Indicating harmonics and dampened notes

Special note heads can be used to indicate dampened notes or harmonics. Harmonics are normally further explained with a text markup.

\relative {
  \clef "treble_8"
  \override = #'harmonic-mixed
  d'8^\markup { \italic \fontsize #-2 "harm. 12" } <g b>4

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Dampened notes (also called dead notes) are supported within normal and tablature staves. In the following example, such notes are shown with pitches in the normal staff, indicating the frets where they are dampened. An alternative notation is to use empty strings instead. In tablature notation, however, it doesn’t make a difference.

music = \relative c' {
  \omit StringNumber

  <a \deadNote cis a'>4
    <b\3 \deadNote dis b'>
    <c\3 \deadNote e\2 c'>
    \tuplet 3/2 { g8 b e }
  <a, c e>1

\new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff {
    \clef "treble_8"
  \new TabStaff {

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Another playing technique (especially used on electric guitars) is called palm mute. The string is hereby partly muted by the palm of the striking hand (hence the name). LilyPond supports the notation of palm mute-style notes by changing the note head to a triangle shape.

\new Voice { % Warning: explicit Voice instantiation is
             %    required to have palmMuteOff work properly
             %    when palmMuteOn comes at the beginning of
             %    the piece.
  \relative c, {
    \clef "G_8"
    e8^\markup { \musicglyph "noteheads.s2do"  = palm mute }
    < e b' e > e
    e e  \palmMute e e e |
    e8 \palmMute { e e e } e e e e |
    < \palmMute e b' e >8 \palmMute { e e e } < \palmMute e b' e >2

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See also

Snippets: Fretted strings.

Notation Reference: Special note heads, Note head styles.

LilyPond Notation Reference v2.25.16 (development-branch).