Ghost notes

The way it was taught to me is to over exaggerate the two extremes so make the accents really strong and loud and play the ghost's as quiet as you possibly can, then over time when you have the mechanics of it down it just becomes subconscious and natural

Also the way i worked on it was for the accented notes to bring the stick right back to nearly my shoulder, and for the ghosts to bring it maybe an inch or so off the head of the drum.
But again when you get a feel for the mechanics of it you dont have to have such extreme differences.

working through the accent section of Ted Reeds syncopation is a good place to start in my opinion. Nearly every great drummer has worked through that book


Senior Member
Is there any technique to it at all or is more a "feel" kind of thing?
Gavin is the guy who got me into using ghost notes, the music I listened to at the time had little to no ghost notes and the texture Gavin reated added so much more to the drum parts whilst being perfectly understated.

There's not really "a" technique you can learn other than just practicing your dynamics and keeping a check on your stick heights; ensure that your ghosted notes are no more than say an inch above the playing surface. This contradicts what I just said slightly, but I found that when I started working on Moeller technique that the dynamic range between my accented and non-accented notes became much broader and more controlled.

If it's the co-ordination that's getting you then I'll transcribe some grooves I first started playing to work those ghosties into my playing.

Hope you're well,


p.s. is it just me who really wants to play Pac-Man now?


Silver Member
Hey Chief! In addition to what was mentioned below.....A few things you want to have down is the Full Stroke, Down Stroke, Up stroke and Tap stroke. Also, practice rudiments that utilize all four strokes, for example a few off the top of my head....

Flam Taps
Swiss Army Triplets
Flam Accents
Accented Paradiddles - Moving the accent from downbeat to upbeat
Drag Rudiments'll really want to have excellent independence between your hands at various dynamic levels. Perfecting rudiments will give you the independence you need and working on the Stick Control and Accents and Rebounds books is always a plus.


Ghost notes are one of my favorite part of playing drums. If you want to get good ghost notes though, you have to play them slow. Most of what that drummer is playing is just 16th notes that are loud and soft sometimes.

Start slow, get every note right, then move faster.


Silver Member
I think the best way is to completely understand ....Full, Down. Tap, Up......the four basic strokes........and be able to use them at will

then play a simple groove playing all configurations of 16th notes on your left hand in taps while always playing 2 and 4 accents ....

Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan

Ghost notes are really just taps, or what dom Famularo calls control strokes. I recommend getting his It's Your Move, it is a brilliant technique book. You will learn how to control the rebound when going from loud to soft.