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

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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.

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!

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Drummer Cheat Sheet.mscz 16.23 KB

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