The Bass Ramp

When it comes to extra equipment for your Bass that doesn't include the Amp or Bass itself, I don't think that there is another piece of equipment that causes as much confusion or contention as the Ramp.

A Ramp is a piece of wood that usually goes between the Pickups (sometimes between the end of the neck and the Pickups). Its job is to reduce the amount of space that you have between the body and the strings, allowing your fingers quicker recovery from each stroke and allowing you to perform certain techniques easier.

There are many ways that one can be attached to their Bass, and the main way is by double-sided tape. This allows you to remove it in case you either don't like it or have to make an adjustment to the action or height. It also doesn't scar the body in the same way as screwing it in. If you decide to screw it into the body, not only will it scar the bass body and ruin the finish, but it will be more difficult to adjust and will cause part of it to be more difficult to play on.

On my Bass, I have it put in-between the pickups so that I can play with all four of my fingers. I've attached it with double sided tape so that I can remove it when I decide that I need to make an adjustment to either the pickups or the ramp or even the pick-guard.

I think that, personally, I like the look of it on my bass. This is a personal choice, and If you don't like the look of it, you can always try to find someone to make you one out of Plexiglas.

The other thing that isn't talked about a lot when it comes to this subject is that, if the strings are close enough to the Ramp, you can use it as a Fretless bass extension. I've found that I can get a variety of tones and notes by playing the bass up there as though it were a Fretless bass.

Another option with it is to mark where there would be notes on a Fingerboard on it so that you can hit artificial harmonics easier. By making those marks, you'll be able to find the tones better, more accurately, and quicker.

When it comes to playing on it, the feel is very different at first. Imagine playing over a Pickup that was adjusted to within a half a centimeter of the Strings, and you'll get an idea of what its like to play on one. I have mine adjusted to about the width of a piece of thick cardboard from the Strings.

With the Ramp, because they aren't all that common (yet), you can expect to pay a bit of a premium for one. The cheapest one that I've yet come across was $75 and you can expect to pay closer to $250-300 for one built onto a Bass such as a Fodera. It all depends on what you're wanting it for and on which bass. I was lucky to have access to the equipment and help to plan out and build mine.

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