Posted onby admin
  1. Cymbalholics
  2. Ghostnote Music Llc
  3. Amedia Cymbals
  4. Ghost Note App

43,628 likes 1,408 talking about this. Pushing funk music into the future, building on the uplifting, pioneering foundations laid out by the likes of James Brown and Sly & The Family. Continue Shopping Ghost Note Coffee.

OriginDallas, Texas, US
Years active2014–present
Associated acts
  • Robert 'Sput' Searight
  • Nate Werth
  • AJ Brown
  • Dwayne 'MonoNeon' Thomas
  • Sylvester Onyejiaka
  • Dominique Xavier Taplin
  • Jonathan Mones
  • Mike Jelani Brooks

Ghost-Note are a percussion-based funk, hip hop and jazz group[1] from Dallas, Texas,[2] with a rotating membership based around founding drummer Robert 'Sput' Searight and founding percussionist Nate Werth, two members of the jazz band Snarky Puppy. The group also includes bassist MonoNeon, a.k.a. Dywane Thomas Jr., keyboardist Dominique Xavier Taplin, saxophonist/flutist Michael Jelani Brooks, saxophonist/flutist Jonathan Mones, and saxophonist/flutist Sylvester Onyejiaka.[3]

Ghost-Note's two albums – Fortified and Swagism – both reached No. 1 on the iTunes Jazz Chart.


Robert 'Sput' Searight founded God's Property, a gospel choir affiliated with Kirk Franklin.[1][4] Nate Werth was a music student at the University of North Texas and a member of Snarky Puppy, then playing jam sessions around Dallas. Searight and Werth performed together with Snarky Puppy through seven albums (of nine the group recorded during that time).[5]

In 2014, Searight and Werth wanted to create another band that would focus on percussion and what they termed 'conscious funk'.[6] They formed Ghost-Note and released their first album, Fortified, on the Ropeadope label in October 2015, incorporating influences from jazz, hip hop and EDM music.[1]Fortified featured Snarky Puppy keyboardist Shaun Martin, vocalist N'Dambi and guitarist Mark Lettieri, among others.[7] The album went to No. 1 on the iTunes Jazz chart.[8]

Swagism was Ghost-Note's second album, released in April 2018 on Ropeadope. This album also went to No. 1 on the iTunes Jazz chart.[9] It featured guitarist Raja Kassis, spoken word artist and author Prudence the Auset Sneed, saxophonist Kamasi Washington and guitarist Brandon 'Taz' Neiderauer.[7] Matt Stieg of New York magazine wrote that, on Swagism, Searight and Werth 'stretch their ensemble into all possible contortions, from CTI's disco to D'Angelo's funk. It's the omnivorous diet of J Dilla come to life in big-band form.'[10]


Ghost-Note began touring in 2015. A rotating membership of musicians joined them onstage, including keyboardist Daniel Jones, xylosynth player Nick Werth, drummer Alvin Ford Jr[3] and bassist Cody Wright.[11] In 2018, the touring ensemble included bassist Dywane 'MonoNeon' Thomas Jr., keyboardists Xavier Taplin and Vaughn 'V.Keys' Henry, guitarist Peter Knudsen, and saxophonist/flutist Jonathan Mones.[2] The group has played the Edmonton International Jazz Festival,[12] the London Jazz Festival,[6] the TD Ottawa JazzFest,[13] and the Montreal Jazz Fest.[14] They have performed in Memphis, Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Dallas, as well as at shows in Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy.[15]


  • Robert 'Sput' Searight - drums, keyboards
  • Nate Werth - percussion

Additional contributors[edit]

  • AJ Brown - bass
  • Dwayne 'MonoNeon' Thomas - bass
  • Dominique Xavier Taplin - keyboards
  • Vaughn Henry - keyboards
  • Sylvester Onyejiaka - saxophone, flute
  • Jonathan Mones - saxophone, flute
  • Mike Jelani Brooks - saxophone, flute
  • Peter Knudsen - guitar
  • Mike Clowes - guitar




  • Fortified (2015)
  • Swagism (2018)


