Coltrane’s Ghosting Technique on Guitar

by | Jazz Improvisation, John Coltrane

So you’re probably wondering…what on earth is this “ghosting” technique John Coltrane used and why would I as a guitarist want to learn it? Simply because by emulating it on guitar it’s bound to add a whole new dimension to your phrasing!

Let me briefly describe it. Coltrane had a way of playing the same note twice and alternating between regular and ghosted blowing to create 2 different textures of the same pitch. On sax it consists of slightly muting a note with the tongue. The concept resembles at best, when on guitar we play a unison on 2 adjacent strings. The pitch may be the same but there is a slight difference in the overall texture of each note due to the variance in the string gauge and intonation.

In this video lesson I show you how to emulate Coltrane’s ghosting technique on guitar. You’ll first get to hear Coltrane applying it at both, full and half tempo, and then I demonstrate how we can adapt it to guitar for that post-bop sound.


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John Coltrane for Jazz Guitar Part 1



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