Still don't understand the ramp

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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Still don't understand the ramp

Post by robjh22 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:37 pm

I got ramps on i and m, but I dont really know why, other than that's what I'm told to do. Also, my ramps go up from left to right as I look at the back of my hand (not the palm side). The guitar sounds pretty good to me and to my teacher, and they dont catch if I keep them short (about 1/32 beyond the fingertip) and file them in only one direction, first with glass file, then with 0000 sand paper.

But why the ramp and why slope up from left to right as opposed to the reverse?

Thank you for all comments.

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Re: Still don't understand the ramp

Post by celestemcc » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:47 pm

If your teacher advised this ramp, it's because you're playing (as do most people) off the left side of the nail (facing the back of your hand). The ramp keeps nails from catching on the string, and allow a little contact with the flesh of the fingertip. That's it in a nutshell. If you played off the right side of your nails (eg, Thibault Garcia) you'd possibly ramp the other way. And some people don't need to ramp their nails at all. Depends on the shape and movement of your own fingertips, whether your nails hook or not, their length, and what school of RH technique your teacher has learned and is passing on to you. As you progress you may experiment with different shapes.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
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Re: Still don't understand the ramp

Post by petermc61 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:18 am

My i and a fingers ramp in different directions. The a is a reverse ramp (shorter nail on the side adjacent to the pinky finger).

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Re: Still don't understand the ramp

Post by RobMacKillop » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:53 am

Why not ask your teacher?

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Re: Still don't understand the ramp

Post by davekear » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:15 pm

You don't need to file in ramps in your fingernails, especially if you're a beginner or intermediate player.
Many professional guitarists use a natural, symmetric curved nail. Ramps can lead to trouble, and are
unnecessary. Especially for beginners.

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