View Full Version : Galloping

05-09-2003, 02:33 PM
Ok.. I have an issue of GuitarOne that has the song Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits. I have always liked the song so I tried learning it but I am having major problems. It says that the rhythm guitar is using a galloping type strumming. This type stuff has always been my struggling point. Tough strumming patterns, especially ones that require quick mutes here and there. I suppose practice will improve my strumming but I honestly cannot even get it to sound close even after trying for hours..

Heres a couple more examples of songs that I have had problems with that either have difficult rhythm(for me) or mutes in tough spots.
Pink Floyd - Have a Cigar
3 Doors Down - When I'm Gone
Metallica - Master of Puppets


05-09-2003, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by hol0point
Ok.. I have an issue of GuitarOne that has the song Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits. Hey, I cannot help you with your question, but maybe you can help me. :D Which issue of GuitarOne is that. I've been a subscriber for a couple of years and Iím wondering if I just missed that song. Thatís one Iíd also like to learn.

05-09-2003, 03:25 PM
I dont have it in front of me but it has Mark Tremonti on the cover and it came out within the last couple months. I'll check the month when I go home for lunch.

05-09-2003, 06:12 PM
Oops.. Turns out its from November 1999. It was handed down to me by a friend a couple weeks ago but I never looked at the date on it..

05-09-2003, 07:12 PM
Originally posted by hol0point
Oops.. Turns out its from November 1999. It was handed down to me by a friend a couple weeks ago but I never looked at the date on it.. That explains it. Thanks.

05-28-2003, 06:49 AM

When a composer &/or transcriber states that a song uses a gallop rhythm:
they are almost always referring to a RHYTHMIC FIGURE that repeats throughout the song

My definition of a Rhythmic figure is a short 1 or 2 beat rhythmic motif,
repeated & performed at various Tempos. (see example below)

I've taken a class or 2 at College in Humanities as well as Music History this is a small part of what I've learned:
Many times a Composer will try to emulate the common sounds of nature and/or that composers environment.
ie. A desire to emulate Horses,
(particularly if the composer lived in a time of battles, armies, etc.)

Composers when creating Classical music wanted to emulate via instruments the sound of a horse &/or horses galloping.

**(sorry I'm on vacation, and the computer I'm using is a Mac which doesn't have powertab so please humour me & if this explanation is clear enough, please someone post with Powertab the Rhythmic figure I'm going to attempt to describe) :cool:

One of the rhythms that emulated a Galloping horse was a
16th note rhythmic figure.
ie. an eighth note followed by 2 sixteenth notes. equivalent to 1 beat in 4/4 time

if we were to count 4 sixteenth notes equivalent to 1 beat in 4/4 time,
one way to count it is- 1 e & a

when counting this galloping rhythmic figure equivalent to 1 beat in 4/4 time, one way to pronounce the rhythm is
1 & a (remember the 1 "rings" for a duration of an eighth note)

This Rhythmic figure is quite possibly one of the most popular in all of music styles
as previously stated Classical, I've heard some Country use it, Pop Music, Rock, Blues, Jazz, especially Swing rhythms, etc.

The Rock style really has literally tons of songs that use this rhythm, just a couple that come to mind are:
Led Zeppelin -Immigrant Song
Rush- 2112
Heart- Barracuda
& it's still used in songs popular even today
(though at present none are coming to mind)

FYI: In the 1980's the rock scene was highly identified with this rhythm as MANY bands used it,
Iron Maiden really used this rhythm in so many of their songs not only was it identified as a part of their style but I even think it is responsible for at least a couple of their sportcars. LOL :D

Anyway as a summary when a transcriber states that a song uses a Galloping rhythm he/she is usually referring to the above stated rhythmic figure!

Hope this is helpful!!

P.S. Thanks for humouring me, this explanation could have been much shorter had I the resource of PowerTab-a picture is worth a thousand words.

05-29-2003, 12:52 AM
Thanks for your explanation. This type of rhythm is still pretty tough for me to play but it makes more sense now that you broke down the timing. I just need to practice and I should be able to get it.


05-29-2003, 01:03 AM
hey holopoint,

check out this thread..

I posted a powertab file there that includes the galloping motif Schooligo is talking about in addition to some other rhythmic ideas.


