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Noob Q: What's the deal with ramps?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by cstar, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. cstar


    Dec 21, 2011
    I had heard about ramps and didn't know what the deal was but was curious about it. What really is the purpose of having the ramp? Thanks.
  2. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Something for your fingers to hit after plucking the strings, so that they don't sink down into space. It basically let's people use poor plucking hand technique without being extra slow haha. They can also act as a thumb rest and a tug bar.

    It's easier to play faster with them, but it's better to learn how to play faster without one.
  3. Yeah I agree, I only used a ramp for a thumb rest when I had it, but don't use one anymore.

    Bloomin' 'eck you've opened a whole can-of-worms now. I wouldn't be surprised if this went on for weeks
  4. cjmodulus


    Jul 15, 2010
    Not entirely true. Basically, it gives you something under your fingers so that you can pluck in between the pickups as if you were plucking over the pickups.
    Most people that I see tend to pluck over the pickups, and when they do the pickup prevents their fingers from 'sinking'. A ramp does the same thing, and allows you to vary where you pluck more. It's not a matter of covering bad technique at all.
    Some people tend to feel like it's a crutch or a 'training wheel' of sorts, but then again, there are people who think the same thing of lines fretless basses. Different strokes for different folks. OP, if a ramp interests you at all, go for it. Ultimately it's what you find comfortable that should determine what works for you.

    FWIW I've never used one, but I've thought about it. I figure I might as well give one a test drive before deciding I do or don't need it.
  5. Mossmatic

    Mossmatic Compulsive Modder

    Jul 19, 2012
    I never saw the point in the ramp meself. Gary Willis says it helps him play with a lighter touch... I used to think that if you want to play with a lighter touch, then just play with a lighter touch, but it's not as easy as it sounds. For most of my bass playing career, I attacked the strings like a jackhammer (ala Geddy Lee), but recently, I decided to develop a lighter technique. It's a little viscerally frustrating at first, because you feel like you're holding back too much, and I found myself gradually attacking the strings harder and harder. Lowering the action has helped a bit, making the bass sound bad if I play too heavy-handed.
  6. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca

    Exactly, that's many of the worlds best bass players use them.
    BMGecko likes this.
  7. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    I use both humbuckers as a thumb rest, depending on the desired plucking area. Plucking B it's on the edge of the pu. Plucking E it's muting B. Plucking A it's muting both B and E by sitting right between them on the pu. If I'm plucking D my thumb is across B, E and A. I really appreciate having a fixed anchor point. If I wouldn't have the two humbuckers, I'd certainly consider a ramp. By the way: My bass is a relatively cheap Ibby, converted to BEAD.

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