Ghost Notes When Programming Drums

Ghost Notes When Programming Drums

Ghost notes help add a nice groove to your drum beats. It keeps the beat moving, adds a bit of life, bounce, and rhythm.


What are Ghost Notes?

Ghost notes are notes played at a much lower volume than other notes. For example you may have a kick drum play quite loud. The ghost note is that same kick but played much softer.

You can usually hear the ghost notes, and quite often you can feel the difference they make in a drum beat.

Why Use Ghost Notes?

Ghost notes help create texture in a track. They breathe a bit more life in to a track. You'll feel more bounce, color, and feel to your beat.

Example With and Without Ghost Notes

Let's hear a couple examples. First is an example without ghost notes. A pretty straightforward beat. Next, is the same beat with ghost notes so you can hear the difference ghost notes can make.

 Without Ghost Notes With Ghost Notes

Here's a bit more going over adding ghost notes:



Adding One Ghost Note

Let's build up the a beat starting with one ghost note. We'll take a look at the basic beat, and then listen to it with adding one ghost note.




Two Ghost Notes

Now let's see what it sounds like when we add two ghost notes.



Three Ghost Notes

Now with three ghost notes.




Using Toms For Ghost Notes

You don't always have to use the same sound such as snares. Let's see what it sounds like using toms.



Fade Out

Using ghost notes is a great way to add a bit more color to your tracks. More texture, bounce, and feel. That being said, sometimes you want your notes to more sparse and that's ok.

It really depends on the groove and feel you are going for.


Full Video On Ghost Notes and Transcript


All right. So we're going to talk about ghost notes. What they are, are simply just notes played at a much lower volume than your typical notes. You can still hear them, but they're a little bit subtle. And what they do is add a little bit more feel, rhythm, groove, put more bounce to your tracks. And that's why you want to add them in there.

They add a little more interest in there and into your tracks. So let's take a look. Here I have like just a simple pattern. And then I have these two snares here. This one, and then this one over here, we put that one all the way up. These two are at a 127. And then I have this is my ghost note. It's at a much lower volume.

So let me play this and you'll hear the difference in the snares and how they sound. So

you can hear the difference, obviously in the volume, and it kind of gives a little bit of a different feel to it. So with that being said, let's, let's see how that sounds with different patterns. What I'm going to do is first, I'm going to play this bass pattern. Like a core just this is our core pattern that we're going to work with.

We have that same hi hat pattern. I put in a couple kicks and then I added in these two snares. So no ghost snares yet. We'll play this and then we'll play this again with adding in ghost snares.

So pretty straightforward. And so that's the core pattern. Now let's take a look at that same pattern. But here you can see after we're in a ghost note at the very end here.

So it adds a little bit, a little bit of a groove, a little bit, a little bit of a more bounce and kind of keeps the track moving, adds some movement really. And so that's just with one ghost note. Let's take a listen when we have two ghost notes. And so that same one that we had at the very end here, and then I added this one here after that, this first snare.

So, let's take a listen to this.

So again, we get a little bit more rhythm, a little more bounce, a little more groove there. Kind of keeps the the track interesting. And so let's let's add a third one here. So we'll take a look at this one here, right after that's that first ghost note. And then I just added another kick in here just to add a little bit more to this track.

So let's take a listen.

So again, you know it more movement, more, more groove, a little more bounce to it. And then you know, I did this with snares, but you got to do it with other instruments as well. Sometimes you want to add in stuff like toms. So here I added two ghost toms here. I kept that extra kick I added and I kept that one ghost snare towards the end by removing the others.

So let's listen to this.

So there you have it. That's just with Tom. So you play around with it. The way to do it is simply just start with your main pattern that you have, right? Again, I had this one here and then you want to just kind of throw in some ghost notes. Actually this, I'm sorry, this is the one I, this is my, my, my base pattern.

And then you want to throw in, you know, a ghost note here doing at the very end is a good idea. But you know, just play around with it and, and see how it works for you.


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