clinic his young accomplice Dane Alderson, was heavily influenced by him. If anyone knows of this technique or a demonstration i would love to grab a link =)

    Victor was shown up but this young visionary also so i suggest checking him out.

    7:10 - only for like 3 notes


    None of these videos were at the clinic i attended but it was the same tour so.