Ghost Notes on snare drum - make them sound like one

• Dec 17, 2019 - 07:35

I would like to notate snare drum ghost notes and make them actually sound like ghost notes. For visual notation, I am simply using small note heads but how can I actually change the sound?
Attached an example.
I am using musescore 3.3


Attachment Size
16th_Note_Triplet_Fill_Vinnie.mscz 8.69 KB


If the soundfont you are using contains a sound for what you envision, then you would need to use the note corresponding to that sound for the ghost note. If the particular instrument you are using doesn't define a note for that sound, you can use Edit Drumset to define one. See the Handbook on "Drum notation" for more info on this.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc...perhaps you can help me also...trying to compose The Band's Up on Cripple Creek with the drums. There are a number of ghost notes right at 1 e & a on the snare... trying to replicate suggestions above.. I went to the drum set and I can modify what the sticking should or could look like. I also went to the velocity as you suggested and changed for each note... no sound

Attachment Size
test.mscz 7.24 KB

In reply to by rksteele01

It looks like you picked MIDI pitch 0 for your snare ghost - that won't provide any playback at all unless you have a soundfont that provides that sound. You'd need to pick a pitch with the sound you want according to the General MIDI standard, or the documentation for the soundfont you are using if its non-GM. or just stick with the standard pitch & sound but adjust playback using the velocity in the Inspector.

In reply to by rksteele01

You wrote:
Is there something else you did to assign the note to a sound?

In my example, I entered snare drum notes from the drum palette (no need to "assign a sound") then, using the Inspector, tweaked the velocity and also made the note small, thus creating ghost notes.

Your posted example shows circled X head (ghost?) notes that don't sound at all for me - even when I restore their velocity values to default.
Also, on beat one you show a ghost note sharing the same stem with a snare note. Is this correct?

You wrote:There are a number of ghost notes on 1 e & a....
Do you mean 4 notes -- 1, e. &, a -- because you also show a ghost note on beat 2.

Please, especially for drums, attach an example of at least an entire measure (e.g., a repeatable 'groove') and mark the notes you want to sound as ghost notes. This way we can loop the playback to hear a continuous drum riff -- i.e., to "feel" the total rhythm.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

I just downloaded Musescore 4 and am using it to transcribe drum parts. I want to include ghost notes. I saw a tutorial online but it was using Musescore 3.something and directed us to Inspector where it was possible to alter individual notes to create ghost notes that sound like ghost notes in playback, not just look like ghost notes in notation form. Problem is that Musescore 4 no longer has Inspector and the "upgrade" to Programming does not seem to have the features of Inspector so the advice for earlier versions is no longer currrent.

For new people with Musescore 4:
Under Palettes you'll find the Grace Notes Menu where you can select from a number of options. If you don't see Grace Notes, go to the View menu and select Master Palettes. You can see all palettes there and add the ones you want to your dropdown menu along the left of the screen.

You now go to the menu on the top left called "Properties." Under Properties you will see a box called Playback. Click on that and a Velocity box will appear where you can adjust the volume of individual notes. Be aware, though, that you must have some kind of score created and you must have selected an individual note. If you are new to Musescore and are just investigating the system, you will not be able to see Playback and Velocity without having clicked on an individual note in your score.

Another way to create ghost notes is to subdivide the previous note and use that note to create a ghost note. So, you would, say, take your 1/8 note hi hat note on the one-and and make it a 1/16 note. Keep the hi hat note and add a snare to the new 1/16 note. De-couple the bars joining them using the beam palette. Then go to Properties and Playback and Velocity to adjust the new snare note. Depending on the song you are creating or transcribing, you can play around with the various ghost note notations and sounds to get the Playback to be as you want it.

Hi, I'm a bit late to the party, but I found this thread useful when trying to add ghost notes and accented patterns to my scores!

To further aid anyone I have created a 'cheat sheet' where I have created bars of typical accented patterns as well as a range of ghost notes. Simply just copy and paste the bars or individual notes :)

Hope this helps someone!

Attachment Size
Drummer Cheat Sheet.mscz 16.23 KB

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.