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Flatwound strings on a bass with a "Willis Ramp"?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by BMGecko, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. BMGecko


    Sep 5, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Dear people,

    I've had a ramp on my bass for a while and have been developing some things with it in the past year. I was wondering if there are any folks that play a ramp AND flatwounds? I'd searched the forums and YouTube and only found one example, and this example isn't the best audio...

    Wondering if someone can guide me to a good example. Thanks in advance!
  2. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    I'm not really sure what you're planning on getting in terms of a YouTube example, since the ramp doesn't really affect the tone or playability of the strings; just right hand technique.

    My fretless has had flats on it; it's a Warwick $$, so I added a 1/2" piece of sintra between the pickups so it's basically a ramp. Works fine; I really don't think that much about it.
  3. BMGecko


    Sep 5, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Perhaps I should've explained that I wanted to actually hear examples of a ramp equipped bass utilizing flatwound strung bass.

    Much as hearing the difference between, say, a Fodera with and without flatwounds might pique the interest of some, hearing examples of a ramp equipped bass with said strings interested me to the point of putting this question to my fellow TB'ers.

    My personal approach to utilizing a ramp necessitates a rather dramatic change in technique leading to a different sound. I'd hoped to check this kinda stuff out and perhaps ask questions of the folks who do this. I'm guessing (since I've never played flats) that the feeling of the song may be different (to the fingertips) as well as a possible change in tension. I hope this fleshes out my question enough for to to get the gist of my initial post, and perhaps respond to it.

  4. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    I think flats dynamic range aren't as wide as rounds, and the ramp wouldn't alter the tone as much but would still facilitate a proper right hand technique.
  5. BMGecko


    Sep 5, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    I'd wondered about that, as the "grab" from the round strings may have an effect on volume, or may necessitate a lighter touch... But since a light touch is so important, perhaps the effect is negligible.

    I should say that I play fretless, and my next bass could be fretted, and setting it up for an "old school" funk tone would likely be the way to go. But having a ramp could allow for "impossible" things that the ramp has allowed me to get into. And seeing an African band with kora and n'goni this evening made me want to play along with kora stuff which would be quite impossible on bass with my standard two finger technique.