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what is correct way of finding bpm for a song?

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  • what is correct way of finding bpm for a song?

    Hey guys,

    Last rehearsal we played Walking on Sunshine, I believe the tempo is 233 bpm at 1/4 note....I counted it in 1,2..1,2,3,4 as you do. The band looked at me and said that tempo is wayyyy too fast then we argued over it for a while.

    I reckon they are wrong in that they are counting the 1/2 note tempo which would be half of the 1/4 note tempo but if I count the 1/2 note tempo then it doesn't give the correct feel for the song because I believe its a 2/4 time signature hence the double time feel.

    So, what is the correct way to bring the song in.....aren't all tempo's usually set to the 1/4 note? 

    i.e....1/4 note = 233

    Pretty much any song that has a double time drum beat has fairly high 1/4 note count. But if you try to count it in as 1/2 note then the double time feel of the song isn't relayed correctly, I'd reckon?

    Interested in your opinions,

    Tah

    Dave

     

     

     

     


  • #2

    Counting isn't tempo.  Whether you counted it in double-time or half that, you'd still be counting it in at the same TEMPO, unless your bandmates were worried you were playing it TWICE as fast as you should, which isn't likely.

    But Walking On Sunshine starts with a drum beat.   Maybe you don't play it that way, but consider doing so if you don't.  You shouldn't have to count it off at all.  Just play the beat.

    We count stuff off in a "whatever works" fashion.   Rather than arguing with your bandmates over which is technically 'correct', just count it off however it works so that everyone comes in at the same time.

    I used to get horribly frustrated when we'd do a 3/4 or 6/8 song that some of the guys wouldn't come in at the right time because they were so used to everything being counted to "4" first.   Finally I realized...so WHAT?  It's just a count.  Count to 4 and we'll all start playing the right count after that.  

    It doesn't matter.  What's important is that you all start the song at the same time at the same tempo.

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    • Dave69
      Dave69 commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks Dave

      When I say counting, I mean the count off to start the song in the correct tempo. Probably not the best example by me but what about 'You are the one that I want' by Olivia Newton John and John Travolta....if I counted that in the half time feel it wouldn't represent the correct feel of the song but it would be technically correct? The tempo would be the same but how would the band know the song is a double time feel unless I count it in as the quarter note feel?

      That is the impression that I got....when I counted it in as a double time feel they perceived me as counting the wrong tempo....I guess a litttle communication for those types of songs in rehearsal is the key as with most things.

      Its just weird...sometimes I will google a song's BPM and find that one site will have it as 125 whereas as another will place it as 250 which tells me that are counting the bpm as the 1/4 note. So which is technically correct? They both are but the faster BPM gives the feel better for a double time song?

      I prefer to count it in as the faster tempo to better represent the feel of the song. Does that make any sense?

       

      Perhaps I am over analyzing this too much 1" id="smiley-1" src="https://guitarcenter.i.lithium.com/html/images/emoticons/smiley-1.gif" alt=":smiley-1:" title="" />

       

       

       


  • #3

    We use the Lawrence Welk method .... get tune in your head ... start tapping foot ... then go "a-one and a-two and a......"   Next thing ya know ... you're playing!    :smiley-rotfl:

    The SpaceNorman

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    • #4
      Is it really that big if a deal to get in a pissing match over it?


      Just play the song, then play the next one.
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      • Dave69
        Dave69 commented
        Editing a comment

        Stratguy,

        Tempo is a fairly sizeable issue in my band as we are aiming for high end corporate work and want to be professional in everything we do


    • #5

      I agree that it's not a big deal as long as everyone understand how you're counting it off. And I've played with drummers that didn't know how to count-in a song, so. . . I think your band shoul feel lucky to have a drummer that cares.

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      • #6
        Think of a waltz, if its in 3/4 then it's

        ONE two three ONE two three

        But if its in 6/8 then it's counted

        ONE two theee FOUR five six

        The main beats fall at the same time, but technically the first one is twice as fast as a BPM number.

        I just listened to waking on sunshine, dare I call it a shuffle half time feel? You could count it your way...


        1...2.... 1 2 3 4 (with the 1234 twice as fast)

        Or

        1... 2... 3... 4... All counted the same, then you come in with that half time feel.


        I would do it your way, personally, just because it is an upbeat song and it kinda gets that faster feel going...
        PA Unity15's over LS800p's. YX15's, YX12's IPR power, RM32AI

        LightsMartin Minimac Profiles, Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duos, Blizzard 3NX, Fab5, Hotbox

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        • FitchFY
          FitchFY commented
          Editing a comment

          StratGuy22 wrote:

          1...2.... 1 2 3 4 (with the 1234 twice as fast)
          Or
          1... 2... 3... 4... All counted the same, then you come in with that half time feel.

          Don't you mean double time or cut time feel?

          Case in point, though -- it's all accurate with the numbers as long as the BAND is speaking the same language.



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