Ghost Notes

• Oct 23, 2009 - 20:19

I'm an amateur bassist who is currently transcribing a number of jazz & R&B standards, and am taking considerable care to be as authentic as possible.

Many of the great early R&B and jazz bassists performed a variety of percussive "ghost notes" by "raking" muted or partially-muted strings. These are usually noted by placing a note with an "x" notehead on the appropriate string, indicating the note is to be struck on the string while muted with the fingers of the left ("neck) hand.

Is there any way I can create this type of note in MuseScore?

Thanks very much for your help.


In reply to by Nicolas

I am unable to make 'x' note heads. I have written notes in and then tried to drag the 'x' note head from the Note Heads palette, I have tried to change the property by right clicking on a note and editing its properties. It never changes from the normal note head. Also, my "drums" palette only carries a regular note head.

Is there something I'm missing? I've tried whatever I can think of, both in 'N' mode and not.

I am using Win XP SP3, MuseScore 0.9.3, and I am notating on a percussion staff - only one line.

In reply to by trmnshwrx

I'm confused - are you notating the bass part or the drum part? If you are notating a bass part, you shouldn't be using the a percussion staff. The right click to change noteheads *does* work on ordinary staves, and is slightly easier than with Finale (at least, my version of Finale presents the entire character set of a hundred or more glyphs as options for alternate heads, so it can take a while to find the one you want).

For percussion staves, there should be no need to change noteheads at all - the whole point of the percussion staff is that noteheads *automatically* come out with appropriate heads. Simply enter the note at the appropriate pitch level for the drum you want to sound, and it should have the right head with no need to modify anything.

There is an "X" in the note head palette that you can drag to the note in your score. You can also write ghost notes as small notes with parentheses around them. Right click and select "Note Properties..." if you want to make it small. Create > Symbols has some parentheses you can drag to a note.

In reply to by David Bolton

Hmmm. I don't see the "X" in the note head palette. I only see the acciaccatura, appoggiatura, grace-4, grace-16, and grace-32 notes.

I'm using MuseScore Version 0.9.5 for the Mac OS X, Version 10.6.1 (Snow Leopard). Perhaps it was left out or misconfigured in this version, or the rendering truncated it. I'm a fairly experienced software developer, so if you need me to dig around, just let me know.

Thanks in advance for your continued help on this.



In reply to by bliblong

The palette you are talking about is the "Notes" palette. The first one.
I'm talking about the "NoteHeads" palette. On my mac (10.5), it's in.
It's the 15th, between "Fingering" and "Tremolo".
In case you don't find it, can you send me a screenshot of your palette? I don't have a 10.6.1 to test.

See screenshot attached.

Btw, developers are always welcome! We have instructions to compile MuseScore on Mac.

Attachment Size
palette_noteheads.png 6.45 KB

In reply to by David Bolton

For example writing bass parts, I wish to listen a percussive sound every ghost note.
This depends on my synthesizer? Or musescore always plays ghost notes with normal sound?
I'm currently in Mac OSX 10.6.8 with musescore 1.2.
I think musescore uses a internal synthesizer by default right?

In reply to by dcocharro

MuseScore plays all the notes with the normal sound as you describe.

I can't think of a workaround. The default SoundFont uses General MIDI . I'm not sure that there is a ghost note sound for bass guitar in General MIDI. But even if you used a non-standard SoundFont, I don't know of a way to assign a different instrument sound to a single note of a staff (or even a single note within a chord as may be required for bass notation.).

In reply to by David Bolton

It won't be fun, but the way to do this in 1.2 would be to modify instruments.xml to have multiplesounds for bass, just as is done for trumpet (normal & muted), most strings (arco/pizz/tremolo), etc. Then use an invisible staff text to switch sounds. You would of course still need to find a sound you liked. Maybe a low Tom or something.

In reply to by robert.l.ellis…

Yes it is a shame that although you can make the notation you cannot make the correct sound. There is no midi recognition for this type of event however it can be done because I have another program called Guitar Pro 6 and this can make the sound that is required for muted strings. You cannot use it as a midi file but you can convert the file to audio mp3 or Wav files for use. I don't know how they do it perhaps the program files are not actually midi files but a type of audio file.

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