Rock ‘N’ Jazz Clinic
Part 6: Ghost Notes Using an Intertwined Approach
by Jost Nickel
Now add a bass drum pattern taken from the rhythms notated at the end of this lesson. For this example, we’ll use the first measure of Exercise 11. Here’s our isolated bass drum pattern followed by its placement in the groove.
Next add ghost notes on all of the remaining 16th notes.
Playing all of the 16th notes as ghost strokes can sound good at slower tempos (60–85 bpm) and can be a great challenge when playing at faster tempos. But in general, I suggest omitting some of the quieter strokes to produce a clearer sound. In our final step, we’ll omit any ghost note that occurs directly before or after an accent. In addition, we won’t play more than two consecutive 16ths in a row, as demonstrated in Exercise 5.
Next we’ll utilize the intertwined approach using the first measure of Exercise 13. Here’s our primary groove with the hands.
Now take the first measure of Exercise 13 (notated in Exercise 7) and apply it to the bass drum (Exercise 8).
Play ghost notes on all of the remaining 16ths.
Next omit the ghost notes before and after the snare accents. Again, the left hand doesn’t play more than two consecutive strokes.
Here are three sets of one-measure reading exercises that you can use for your bass drum patterns.
The intertwined approach is applicable with any bass drum pattern and works as well with grooves where the snare doesn’t accent beats 2 or 4, so apply this method to your own phrases. If you’re interested in checking out more groove ideas, check out my book, Jost Nickel’s Groove Book.
Jost Nickel is a top session and touring drummer in Germany, and he endorses Sonor, Meinl, Aquarian, Vic Firth, and Beyerdynamic.