  1. ^ abcStewart, Allison (March 23, 2017). 'Ghost-Note is doing it all over again, from Snarky Puppy's famous roots'. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 18 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ abArnaudin, Edwin (October 15, 2018). 'Smart Bets: Ghost-Note'. Mountain Xpress. Retrieved 18 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ ab'This Weekend's Kids & Family Activities in Bronx'. NY Metro Parents. June 13, 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^Setaro, Shawn (May 26, 2016). 'The City You Love to Hate Makes Every Song You Love'. Dallas Observer. Retrieved 19 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^Dunn, Patrick (March 29, 2017). 'Ghost-Note is driven by the search for a groove'. Detroit News. Retrieved 18 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ abFlynn, Mike (September 18, 2018). 'EFG renews title sponsorship, Jazz Voice stars, Rymden and Jamie Baum for EFG London Jazz Fest'. Jazz Wise Magazine. Retrieved 19 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ ab'Ghost-Note Gets Down, Gets Funky & Gets Loose On 'Swagism''. Soul Bounce. March 5, 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^'On Stage: Jazz Fest comes to Oak Bay'. Oak Bay News. June 22, 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^'Enter 'Deep In The Swag' With Ghost-Note As New Video Highlights 'Swagism' Creation'. Retrieved 18 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^Stieg, Matt (June 4, 2018). 'Your June Jazz Calendar Ten top-tier jazz shows to catch this month'. New York magazine. Retrieved 19 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^Robertson, Graham (June 19, 2018). 'Ghost-Note and Backbeat Underground Give Funk Flavors a Powerful Kick'. DC Music Review. Retrieved 19 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^Levesque, Roger (June 23, 2018). 'International acts head for the cutting edge at jazz fest'. Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 19 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^'Ghost-Note'. Retrieved 19 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^Dunlevy, T'Cha (June 30, 2018). 'Jazz fest picks for June 30, 2018: Kamasi Washington, Spanish Harlem Orchestra'. Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 18 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^Deflin, Kendall (September 27, 2018). 'Ghost-Note Announces Fall 2018 European Tour'. Live for Live Music. Retrieved 19 October 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

Retrieved from ''
Illustration of dead note in musical notation and guitar tablature

In music, a ghost note is a musical note with a rhythmic value, but no discernible pitch when played. In musical notation, this is represented by an 'X' for a note head instead of an oval, or parentheses around the note head.[1] It should not be confused with the X-shaped notation that raises a note to a double sharp.

On stringed instruments, this is played by sounding a muted string. 'Muted to the point where it is more percussive sounding than obvious and clear in pitch. There is a pitch, to be sure, but its musical value is more rhythmic than melodic or harmonic...they add momentum and drive to any bass line.'[2] Occurring in a rhythmicfigure, they are purposely deemphasized, often to the point of near silence. In popular music drumming, these notes are played 'very softly between the 'main' notes,' (off the beat on the sixteenth notes) most often on the snare drum in a drum kit.[3] Ghost notes are often used by electric bass players and double bass players in a range of popular music and traditional music styles. In vocal music, it represents words that are spoken in rhythm rather than sung.


Ghost notes are also called 'dead notes', 'muted notes', 'silenced notes' or 'false notes'.

Instrumental music[edit]

Ghost notes are not simply the unaccented notes in a pattern. The unaccented notes in such a pattern as a clave are considered to represent the mean level of emphasis—they are neither absolutely emphasized nor unemphasized. If one further deemphasizes one of these unaccented notes to the same or a similar extent to which the accented notes in the pattern are emphasized, then one has 'ghosted' that note. In a case in which a ghost note is deemphasized to the point of silence, that note then represents a rhythmic placeholder in much the same way as does a rest. This can be a very fine distinction, and the ability of an instrumentalist to differentiate between what is a ghost note and what is a rest is governed largely by the acoustic nature of the instrument.

Wind instruments, including the human voice, and guitars are examples of instruments generally capable of ghosting notes without making them synonymous with rests, while a pianist or percussionist would have more difficulty in creating this distinction because of the percussive nature of the instruments, which hampers the resolution of the volume gradient as one approaches silence. However, in such a case as that the ghost notes were clearly audible, while being far less prominent than the unaccented notes which represent the mean degree of emphasis within the example, then a percussionist could be said to create what we might define as ghost notes.

Ghostnote Music Llc

A frequent misconception is that grace notes and ghost notes are synonymous. A grace note is by definition decidedly shorter in length than the principal note which it 'graces', but in many examples the grace note receives a greater degree of accentuation (emphasis) than the principal itself, even though it is a much shorter note than the principal. In other words, while a grace note could be ghosted, the ghosting of notes is a function of volume[citation needed] rather than of duration.


