Ghost Notes to Exercises on Drums

Notes like ghosts? These drum notes are named like this because they are like the non-corporeal forms (like ghosts) – lighter strikes intended to be played, but people do not realize that they are there. More interestingly, these ghost notes can make a huge difference to your groove! Ghost notes are the secret recipe to deliver tasty phrasing. Check out this article on Ghost Notes to Exercises on Drums!

Even more, it adds flavor when you slot the strikes into beats. If you look it up, you will see that some people are still skeptical about its existence. We would say that it exists, folks!

Now, let us look at some ghost notes drum exercises in this article. Without any further ado, let’s hop in!

You can also check: How to Hold Drumsticks: Guide for Beginners

Where to use the ghost notes?

Ghost Notes to Exercises on Drums
Photo by: moodboard

To be honest, these quiet notes are hard to grasp. You would need plenty of control muscle memory. With time it gets easier. One of the main things that you need to get under your control is the ability to let out this loud and soft sound while playing.

Ghost notes allow you to be versatile – you can add various ranges to all your grooves.

For non-drummers, the concept is just basic, and they even see these accents to be tedious. They feel that the dynamics are just secondary if they can try out certain exercises.

On the other hand, dynamics are actually the key to put a stop to sounding like an amateur drummer!

How to play the ghost notes?

Different methods can be used to play these ghost notes. It is up to you to choose which method would work for you.

We would ask you to choose a way determined by the track’s tempo that you would play and where the ghost note lies. Either hit the snare using your actual force, then use the rebound momentum for a ghost note, or you can try playing the groove with most focus on your stick control.

Remember to play it the way you want to and not under anybody’s influence.

Usually written as some regular beat heads with brackets around, ghost notes are easy to memorize. With time, you can figure it out soon.

Furthermore, you will notice some differences in the line of the beat stems for snare and kick.

Like the drumstick tricks, ghost notes should also be used occasionally. While they give you a vibe of some funky deity and are fun to play, they just don’t go along well with all the genres and can occupy much sonic room, giving the other band members less or no space.

With all the heads up done, it’s time we start rolling. You should get to the grooves to aid to take your ghost note drums exercise to the next level.

Volume Control for Ghost Notes

Photo by: MoMo Productions

With the black diamond acting as a symbol for the bell, the groove would be performed on the ride. This exercise mainly involves being able to put ghost notes in your bar comfortably without making any tempo changes.

According to us, the hardest part is hitting the ride’s bell and putting the next ghost note after one 32nd beat. It is definitely but rewarding. One tip is to start slow with this exercise.

1st Rebound Practice

Most of you would not know about Bernard Purdie. He was the one who asked drummers to not fret over ghost notes as these are just rebound. Keeping that in mind, this exercise aimed to train your ghost note drum exercise to rebound muscle.

You can check it out here!

2nd Rebound Practice

Being in a similar vein to 1st rebound practice, this practice is all about monitoring control and speed while playing ghost notes. If you see yourself performing five snares in a row, do not worry about high tempo. With just the right beat placement, consistency, and control, you will be able to maintain a low tempo.

You can check it out here!

3rd Rebound Practice

With elements from the above two, this practice involves handling pre and post-backbeat ghost notes. Here, you would need to maintain the ghost notes placement and volume with consistency.

You will have to deal with the offbeat backbeat snare in the second bar because you are unaware of which ghost note you would need to drop.

4th Rebound Practice

It is the rhythm that needs to be dealt with caution. Otherwise, the performer might butcher this exercise. When the tempo goes to a higher level, performing 3 snares in a row might prove to be challenging. This is what you would be going with your exercise.

This practice is all about control and stamina.

You can check it out here!

Hi-Hat Ghosts

This groove is quite different from all the other snares in a row we have listed previously. You essentially try to put other ways you can use ghost notes to give snare batter a breather.

The ride is the main cymbal, while the empty diamonds represent the hi-hat. While handling the rebound beat positioning, you can keep the hats weightless, as you might tend to crush them into position, which can be truly bad.


It can get tricky to handle the shuffles because a lot goes on that it gets hard to replicate. It comes by combing several drum parts to give an excellent drum exercise. Between the ghosted snare and hi-hat, this is an extremely satisfying groove that depends on acing the triplets.

You can check it out here!

Purdie Shuffle

For this metronome-free groove, we would ask you to watch the video. The reason for this is that it gets tricky to bring all humanity in a single groove. Energetic and loud, you should give this exercise a go.

You can check it out here!

Final Thoughts

Ghost notes are considered to be snare drum notes offering much lower volume than your backbeat or any drum strokes that you want to play. You can try some good exercises from our list to perform on your drums.

So, this brings an end to the ghost notes drum exercises. Hope you had a nice read!

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