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I have seen some basses that have this piece of wood between the pickups:

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What is the purpose of this? If I'm not mistaken, some of the pieces of seen have a plastic piece instead of wood.

  • Forgive me, but Emperor's New Clothes comes to mind. It's apparently to stop your fingers digging in to the strings too much. Isn't that part of being able to play properly, or am I missing the point? Help! – Tim Jun 21 '15 at 18:23
  • @Tim i've never played a bass with the thing, so I wouldn't know – Shevliaskovic Jun 21 '15 at 18:29
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That is a bass ramp, which is (emphasis mine):

simply a piece of wood, shaped to fit directly in between the pickups so it would feel uniform all of the way across.

Apparently this can aid with developing your playing technique:

It is significantly easier to develop a light and speedy touch with a ramp because it simply doesn’t allow you to play too hard (especially if you keep your pickups and ramp pretty high and close to the strings.

For more information, see e.g. this article I have quoted from.

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