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Old 12-19-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
davem27
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finding the tempo and playing in time

hey guys, im in dire need of help.
ive been playing for a couple of years, and ive somehow never developed a sense of rhythm. i dont really understand how to find the tempo of a song(bpm). i think i understand the concept of it, but i dont understand how to find it.

i know its supposed to be how many beats in a minute, but how do you find/pick the beats.

i need help, im a decent player and this is really holding me back.
any tips/advice would be greatly appreciated
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:03 PM   #2
dumbface12
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Well to find the exact bpm is nearly impossible. Like next to no one could know if a song is exactly 100 BPM, for example, but they may know it's roughly around 100 BPM from just experience. The easiest way to find the tempo is just to get a metronome with tap tempo function.

Now is it the tap part that's the problem your having? So, you can't do straight quarter notes or something of the sort or is it purely just that you can't find the tempo of a song?
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:11 PM   #3
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Beats will often be indicated by hi hats on drums. In a 4/4 normal song there are 4 beats. A measure is usually started with a drum kick. Snares are often on the 2nd and 4th beat in a basic song, while the hi hats will be on each. Count the beats in a measure (bar if you use tabs) and see if you can get them right. If you have tablature software like GP, powertab or similar, put the internal metronome on and it will count the beat for you. Time signature like 6/8 means that it is 6 beats in a measure, and 12/8 that there are 12

You can go to a site like http://www.all8.com/tools/bpm.htm and while listening to a song, try to tap the beats. It will calculate the BPM for you. When you get it right, you probably have a good feel for the timing of beats.

If you try to tab out drums for a song, you should learn this quickly as well
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:45 PM   #4
davem27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dumbface12
Well to find the exact bpm is nearly impossible. Like next to no one could know if a song is exactly 100 BPM, for example, but they may know it's roughly around 100 BPM from just experience. The easiest way to find the tempo is just to get a metronome with tap tempo function.

Now is it the tap part that's the problem your having? So, you can't do straight quarter notes or something of the sort or is it purely just that you can't find the tempo of a song?


i have a metronome with the tap function, im usually way off when i try to tap the tempo.(i know this cus ill check online what the tempo of the song actually is)

im familiar with quarter notes and understand basic theory, i just really dont understand how to find the tempo
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
davem27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fanapathy
Beats will often be indicated by hi hats on drums. In a 4/4 normal song there are 4 beats. A measure is usually started with a drum kick. Snares are often on the 2nd and 4th beat in a basic song, while the hi hats will be on each. Count the beats in a measure (bar if you use tabs) and see if you can get them right. If you have tablature software like GP, powertab or similar, put the internal metronome on and it will count the beat for you. Time signature like 6/8 means that it is 6 beats in a measure, and 12/8 that there are 12

You can go to a site like http://www.all8.com/tools/bpm.htm and while listening to a song, try to tap the beats. It will calculate the BPM for you. When you get it right, you probably have a good feel for the timing of beats.

If you try to tab out drums for a song, you should learn this quickly as well


well im trying to actually learn so id rather not rely on gp. i know the concepts of time signatures, although i wouldnt really be sure how to figure out the time signature of a song; i just kinda assume everything is in 4/4.

btw i wanna learn this cus im assuming its the key to playing in time....right? is it supposed to be hard? i feel like people a lot of people can figure out tempos pretty easily
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:58 PM   #6
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To figure out time signatures a good way would be to specifically look up different time signatures so you know how each one feels. Now, don't look up every time signature but do like 2/2, 2/4, 3/4, 5/4, 3/8, 6/8 9/8, 12/8. That will help you get the general feel and also another thing to look in knowing a time signature is what beat is the strongest and how is it broken up (quarter notes, half notes, eighth notes, etc).

Sometimes it is just experience. For example I know what to look for if I'm trying to differentiate if a song is in 6/8 or 12/8 (which 12/8 reduces to 6/8 but if you hear that beat 7 isn't as strong as beat 1 then you know it's 12/8)

Sorry in advance if i confused you. When you get into weird time signatures it can be confusing to explain because in theory it's a basic concept, but so basic that it's hard to explain.

EDIT: If your having problem trying to use the tap function. Practice snapping your fingers, clapping, patting your knees to the beat. It can take awhile but it'll help your rhythm. When listening to a song try snap/clap to the snare (usually in rock/pop beat 2 and 4 if in 4/4) then try moving up to quarter notes, eighth notes, etc. If that doesn't work counting. Like in 4/4 go 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and (repeat, the and would be the second eighth note in that beat so really your counting 8 eighth notes per measure).
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Last edited by dumbface12 : 12-19-2012 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:00 PM   #7
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^It's not hard but an individual thing probably, can be a something that you just one day "get". I didn't understand time signatures before a couple of months ago when I was tabbing in 4/4. I started wondering why I ended up with everything being triplets. So started listening closer. What I thought was 1 beat, was actually 3 and so it was 12 in the measure and not 4.

Are you playing a lot of lead guitar? Playing more rhythm will help, songs with a lot of variation in the riffs.

Also the typical tip for playing in time is to always use a metronome and to learn to tap the beat with your foot at all times. Slow songs way down and force the timing to be spot on before you speed it up. Good luck man
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #8
davem27
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alright, thanks guys. i'll take a look at different time signatures, and try to listen to the drums more to get a feel.

i did start playing basically only lead guitar. it wasnt until this last year where i started actually learning a lot about chords, and now that im trying to play in time i ran into the problem of tempo.

i think it is one of those things you just get with experience so i'll work on it a lot.

Thanks again!!!
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:07 PM   #9
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I've wondered about this question, myself. I like the timing method that Guitar World use for their tabs. For the most part, they all use a 4/4 throughout the song, and just change the bpm.
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