Favorite BPM and Song Duration?

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Favorite BPM and Song Duration?

Post by jrcv » Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:43 pm

What is the rate of beats per minute that you usually work with? What song duration do you usually work with (such as 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 30 minutes)?

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Post by Windreaper » Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:13 pm

Context: rock/metal

I usually end up at around 120bpm with simple/mainstream songs. More complex, but still relaxed, pieces usually sound better to me at around 135bpm (pretty much my favourite tempo). Heavy, energetic songs usually clock in at 155bpm (or sometimes more). Ballads are generally in the 85-100bpm range, but that really depends...

Song duration really depends on the quality of material. I usually end up at around 3:30-4:30. I only go over five minutes with more complex songs, or if the material is good enough to warrant it, I'm not a fan of 8-10min songs with 4min worth of ideas.

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Post by Spike Vincent » Sun Jul 08, 2007 10:23 pm

Varies. 360 bpm lasting 1 minute 6 secs, 20 bpm lasting 15 minutes.Although the first one was in my Punk band days.
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Post by MrHope » Sun Jul 08, 2007 10:38 pm

70, 75, 80, or 96 BPM for around 3-5 minutes.

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Post by synapsecollapse » Sun Jul 08, 2007 10:48 pm

for a few years i worked exclusively @ 85 bpm. i had friends that made music and we all decided that it was close to perfect and with resolution shifts you could actually do anything with it. i think at that time in that circle it was refered to as a "walking man's pace"

then i went gearless for a few years and my music computer was broken down.

when i came back i really didn't feel attached to a specific tempo anymore. i think the last few fixed tempo tracks i have been working on have been anywhere from 20 (as low as my RS7K will go) to i think as high as 135. song length, it really just depends on the idea. 2 - 20 minutes.

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Post by killedaway » Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:28 pm

spinning thru a few of my songs, i see i'm working at roughly 90, 110 and 140 bpm, depending on the style of song.

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Post by nathanscribe » Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:31 pm

BPMs vary from 100 to 180 but generally at the lower end of that these days. Standard track length seems to be around 6 minutes, but varies from 1 min to 10 or more, depending on the idea.

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Post by mwbassguy » Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:32 pm

the perfect song length is exactly three minutes and fourteen seconds. for example:
devil's haircut
i know what boys like
the continuing story of bungalow bill
summer babe
cool for cats
last night i didnt get to sleep at all
stuck on you
get the balance right
and many radio edits of songs over four minutes.
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Post by divineaudio » Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:23 am

synapsecollapse wrote:for a few years i worked exclusively @ 85 bpm.
all hail the mighty 85! [-o< used that one for years, along with 87/131/151

now i use 72bpm almost exclusively. and for some reason most of my songs wind up being around ten minutes (at least at the time of writing!).

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Post by Wiglaf » Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:26 am

I don't use specific tempos. It all depends.

As for length, usually at least 5 minutes. Around 7-9 is the max...usually.

Songs that last less than 4 minutes tend to suck. If an artist can't do something for longer than that, he/she/they are wimps.
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Post by West_Berliner » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:04 am

my bpms are usually somewhere in the range of 78-110 or so...
song duration....3-6 mins :)
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Post by modulator_esp » Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:31 am

sequencer stuff: 72bpm - ranging from 6 to 45 minutes
ambient drone stuff: 9bpm - ranging from 24 to 74 minutes
mostly enjoying adventures in sound :)

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Post by Huppo » Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:58 pm

This is a really interesting topic to compare notes on.

Seems to me like I usually end up somewhere between 85-100, often right around 90, but I move the tempo around without looking at the number deliberately.

The things I am making nowadays usually come out between 2.5 and 4 minutes long. I'd always heard perfect pop song length (which has nothing to do with what I'm making) was about 2:30. Long enough to make a simple point musically but not long enough to wear it out.

In the past I have played with bands that definitely cranked out the speed, though nobody was checking BPM and none of it was generated on anything that counted it, either. SOme of those tunes clocked in between 1:00 and 1:30. I also have done assorted things through the years that pretty much had no specific tempo, it was a lot more amorphous than that. Some of that silliness lasted more than half an hour and was only bearable to the people who made it or people just as wasted as we were when we made it.

In the last few years I have done a lot of studio session work on keys and guitar with a guy in his 50s who gets classified as a "proto-punk". While listening back to some of his music I tap-tempoed on my gear and found most of it to be about 165-170 with the songs being around 4 minutes. Nothing like playing 4/4 16th note chords on piano or guitar (all downstroke is his rule) for 4 minutes at 170 bpm. Crampy forearms, anyone? I'm too old for this stuff. :oops:

I think my rule of thumb these days in my own music is whatever feels right for both tempo and time, but I do make a conscious effort to keep things under 5 minutes.

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Post by OriginalJambo » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:33 pm

Usually it's between 100-140. 120 is a happy medium.

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Post by tallowwaters » Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:43 pm

how do you convert tempo to bpm?

we have a formula for how songs should be

tempo of 160-180 at a 5/4 rhythm is usually a 4-5 minute song
100-130 is usually 4/4 and tends to be 7-10 minutes
65-100 can be 7/8 or 4/4 and must go past 10 minutes

but we play pummeling stoner creepy trance bliss for drug addled hippies at outdoor concerts. we are punk rock for not having the 15 minute breakdown solo.
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