Author Topic: BPM and Tempo.  (Read 645 times)

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Offline shezza

BPM and Tempo.
« on: June 21, 2021, 04:17:27 PM »
Hi all when I am starting to learn a song, to make it sound authentic I normally look up the BPM but sometimes it is miles out from the tempo on my keyboard (SX900) For example Leaving on a jet plane by John Denver show it to be 121BPM. Put that in on my keyboard and it's way to fast! I take it Tempo and BPM are the same or am I wrong................Thanks       
 

Offline Normanfernandez

Re: BPM and Tempo.
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2021, 04:23:11 PM »
It's confusing a bit.
But don't always follow the tempo suggested.
Try getting used to the tap tempo.

And adjust it by ear.
Norman.

Offline Luluc

Re: BPM and Tempo.
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2021, 04:37:23 PM »
Hi shezza,

The tempo IS about 121, but the song written in 4/4 has to be played in 2, ie as it were only 2 beats. So, it becomes important to choose the right style not having a loud 4-beat groove, but like a 2-beat groove. Try some light country styles for example.
Luluc
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Offline SciNote

Re: BPM and Tempo.
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2021, 04:44:45 PM »
BPM and tempo are essentially the same thing, except that BPM is more specific.  Tempo just refers to how fast a song is played in general, whereas BPM is the specific unit of measure -- beats per minute.  In a car, it's kind of like the difference between "speed" and MPH (or Km/h).

When you are first learning a song and it may be difficult to play, the true tempo of the original song may seem fast because you're still concentrating on learning the song.  It's is often a good idea to learn the song at a slower pace and then gradually speed it up to the tempo of the original recording (from the original artist) as you learn the song.  Often what happens after that is that, once you really know the song by memory, you may have a tendency to play the song too fast -- unless you remember the original tempo of the song and set the BPM to the correct value for the style on your keyboard.  And then, when you really know the song, playing it at the actual original tempo may feel slow!

Of course, another possibility is the accuracy of the information you are looking up.  When you say that you look up the tempo/BPM of a song, where are you getting that information?  If you are not sure, you can just play a recording of the original song, get a stopwatch or at least a watch with a second hand, and then count how many beats (usually quarter notes, but it depends on the time signature of the song) are in a specific amount of time, and then calculate the BPM.  For example, you can count the beats in 15 seconds, and then multiply that value by 4, since 15 seconds is 1/4 of a minute.  Or count the beats in 20 seconds and multiply by 3.  Or count the beats in 30 seconds and multiply by 2.  Or count the beats in 60 seconds, and then that is your BPM directly.
Bob
Current: Yamaha PSR-E433, Roland GAIA SH-01, Casio CDP-200R, Casio MT-68 (wired to bass pedals)
Past: Yamaha PSR-520, PSR-510, PSR-500, DX-7, D-80 home organ, and a few Casios
 

Offline DrakeM

Re: BPM and Tempo.
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2021, 05:35:00 PM »
The style you want is "FolkPop" and temp/BMP set it at 83 to match this version of the song by Denver.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SneCkM0bJq0

I downloaded the song using this site and turned it into an MP3 file.

https://mp3-youtube.download/en/audio-better-converter

I used Digital Music Mentor to play the MP3 and it shows me the Tempo and Key of this recording.

https://app.box.com/s/auimfw7x7dcswtwixvezsnbfaoiqkegf





 

Offline DrakeM

Re: BPM and Tempo.
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2021, 05:42:18 PM »
There is also another style to use as well called "FingerPickin"

If you are up to it, mix the various parts found in these two different styles and create a custom song style for yourself.

Regards
Drake

Offline shezza

Re: BPM and Tempo.
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2021, 06:35:30 PM »
Thank you all for your replies.
 

Offline mikf

Re: BPM and Tempo.
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2021, 10:56:40 PM »
In many, many years of playing gigs I never once heard anyone discuss the tempo of a song in BPM. If someone asks you how far it is to the shops you donít give an answer like itís exactly one thousand seven hundred and sixty one yards. You say itís about 15 minutes walk, because in normal life no-one needs or expects absolute accuracy.
I have never heard you play but I can guarantee that if you are striving for authenticity by worrying about BPM you are worrying about the wrong things. Go with your feel.
Mike

Online Fred Smith

Re: BPM and Tempo.
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2021, 11:01:53 PM »
In many, many years of playing gigs I never once heard anyone discuss the tempo of a song in BPM. If someone asks you how far it is to the shops you donít give an answer like itís exactly one thousand seven hundred and sixty one yards. You say itís about 15 minutes walk, because in normal life no-one needs or expects absolute accuracy.
I have never heard you play but I can guarantee that if you are striving for authenticity by worrying about BPM you are worrying about the wrong things. Go with your feel.
Mike

If you ever play for ballroom dancers, Mike, they know the bpm they like. It's much more accurate than "tempo".

For a waltz, we want 90 bpm. For a cha-cha, 120 bpm. Don't stray too far from these tempos if you want to be invited back.

Cheers,
Fred
Fred Smith,
Saskatoon, SK
Sun Lakes, AZ
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Offline mikf

Re: BPM and Tempo.
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2021, 03:27:17 AM »
Fred, I donít think that is what this particular poster is into, but what you raise is a fair point. Serious ballroom dancers get  a bit picky about tempo.
 Playing for serious ballroom dancing was not a frequent thing for me but I have done it when I filled in with for regular a bandís regular piano player. I also did play quite a lot in my younger days in Scottish Country dance bands for ceilidhs.  No-one ever talked about bpm, they just let the drummer tap in and off we would go. I guess they just knew from vast experience what was about right. We were playing standards, and it never felt for me any different to how I would have played the piece anyway. Of course that might be because in my younger days I had that kind of music all round me anyway. My parents sub-let the previous servants quarters which were part of a big house from the people that owned the local dance hall during and after the war. You know the kind of huge dance hall that had a twelve piece dance orchestra.  I started to take piano lessons at 7 years old because they replaced the piano in the dance hall and gave us the old one. I remember opening the piano stool one day when I was about 12 and it was packed with old sheet music for the dance band. I started playing them because I thought they were much more interesting than the stuff the music teacher was giving me.
Mike
 

Online Fred Smith

Re: BPM and Tempo.
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2021, 04:05:13 AM »
Fred, I donít think that is what this particular poster is into, but what you raise is a fair point. Serious ballroom dancers get  a bit picky about tempo.
 Playing for serious ballroom dancing was not a frequent thing for me but I have done it when I filled in with for regular a bandís regular piano player. I also did play quite a lot in my younger days in Scottish Country dance bands for ceilidhs.  No-one ever talked about bpm, they just let the drummer tap in and off we would go. I guess they just knew from vast experience what was about right. We were playing standards, and it never felt for me any different to how I would have played the piece anyway. Of course that might be because in my younger days I had that kind of music all round me anyway. My parents sub-let the previous servants quarters which were part of a big house from the people that owned the local dance hall during and after the war. You know the kind of huge dance hall that had a twelve piece dance orchestra.  I started to take piano lessons at 7 years old because they replaced the piano in the dance hall and gave us the old one. I remember opening the piano stool one day when I was about 12 and it was packed with old sheet music for the dance band. I started playing them because I thought they were much more interesting than the stuff the music teacher was giving me.

Agreed about the OP. Thanks for the background info.

I've posted before about ballroom dancers and tempo, but I expect we're the only ones who are anal about it.

Fred
Fred Smith,
Saskatoon, SK
Sun Lakes, AZ
Genos, Bose L1 compacts, Finale 2015
Check out my Registration Lessons