Ghost Notes & Chords (Percussive Accents)

GuitarBlog: Ghost Notes and Chords (Percussive Accents)

Learn the concept of "Ghost Notes" and how to use them in melody, solos and rhythm guitar...

If you've never heard of the term, "Ghost Notes," and you perhaps have no idea what a ghost note is, (or what chord ghosting even means), I'd bet a million dollars that as soon as you hear them, you'll say "Oh that sound." 

Ghosting is essentially a percussive scratched rhythmic guitar effect. Some people call it a; scratch hit, or a click, or a chuck sound. What really happens is we slightly lift off our fingers over a note (or a group of notes in a chord) and we get the "impression of the sound" of those notes but with a muted or muffled effect, (which carries the term "Ghosted" with it). 

In this lesson, I run through various ghosting techniques with single tones, small chord types even with larger chord types as well. When we're done, I think you'll have a really good idea for what ghost notes are and how to use them.

PART ONE: Example one applies Ghost Notes on a single-note line melody. Using a "B Minor" pentatonic scale lick, we will perform a mix of normal fretted tones and percussive Ghost Notes across a two-bar melodic idea.

Example two adds another tone into the mix with a Double-Stop (two note chord) riff in "E Minor." Here the fret hand needs to float over two notes simultaneously and blend the effects of a clear Double-Stop along with the muted Ghost Notes

PART TWO: Example three demonstrates how Ghost Notes can be applied across a rhythm guitar idea performed within a Pop /Rock rhythmic groove. This key of "G Major" rhythm guitar riff applies several Ghost Note attacks around both open position chords and barre chords. The groove also adds a few single-note phrases as connecting runs.

Example four is the highlight of them all. It showcases the effects of playing Ghost Note technique within the Reggae style. Reggae is one of the most popular music styles where we find this technique performed. Keep in mind that Reggae grooves can make excellent practice exercises for learning how to perform the Ghost Notes within a rhythmic groove. 

Enjoy the lesson!

Ghost Notes & Chords

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