Heavy metal gallop

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A gallop is a beat or rhythm typically used in metal songs, eighth-sixteenth-sixteenth (eighth notebeamed sixteenth notes), played on the rhythm guitar or drum kit (strum or drum pattern), mostly using a double kick pedal.

The gallop is usually formed around this skeleton:

H- x---x---x---x---|
S- ----o-------o---|
B- o-ooo-ooo-ooo-oo|

About this sound Play 

This rhythmic figure may be used on palm muted power chords providing accompanimental rhythmic ostinati on the rhythm guitar (About this sound Play example [1]),[2][3] and may be heard in the introduction to Deep Purple's "Highway Star",[4] as well as their "Hard Lovin' Man" and Black Sabbath's "Children of the Grave" and "Air Dance".[5] Also Metallica's "Motorbreath" and, more famously, "The Four Horsemen".[6] The pattern has also been used by group such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Slayer and Black Sabbath.[1] Variations include triplet gallop rhythms (About this sound Play ).[7]

This pattern has also been used in many non-metal songs. A classic example is the Scott Walker single "Jacky" released in 1967.[citation needed]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Marshall, Wolf (1993). The Wolf Marshall Guitar Method: Basics, Vol. II, p.24. Hal Leonard. ISBN 9780793516100.
  2. Consumer Dummies (2014). Guitar All-In-One For Dummies, p.144. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118872062.
  3. Stang, Aaron and Warner, Daniel (1996). Guitar rock shop, Volume 3, p.6. Alfred. ISBN 9781576237311.
  4. Hal Leonard (2011). Rock Bass Songs for Dummies, unpaginated. Hal Leonard. ISBN 9781458434937.
  5. Popoff, Martin (2011). Black Sabbath FAQ: All That's Left to Know on the First Name in Metal, p.237 & 247. Backbeat. ISBN 9781617131097.
  6. Pillsbury, Glenn (2013). Damage Incorporated: Metallica and the Production of Musical Identity, unpaginated. ISBN 9781136091223.
  7. Woods, Tricia and Green, Raleigh (2008). The Versatile Guitarist, p.58. Alfred Music. ISBN 9780739048054.