Music notation help

I’m having trouble tracking down a notation symbol used in the 50 songs online pack. It’s a little swoosh next to a note, unconnected to another note. Pic attached is from Crossfire. And there are a couple in Chorus 2 of The Chain. There are probably more floating around, so I should pin it down now. Thanks! Capture


That indicates a small slide down from each of those notes. Not to any specific destination note, just a small slide for some flair.


Perfect, thank you. And conversely, one before the note would be a small slide up. This helps a lot, because my amateur ear couldn’t pick it up in the originals. (I bet it can now.) I’m really happy I can ask this kind of question on this forum and get a timely and respectful answer.


Glad to help!

1 Like

That symbol is called a “fall” and (like with the scoop discussed earlier this week here:Sliding across strings)

On bass, it’s another way to add sauce/grease/style/flair.

It’s a non-definite slide off a note so that you get the sound of movement, but nothing dramatic or specific. No actual destination, just the vibe and sound of sliding down, away, out of the note.


Excellent. And thanks for the informative link. I’m digging learning these new terms too. “Grease” is so perfect for this technique.

1 Like

So, it’s a scoop if it’s going into the note and a fall if coming out of the note?

1 Like

I think that’s it.
I’m willing to plant my flag in this hill.


Thanks @Gio! Just wanted to make sure I was using the terms correctly.

1 Like

So, apparently the four possible cases are like this:

  • going into a note (from below) - scoop
  • coming out of a note going up - droit
  • going into a note (from above) - plop
  • coming out of a note going down - fall

Anyway, that is what MuseScore calls those “actions” :smile:


plop :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

i need to use more plops


This seems to be a generic enough thread to ask notation questions…

I have been doing the slap bass groove challenge from TalkingBass and so far it has been as challenging in notation as in actual playing…

Today’s question is what are those rather small notes next to normal sized ones and how to play them?

Googling and youtubing around showed me that they might be “appoggiatura” lean in notes but these ones are missing the connecting arc…

On the first bar should I be slapping fifth on E string and hammering into sixth simply?

Is it notated like that because it is out of scale? Instead of two 16th notes ?

1 Like didn’t work. Can you double check the site address?

Hello @eric.kiser It was not meant to be a link but it is automatic in the forum to make it a link when there is “.net , .com” :stuck_out_tongue:

I made the link official in my post now
Also here

It would need you to be a free member though. But if you do get a membership you would have access to the challenge with the videos and drum track so that is nice…

1 Like

They are either appogiaturas or grace notes.
Either way - when you’re seeing them bass notation, it means something very similar to the “grease-up” techniques handled earlier in this thread.

You are going to play and emphasize the fully notated note. That’s the target. To make that target note sound cool and have a bit of articulation and life, you’re going to play a very very short hammer-on into the fully notated note.

The hammer on (it could also be a slide, but I prefer to notate the articulation of a grace-note slide with the scoop as discussed above in this thread) will begin ON THE RHYTHM that the fully notated note occupies.
The hammer on will be very brief and is rhythmically inconsequential. You’re going for the sound of getting into your target note with a bit of extra juju.

Holler if there are more questions. I’m hoping that there’s an audio example of that line. Just sing the line until you can discern with your ears and body what the sound is you’re supposed to make on those notes.


I extracted this from the video. Tried to listen to it very carefully (with my certain limitations) but I cannot even count that ‘ghost/grace’ note


That’s a cool groove.


This is a common problem with slap grooves and tutorials.
They’re too damn fast.

If there’s a slow down option, use it!!

The grace notes and inflections are in there, but they’re going by so fast they’re hard to catch.

1 Like

I did slow it down on ableton and listened to that part on loop for a lot of times but what I think I hear is just a smudge of a note change.

At this point I decided to simplify it for myself and just play A# 1/8+1/16 duration and move on…

These are supposed to be the easier grooves but they’re still though. Hence the name “challenge”.

Thanks a lot for cracking it @Gio!

1 Like

@Fahri! Here’s a thing I did.

I felt like this is an important thing and I didn’t want it to get lost.
I recorded the bassline you posted at 3 tempos.
65ish, 90ish and 100.

Hopefully you’ll be able to hear those little articulations.
They blur together as things speed up - but they’re there!