How do you do that 'ghosting' effect?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Komakino, Apr 16, 2002.

  1. Hey guys,

    I've heard some bass solos recently, and seen some (god forbid) tabs that have ghosted 16ths in them. Rather, in the tabs I've seen notes marked as ghosted and in the solos I've heard notes that aren't played loudly and I'm assuming they're the same thing. How do you do that ghosting effect?


  2. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    Mute the string with your left hand but don't push down all the way... be sure to use at least 2 fingers so that you don't get any harmonics (that would ruin the ghost note;) ) Pluck/pick/slap/pop the string as usual, or change it if you want a slightly different sound out of it

    Hope that helps,
  3. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    ..and make sure that you have some reasonably fresh strings on your bass - perhaps raise the treble a bit too to really bring out the 'click'.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I learned to do ghost notes on my new 6 string by taking the time I might have spent participating in OT political flame wars, and practicing instead. It really, really works! :)
  5. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars

  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I don't really hear ghost notes as a click, although they can be a percussive effect - I find they are most useful as replacement notes which fool the ear into thinking they have been played in sequence and at pitch.

    Classic funk/R&B ghost notes are definitely more of a dull unpitched sound and I always prefer them with less bright strings.

    The main thing for me is timing and rhythmic placement - so they are effectively "syncopations" that are unexpected and add to the overall feel.

    I think what Tones is probably thinking of, is more accurately called a left-hand slap?
  7. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    bingo. as the Yanks are so fond of saying, "My bad!" :D i was actually under the impression that this particular technique was a vital aspect of achieving the ghosted 16th effect? Alexis Sklarevski seems to be quite partial to it, and the guy virtually overdoses on muted flurries of 16ths :eek:
  8. but can he do 32nds :p
  9. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    how dare he, the bastard!! :D
  10. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings