Tempo . Hope this helps people


New member
Think I've got it . Basically had this song which feels like a slow vibe (6/8 62bpm) . It was too slow . Then did 68bpm and 71bpm. I think what I've learned here is that legato string phrases and long held vocal notes is what's forcing me to think it needs to be a slow song . In reality I think it wants to be a moderate tempo song with a slow vibe afforded by what's happening on top of the drum pattern . Now will re record at 74bpm which is probably it's natural limit . All this to say really that a song can be perceived in your mind as slower than a more moderate tempo actually needs it to be - and therefore you might be trying to make the whole thing too slow as you perceive it in your mind . I hope this helps someone . I wasted a lot of time getting to this realisation .
In other words don't necessarily make a song too slow just because it feels that way in it's vibe. If anything a moderate tempo drum pattern can offset the legato information above and prevent it dragging
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If only for a moment.....
I absolutely agree. There have been times when a song turns out a bit too fast because it felt slow because of the legato phrases in it so I thought the tempo needed to step up a bit and in the end even tapping a foot to it incurred serious ankle muscle build ! It would also feel awkward. I try to let the rhythm instruments dictate the tempo, even if they're going to be hard to hear/perceive during the song. I'm currently working on a song that, when it was just bass, drums and piano, felt so fast but as other parts are added no longer does ~ even though it is.


Tempo also sets mood. 120+ gets you moving, while under 80 often lets you contemplate...whether dramatically or emotionally (depending on the theme or lyric). There are, of course, exceptions. . .


COO of me, inc.
When I first began introducing originals at band practice sessions, I would feel the song needed to really move and would strum the guitar crazily to get that rockin' feelin'. It was some time before I realized slowing things down could speed things up. I didn't need to do all the work on my guitar.. that's when I really began to lock in to our drummer.


I've started to automate the tempo/click track a bit and find that it sometimes works (better?) to just let it roll up and down a beat or two, depending on what's going on. Oddly, it sounds and feels like the tempo is steadier that way than if I force the entire thing into the exact same tempo. Probably something a real drummer does naturally, but I don't have one of those...

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I'm often found recording at the tempo set to twice the real one, so I get more clicks and it tightens up slow ones nicely.


I've also noted that a lot of the songs I've written feel too slow after a time period. They sounded fine while recording, and before mixing. Then after a time, they seem to drag a bit... I guess that's sort of related, but not 100%.
@rob aylestone That's kind of brilliant...