Drumming: Ghost notes indicated by parentheses, main notes distinguished by accents[3]play

Amedia Cymbals

In drumming, a ghost note is played at very low volume,[4] typically on a snare drum.[5] In musical notation, ghost notes are indicated in parenthesis surrounding the note.[5] According to The Drummer's Bible: How to Play Every Drum Style from Afro-Cuban to Zydeco, the purpose of a ghost note is to ' heard under the main sound of the groove. This produces a subtle 16th-note feel around a strong back beat or certain accents.'[5]

The term ghost note, then, can have various meanings. The term anti-accent is more specific. Moreover, there exists a set of anti-accent marks to show gradation more specifically. Percussion music in particular makes use of anti-accent marks, as follows:

  1. slightly softer than surrounding notes: ◡ (breve)
  2. significantly softer than surrounding notes: ( ) (note head in parentheses)
  3. much softer than surrounding notes: [ ] (note head in square brackets)

Examples can be heard in the drumming of Harvey Mason, Mike Clark, Bernard Purdie,[6]Brad Wilk, David Garibaldi, and Chad Smith. Ghost note drumming is a distinguishing feature of R&B music.[7] Particularly recognizable examples of this technique are Gregory C. Coleman's drum break in 'Amen Brother' by The Winstons, Clyde Stubblefield's beat in 'Cold Sweat' by James Brown[8] and Jeff Porcaro playing the beat for the Toto hit 'Rosanna'.

Ghost Note App


Stringed instruments[edit]

Bass: Ghost notes indicated by 'x' shaped note heads.[2]Play

A guitarist wishing to ghost a note can decrease the pressure the fretting hand is exerting upon the strings without removing the hand from the fretboard (which would result in the sounding of the open pitches of those strings). This is sometimes called a 'scratch', and is considered a ghost note unless all the unaccented notes in the pattern were 'scratched' (in which case the scratches are unaccented notes).

On the double bass and electric bass, as with the guitar, ghost notes can be performed by muting the strings, either with the fretting hand or the plucking/picking hand, which creates notes of indeterminate pitch that have a percussive quality.[9] On the electric bass, ghost notes are widely used in the slap bass style, as a way of creating a percussive, drum-like sound in funk and Latin music. On the double bass, percussive ghost notes are sometimes performed by slapping the strings against the fingerboard, which creates a percussive, 'clacky' sound. With the double bass, slap-style ghost notes are used in rockabilly, bluegrass, and traditional blues and swing jazz.

Bassists James Jamerson (of Motown), Carol Kaye (of Motown), Rocco Prestia (for Tower of Power), and Chuck Rainey (for Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, and others) all include 'tons of ghost notes done right' in their playing.[2]

Vocal music[edit]

In vocal music, especially in musical theater, a ghost note represents that the lyrics must be spoken rather than sung, retaining the marked rhythm but having indeterminate pitch. Notes with value less than a half note use an 'X' instead of an oval as a note head. Occasionally a half note or whole note is represented with an open diamond note head, often representing a scream or grunt.

As an extreme example, ghost notes are almost exclusively used in 'Rock Island', the opening number of The Music Man.

This notation may also indicate Sprechstimme or rapping.

See also[edit]


  1. ^' False note', OnMusic Dictionary.
  2. ^ abcLetsch, Glenn (2008). Stuff! Good Bass Players Should Know, p.51-52. ISBN978-1-4234-3138-1.
  3. ^ abMattingly, Rick (2006). All About Drums, p.61. Hal Leonard. ISBN1-4234-0818-7.
  4. ^Miller, Russ (1996). The Drum Set Crash Course. Alfred Music Publishing. ISBN9781576235225.
  5. ^ abcBarry, Mick; Gianni, Jason (2004). The Drummer's Bible: How to Play Every Drum Style from Afro-Cuban to Zydeco. See Sharp Press. p. 78. ISBN9781884365324.
  6. ^Gianni, Jason (2003) The Drummer's Bible: How to Play Every Drum Style from Afro-Cuban to Zydeco, p. 35. See Sharp Press. 'Purdie Shuffle' At Google Books. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  7. ^Strong, Jeff (2006). Drums for Dummies, p.116. ISBN978-0-471-79411-0.
  8. ^'Living Legend Tries to Make a Living'. New York Times. March 29, 2011. Archived from the original on April 6, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  9. ^Turner, Gary (4 December 2013). Beginner Bass Guitar Lessons - Progressive: Teach Yourself How to Play Bass Guitar (Google eBook). ISBN9789825320043.
Retrieved from ''