“On the fretted bass we call it the slap stopper!” What is a finger ramp and why should you use one?

Gary Willis Ibanez Signature model
(Image credit: Ibanez)

Gary Willis has arguably done more to refine and advance the language of modern bass playing than any other bassist playing today. Famous for a unique three-finger picking style and an effortlessly light touch, Gary is also a self-confessed ‘hacker’ when it comes to guitar mods. “I expect that I’m one of the most particular players around when it comes to how a bass guitar sets up and plays,” he told BP. “So I’ve always happily made modifications to my basses, including a finger ramp I developed that sits under the strings.”

A finger ramp, which is a feature on Gary’s Ibanez signature model, is a block of wood shaped to fit between the pickups and provide a uniform feel as you shift your playing position. “It’s really designed to eliminate the possibility of grabbing too much string and playing too hard," said Gary. "It also provides a comfortable place for your thumb. On the fretted bass we call it the slap stopper!”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.