getting started on ghost notes

blasterbeat

Senior Member
what is the best technique to getting started? what would a practice excercise encompass? any help/hints would be appreciated.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You have to have good hand technique. You have to be able to play extremely soft and accurate as well as loud. If most of your drum strikes originate from the elbow, then you have a lot of work to do because ghost notes come from the wrists and fingers. I'm not going to preach technique here, because there are many different techniques that can accomplish what you need. You have to find your own way, research the various methods, and do what comes most natural. Getting a good teacher is a safe bet.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I started with ghost notes by playing a three pattern on two hands, accenting the one:

L r l R l r L r l R l r L r l R...

After you get this down, really start exaggerating the difference between the accented and unaccented notes. Make sure to keep your spacing between the notes even, however.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Deathmetalconga,

Will practicing paradidle be equally effective?

R l r r L r l l
Yes, that is a good approach also. Doing the three-pattern is easier but once you get good with that you should also try the paradiddles, and even mix up where you put the accents. Also try a four pattern and move the accent around. Really exaggerate the accent and also exaggerate the quietness of the "ghost notes" (the unaccented notes).
 

donv

Silver Member
My introduction to ghost notes came with this exercise. Play any of your standard backbeat beats, but play the snare on 1,2,3 and 4 but play the 1 and 3 as ghost notes. The next exercise was playing 8th notes on the snare, while still playing everything except 2 and 4 as ghost notes. I also learned playing my ghost notes in relation to ppp through FFF. This helps in developing a "range" for you ghost notes. When you can start to mix up your ghost note "anti-accents" then you play with the dynamic range of a groove.

As DMConga said, single stroke triplets and paradiddles are great exercises for developing speed with ghostnotes. Also practice your grace notes backwards. For example, when playing flams or flamtaps, accent what is typically the grace note and ghost the other strokes. This is common outside of rudimental drumming. It's common in the concert 1812 Overture tympani scores as cannon report echos. It's not common in the symphonic scores.
 

The Groovekat

Junior Member
Deathmetalconga,

Will practicing paradidle be equally effective?

R l r r L r l l
No it won't. The exercise deathmetalconga has written is all single strokes to develop each hand's abilty to play successive single stroke ghost notes.
A paradiddle of course uses the double stroke to play the successive notes, so yeah not the same.
 
W

wy yung

Guest
A very good book to use to develop ghost notes is The funky beat, by David Garibaldi.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
No it won't. The exercise deathmetalconga has written is all single strokes to develop each hand's abilty to play successive single stroke ghost notes.
A paradiddle of course uses the double stroke to play the successive notes, so yeah not the same.
Why won't a paradiddle assist in practising ghost notes? Agreed that a paradiddle "is not the same" as single triplets, but I'd argue it's still effective in developing ghosted notes. A ghost by definition is just a quieter stroke. Whether it be a single, double or tripple stroke, you can still practice them ghosted or accented. I practice paradiddles with the ghosted didles often (I also practice them with accented diddles and ghosted singles), same with six stroke rolls where the two singles are accented and the two doubles ghosted. I see it as a more of a dynamics (read: control) issue as opposed to only being able to play ghost notes as single strokes. You can ghost any stroke in the same way as you can accent any stroke.
 
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wy yung

Guest
Why won't a paradiddle assist in practising ghost notes? Agreed that a paradiddle "is not the same" as single triplets, but I'd argue it's still effective in developing ghosted notes. A ghost by definition is just a quieter stroke. Whether it be a single, double or tripple stroke, you can still practice them ghosted or accented. I practice paradiddles with the ghosted didles often (I also practice them with accented diddles and ghosted singles), same with the six stroke rolls where the two singles are accented and the two doubles ghosted. I see it as a more of a dynamics (read: control) issue as opposed to only being able to play ghost notes as single strokes. You can ghost any stroke in the same way as you can accent any stroke.
Of course it will PFOG. David Garibaldi wrote an entire book on the subject called Future sounds. You are perfectly correct. Even control strokes can be developed using the paradiddle when one places accents on different notes. Of course a paradiddle wont develop all the ghost notes, but it will help many.
 
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