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Tempo question

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  • Tempo question

    Have you ever had a song fall in between tempos????
    For example; John Mayer's "Gravity" falls somewhere in between 41 and 42
    beats per minute with a triplet feel on the hat. What do you do in this case?? Is there a difference in speed of CD players?? Is there a time correction where you can adjust your metronome to fit the song?? Or is it possible the song was recorded without a click??
    Last edited by Earthmover; 12-31-08, 03:39 PM.
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  • #2
    Not that I've noticed.
    Just play along with the song, or practice at 41 or 42 BPM.
    Could be.
    Some metronomes have this feature. Most do not.
    Not likely. More likely is that they altered the speed in mastering.

    If you need it to conform to a strict BPM, open in in Audicity and expand or contract it as necessary. I have never done this, but I think the program is capable of doing it.
    Id rather be told the ugly truth than handed a pretty lie.

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    • #3
      Flip a coin and pick one. The difference should be imperceptible to anyone without a metronome. I think it probably was recorded without a click.

      I also find it tricky to gauge an exact tempo for a complete song of some older recordings from the pre-click days.

      Bruce

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      • #4
        Set your metronome to 83. It is double 41.5. The ticks can be thought of as 1-and-2-and etc.
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        • #5
          But that song is 6/8, so wouldn't playing to doubled ticks be quite tricky?

          Bruce

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BarT View Post
            But that song is 6/8, so wouldn't playing to doubled ticks be quite tricky?

            Bruce
            Didn't realize it was in 6/8, never mind. How about 124 or 125 which is about 3 times 41.5.
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            • #7
              A quick listen to the song says that it's about 114bpm in 6/8 time (those are eighths he's playing on the hat, not triplets).
              Last edited by Abecedary; 01-04-09, 09:05 AM.

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              • #8
                114bpm? Are you sure? If it's 6/8, I think it's more around 62-63 beats per minute, at least that is what my metronome is telling me.
                Last edited by Doramuboy; 01-05-09, 02:56 AM.

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                • #9
                  OK, instead of guessing I went and actually listened to the song. Abecedary is absolutely correct. Except the version I heard was about 116. When you play in 6/8, the BPM is number of 8th notes per minute. If you count it so the kick is on one and the snare is on 4, it is clearly in the 114-116 range.
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                  • #10
                    I was having a hard time locking in on exact tempo with my metronome (older Boss Dr Beat with an analog tempo wheel, so it can get those in-between timings). I think the reason is because the song was recorded live in the studio (or at least the basic tracks were), so there is some slight variance in the tempo as they play. But yeah, it's definitely in the 115ish ballpark.

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                    • #11
                      I measured it at 41 BPM almost exactly and consistently. But there are at least studio and live versions, so there could be variations.

                      Bruce

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BarT View Post
                        I measured it at 41 BPM almost exactly and consistently. But there are at least studio and live versions, so there could be variations.

                        Bruce
                        But since it's in 6/8, the eighth note gets a beat, so the tempo should be based on that. It most certainly is not as slow as 41bpm. If it were, you'd be talking about 10 seconds to get through a single measure.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Abecedary View Post
                          But since it's in 6/8, the eighth note gets a beat, so the tempo should be based on that. It most certainly is not as slow as 41bpm. If it were, you'd be talking about 10 seconds to get through a single measure.
                          Well, I've always wondered how to document tempos properly in 6/8; so I was going by;

                          In compound time signatures the beat consists of three note durations (so there are 3 quavers (eighth notes) per beat in a 6/8 time signature), so a dotted form of the next note duration up is used. The most common compound signatures: 6/8, 9/8, and 12/8, therefore use a dotted crotchet (dotted quarter note) to indicate their BPM.
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beats_per_minute

                          and;

                          Interpreting compound time signatures
                          The upper and lower numbers in compound time signatures are determined as follows:

                          To determine the number of beats per bar, divide the upper number by three. For example, in 6/8, there are 2 beats per measure. The pulse in a compound 6/8 will have two dotted quarter-note (crotchet) beats, and each beat will subdivide into a group of three eighth notes.

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_si...ime_signatures

                          Bruce

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                          • #14
                            It might be because I'm coming from more of an orchestral background, but nearly all of the x/8 music I've played used notation more in line with the example on the Tempo page. That's not to say that one is more correct than the other (notation varies depending on the feel of the piece), but from my recollections (remember, this was a number of years ago), the tempo markings based on an eighth note was generally more common.

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                            • #15
                              First, I have never heard about groupings like that and I have been reading music since 4th grade. But, now I find it everywhere. Hrm - you learn something new every day.

                              I also went to a service that provides music for professional DJs. They list Gravity as 41 BPM.

                              So I played the studio version of Gravity with my metronome at 41 and it played on the 1 and 4. I set the metronome to 123 and it pretty much played on every eighth. So I guess the official BPM would be the beat, which is determined like Bruce said.
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