Ghost Notes

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been busy preparing for my upcoming interviews with Michael Bublé’s longtime drummer Rob Perkins and Waco survivor and drummer David Thibodeau. Both will have unique insights from both sides of the spectrum for sure. Rob is now a producer and Dave is a speaker. Today I want to briefly talk about something that I still struggle with in my own playing, ghost notes. They are the beats that add spice to every groove. Drummers like Bernard Purdie and Steve Jordan have mastered the ghost note and made it an intrical part of their signature playing. For right-handed players ghost notes are that nervous little rebound that happens under the louder hand. For lefties it is the opposite. In simple terms, it’s a quiet bounce that has a rhythmic value. The real challenge is to learn how to play consistent ghost notes simultaneously with standard strokes. For me, the issue is maintaining ghost notes throughout a groove. I start out ok and then I lose it after a few bars. Then I struggle to pick up where I was. I can’t seem to get my hands in sync with one another. Practice is the only way I’m gonna’ get this. Here are two examples of ghost note exercises to practice followed by a beginner’s video on ghost notes. (Notation by Dave Atkinson).


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