Ghost Notes on Bass (Part 1) (L#40)

Published October 17, 2011 in Technique

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Playing "ghost notes" or "dead notes" used to drive me absolutely crazy when I was younger and trying to play them while keeping fluidity within my playing. I had heard players like Gary Willis and Jaco, who make extensive use of them and I loved the way they sounded! So, in this lesson, I'm going to give you a couple of exercises to help you on your way before you go bananas. ;)

In part 2 of this lesson, I will give you a little groove where you can apply and further analyze what you've learned in this one.

There are basically 3 ways to mute the strings. You can either:

  • Mute the string you're playing on: your plucking hand remains on the same string but you release the pressure of your fretting fingers --beware harmonics!
  • Play the string above --higher pitch, muting it with the back of your fretting fingers.
  • Play the string… below, muting it with your fretting fingers.

As always, a video should make all that much clearer… Guess what? That's why I do them! ;)

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