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Beats Per Minute

 
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Southern Jiver
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:18 am    Post subject: Beats Per Minute Reply with quote

I have recently been intrigued with the bpm of some of the tracks I have danced to.

I had assumed that my comfort zone was around 120 - 140 bpm so I was surprised to find some tracks were a different speed than I had thought. Of course, it presupposes that the tracks I have are still at their original speed and haven't been tweaked at all.

For example I thought the middle range was September's "Can't Get Over" which I clock at 128bpm and Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" at 120bpm.

However I enjoy dancing to Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" at a rousing 144bpm while I also enjoy Jennifer Hudson's "Spotlight" at a stately 108bpm. I had thought Santana's "Twisted" was slow but it comes in at 118bpm. I had thought that johnnie johnson Band's "Kansas City" was fairly fast but it is 120bpm.

It all seems a bit confusing to me. I guess it doesn't really matter too much what the speed is as long as you enjoy dancing to a track! Confused

If anyone else wants to know the bpm of their favourite track, I can endeavour to let you know with the aid of my trusty software metronome. Laughing
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qdos
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think some folk go into too much over bpm's There's quite a few songs which you can dance at different 'bops per minute' as opposed to "beats per minute" Also some change as they go on perhaps going faster or sometimes slowing or even stopping entirely. e.g. Steve Harley Cockney Rebel and the other one that's a classic for this which the name escapes me right at this moment in time The Liza Minelli Cabaret song (just remembered it All That Jazz)

To me it's something rather mysterious that I can not quantify (perhaps as I'm not a musician) that makes a song good to dance to and all I can say is that it's upbeat make you feel good type tune. If I had to try and analyse a song that's good it's usually one which you just instinctively know where it's going something the genius of Buddy Holly identified long time back, more often than not it's got the magic 12 bar blues chords in it.

Here's a song I just came across last night that's got it in my opinion.
Praying For Rain by Sibrydion
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys42EPsT694

What's the bpm in that ? While you're measuring it let me know if your foot starts tapping or indeed by half way through it are you up and dancing?
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Southern Jiver
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. That track comes in at 152 bpm which seems quite fast. If I Jived to it I would be restricted to all the short, quick moves.
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qdos
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh I guess that confirms what we already knew. I'm a speed junkie LOL. I agree it's pretty fast but there's a sub beat which is slower. Go with the bass. How's that ?
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Olly
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SJ wrote:

Quote:
However I enjoy dancing to Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" at a rousing 144bpm while I also enjoy Jennifer Hudson's "Spotlight" at a stately 108bpm. I had thought Santana's "Twisted" was slow but it comes in at 118bpm. I had thought that johnnie johnson Band's "Kansas City" was fairly fast but it is 120bpm.


Hi SJ - 118bpm seemed a little on the quick side for Twisted so I checked my current listing which had it at 113bpm. I ran it again through 2 other programmes and the same 113bpm result came up which would seem to support your view that it is at the slower end of the range. Smile

Bpm results can vary quite a bit depending on how the programme calculates it. I use programmes set in my DJ software which, depending on the style of music, allows you to choose how the BPM is worked out . The quickest method assumes a regular and generally consistent beat and is the one I use most for new tracks for aquick analysis. The other method, which takes much longer, produces more accurate results for tracks with less obvious beats and more melody. Quite often they bring up different results for the same track if the beat is not obvious, but for tracks that have an obvious beat the result is generally the same. Confused

I also agree with SJ that some tracks bring up surprising results and that is when you go with what feels right. Unless a track has a regular beat, the bpm does not always help when deciding if a track works in a comfortable freestyle range and that is when 'feel' comes into it. Alternatively, give it a whirl to see if it clears the dance floor or not! Laughing
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Southern Jiver
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your input, Olly. I guess I may have a tweaked version of "Twisted" then. I have been learning from you and others that what feels good to dance to may have little bearing on the bpm (within reason of course) but it probably has more to do with the comfort zone.
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Olly
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Qdos wrote:

Quote:
Also some change as they go on perhaps going faster or sometimes slowing or even stopping entirely. e.g. Steve Harley Cockney Rebel and the other one that's a classic for this which the name escapes me right at this moment in time The Liza Minelli Cabaret song (just remembered it All That Jazz)


Liza Minelli did a version of 'All that Jazz,' but the song is from Chicago. Are you possibly thinking of 'Mein Herr' from Cabaret?

Quote:
To me it's something rather mysterious that I can not quantify (perhaps as I'm not a musician) that makes a song good to dance to


Agree with Qdos on this one. I also find that some tracks need more than one listen before deciding if I like/want to dance to it. Granted, there are many, many tracks which immediately strike a chord (excuse the pun) and make me want to dance, but there are plenty of others which do not grab me at first, but I end up loving them. I try not to write off music without a couple of plays - there are obviously exceptions which I know I will never play or dance to. Smile
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qdos
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Olly wrote:
I also find that some tracks need more than one listen before deciding if I like/want to dance to it. Granted, there are many, many tracks which immediately strike a chord (excuse the pun) and make me want to dance, but there are plenty of others which do not grab me at first, but I end up loving them. I try not to write off music without a couple of plays - there are obviously exceptions which I know I will never play or dance to. Smile


Indeed, one track that had me confused and I almost gave up on dancing to when I first heard it was Hung Up by Madonna (obvious reasons as to why it confused me so much being so similar to another massive hit) Now however it's a song I have to dance to every time.


One though I just can't do is Crazy Thing Called Love when it's done by what's his name Bublee. Coldplay's Clocks with the Latin beat I'm not too sure about. For me a song shouldn't really be messed about with unless it can be improved upon and on the whole that seldom is the case. The beat to a track is very often a major foundation stone to the whole song
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