05-29-2003, 10:04 AM
I've been on vacation longer than I thought!! :)

Well maybe not vacation, okay here's the story,
I knew I was going to go help my brother add an addition to his house this summer(that's the "vacation"),
Which means that I share 1 computer with my Nieces & Nephews and rarely get to study IBreathe before someone else has to use it
I knew he had a Mac computer, so what I did is
I copied all the Forum Threads:
ie. Beginner, Practice & Performance, Music Theory, etc. from the oldest thread, up till April 29, 3003

I've been studying those on his computer, & since I'ts a Mac without powertab I chose to not keep current on the Forum thread topics as some of these threads gave me plenty to study till I could get back to my computer with Powertab!

Anyway, I appreciate your thread Wyll(great subject), that is a cool, helpful attitude to create those exercises.
(I confess I wasn't aware of Wyll's thread)

In the future it would be wise for me to use the IBreathe search engine prior to when I reply to a thread, just to confirm that what I have to say
1. has not been covered,
2. or the slant I have on the theory has not been addressed,
3. or as a reference for contribution, (as would have been very helpful as a solution when replying to this thread).

"This type of rhythm is still pretty tough for me to play"

HolOpoint Dude I feel your pain!!

"I just need to practice and I should be able to get it.

With that POSITIVE attitude you can do it (especially if your dedicated & patient)!!!

Some musicians have no problem playing this rhythm, for others the Gallop Rhythm is quite a challenge,
My best advice for learning this rhythm &/or any other is practice it very slowly, cleanly, with a metronome, & then gradually speed it up.

It is definately a rhythm that will benefit your repertoire,

particularly when your performing & someone wants to hear an 80's metal song.

FYI: A bass player I use to perform with was a huge Iron Maiden fan, & wanted us to play "the Trooper" or "Hallowed by thy Name", just about any chance he got!!

The music that I & my band create is "Progressive Rock" & entirely original, but still when we perform after our set occasionally we will get a request for Iron Maiden, or some other band like them, & sometimes as an Encore we will humour the audience! ;)

05-29-2003, 03:25 PM
Ok. Thanks for the help. So your band plays progressive rock? Have any mp3s I can listen to? I listen to alot of newer rock.. I dont like to classify it but alot of people would says its emo/screamo or experimental/progressive rock. I just call it rock and roll. The Mars Volta being my favorite.. If anyone gets a chance to get the "advance release"(its on mirc) get it! Omar's guitar playing is basically the reason why I started playing a little over a year ago.

AIM: hol0point

05-30-2003, 08:30 AM
Hi HolOpoint,

Thanks for the interest!!

Ok here's behind the music:
hooked up with the band about 7 months ago,

started out as a jamband, but recently decided that as creative musicians, who have the same "Musical Vision", it was in our interest to create & perform original music.
4 members of the group:
Guitar, Bass, Keyboardist, & a Drummer

but now we are writing new material
currently writing songs, & in the future hope to be able to turn anyone who is interested on to them.

01-03-2004, 05:53 AM
Danster, Sultans is on the powertab archive. It is very accurate, IMO, and matches my personal transcription of it about 90%! ;)

Too bad the rhythm guitarist in my band doesn't visit here anymore. He NAILS that rhythm/galloping thing in Sultans, including the chorusy clean-amp sound.

Oliver Maison
01-03-2004, 07:32 AM
Woah, So other your a Mars Volta fan too HolOpoint, They sure do make some very interesting music, Althrough some of my freinds claim it's just a bunch of noise and they've heard it all before, it really is very unique to the band if you ask me, very challngeing stuff in there but a difinate journey.

But of coarse everyone know Progressive rock is the best kind of music in the world so what can one expect.

01-05-2004, 04:27 PM
Heeeey.. I remember this thread :). I never actually went back to Sultans of Swing because I was just so frustrated with it. But hey its been six months and I have spent Many hours improving(well trying to improve anyway heh). So I'll grab that powertab and give it another go.

The Mars Volta... Yeah they are amazing alright. I was a big atdi fan so I immediately took to tmv after the break up. Omar is.... Well beyond words. Noone plays like him and his sound is one of most unique I have ever heard. great stuff. Attempting to play it can be a very humbling experience :).

02-13-2004, 04:26 AM
none of the links work though, they're not on the ibreathe server.

02-20-2004, 10:23 PM
Updated - links working now :D

See this thread-