In which string do you play the dead/ghost notes?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Marcelo Coip, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. Marcelo Coip

    Marcelo Coip

    Sep 30, 2018
    Hi, imagine you are playing the following line:

    G on E string
    Dead/Ghost Note (1)
    A on E
    D/G N (2)
    C on A
    D/G N (3)
    D on A
    D/G N (4)
    C on G

    In which string would you play each dead/ghostg note and why?
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  2. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I would always play the dead note on the same string as the preceding note, unless it would make more sense to play it on another (in order to facilitate faster or smoother transitions when crossing strings, for example).
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  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    If the composer has indicated in the sheet music, then try following the composer's suggestion as your starting point.

    If there is no sheet music, then experiment which sounds best to your ear. :)

    I like @Nashrakh 's suggestion, because it creates orderly phrasing of 4 notes per string.
  4. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    I would just play it on the sting I just played.
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  5. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Depends on the sound you want. You can play it on the string above or below the string that you play the normal note. But if you are not sure play it on the same string.
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  6. Marcelo Coip

    Marcelo Coip

    Sep 30, 2018
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  7. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    My issue is more of a couple of weak (ghost) notes more than dead spots, so I have conditioned myself to fret, and more importantly pluck those notes harder. If they were truly dead I'd get rid of the bass, like I did my first early model Sadowsky (the second had no such problems).
  8. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    OP is talking about intentionally muted notes played for percussive effect. Not dead spots.
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  9. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    Sorry, my bad, it's early out West
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  10. interp


    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    I would play all the dead notes on my new bass that doesn’t have any dead notes.
  11. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man

    Apr 10, 2015
    Wherever your fingers fall. (Probably the E, in your example.)
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  12. red_rhino

    red_rhino Currently on Double Secret Probation Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2001
    Over Macho Grandé
    This is totally dependent on the line/pattern you are playing and technique being used. Slap vs fingerstyle vs pluck vs pick, followed by whatever makes the most sense ergonomically.
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  13. blakelock

    blakelock Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    it all depends on the sound and timing you want but here are my comments.

    often i will play the ghost note on the string higher than the note that follows (i.e., ghost on D string followed by note on A string) because after hitting the ghost note, the plucking finger ends up on the neighboring string ready for the next note.
    however, not all ghost notes sound the same. ghost on G string is thinner than ghost on A. since you are rocking notes on that A string, you might want to ghost on that string as well to get a fuller/thicker ghost note sound.
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  14. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2016
    Either play on the same string as the previous note...or the string where the next note will be played. Usually same string, but doesn't have to be.

    Could be a riff where there's a constant ghost/dead/muted note on the E string where you're all over the neck on other strings. No rules!
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  15. same here
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  16. St_G


    Jan 22, 2013
    Memphis, TN
    Either the string I just played or the string I'm about to play, except in VERY rare cases, where I might, like, ghost pop the G string as a percussive accent to a line being played on the E or A.
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  17. In the same string you are playing
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