Drummers: Were you taught NOT to "gallop"?

I was at McDs casually listening to the background music over the PA. It was some upbeat, modern song. The drummer in the song had no real style, probably another sefl-taught “Johnny” who thinks he can play. I noticed he’d throw in a few stand-alone “gallop” beats. (It sounds like the beat of one gallop, as opposed to a series of galloping steps - like a racing horse.) I recall my drum teacher trying to teach us a drum roll, and many of us would find ourselves slipping into a galloping pattern instead of a drum roll. Fellow drummers, were you discouraged from falling into or relying on a “galloping” rhythm, too?

In this modern upbeat song, the drummer only did an occasional solo gallop and mixed it in with other simple beats. so, maybe his sin is forgiveable. Or, maybe it was an undeveloped paradiddle? I leave it to you to ponder.

It’s fine to do if it sounds good and gets across what you’re trying to accomplish. Who cares about some stuffy high school band teacher’s “rules”? This isn’t 1918 anymore.

I’ve been playing drums for over 40 years and studied with some of the best teachers in the world. I’ve never heard the term “gallop” before referring to drums. Are you talking about a flam, or an eight note followed by two sixteenths perhaps? Regardless, those are both perfectly valid techniques and serve their purpose. I’m confused. :slight_smile:

It is really noticeable in some songs.

“Mustang Sally”, “I Dig a Pony”, and “Horse with No Name” come to mind.


Yeah, there’s no limit to the number of musical prohibitions you should ignore depending on what you like. Classical counterpoint generally thought you should avoid parallel fifths, Heavy Metal went and made a genre founded on using them pretty much everywhere.

Worst thing that will happen is you’ll write a song that someone, somewhere doesn’t like. Which is almost unavoidable in the first place. So have at it.

I’m guessing it means some sort of uneven distribution of note values when doing a roll. So some kind of swing or shuffle? That’s all I got.

Well, I know it mainly, again, from heavy metal Steve Harris made most of a career playing it on bass. Drummers often do it on the kick drums.

For an audio reference, it’s all over “Children of the Grave”

Sure I know a gallop as that, too. But it doesn’t make sense in the context of the OP—like why would you do a roll like that? I’m guessing being sloppy with your 16ths.

So basically the main riff of Barracuda? Is that what we are talking about here?

I guess I could see a proper drum roll devolving into something like a gallup if the drummer wasn’t keeping his rhythm steady.

Yeah, pretty much whenever I try to do a roll on the snare, it’s really a gallop. :clown_face:

Would you consider the opening sticking on La Grange to be a gallop?

I can see how a drummer not having good time, or perhaps playing a roll in a way that the second of four notes isn’t at the same dynamic level as the other notes would be frowned upon. But that certainly doesn’t happen in Mustang Sally or I Dig a Pony or Horse With No Name. And if we are talking about an eighth note followed by two sixteenth notes, that is a perfectly respectable rhythmic phrase used a million times in drumming. It is one of the most common fills there is in pop music. That’s why the OP is still confusing to me. A sin that someone would be discouraged from using? Unless you are supposed to be playing four even strokes and only three are heard, I just don’t get it.

Whoosh, right? Songs with horses in their title… gallops… or is this a reverse whoosh?

Oh Lord. I spent way too much time thinking about the drum parts in those songs. I didn’t even figure it out while re-typing it. I’ll turn in my SDMB member card and ride off into the sunset now.

But apparently, at a gentle canter.

Hehe, don’t feel bad. I totally missed it too.

Oh, don’t feel bad. I hate when you have that long face.


The theme song from Bonanza as 4 guys ride up on horses.

Me three. That was mean, Mr Mustard!