Parts of songs at completely different tempos

Diet Kirk

Silver Member
As an extension to the thread on inner metronomes.

What are all your thoughts on songs with intentionally different tempos in songs?

I'm thinking here mainly of tracks where middle 8's or endings are completely different tempos. Normally book-ended by pauses or strange passages in order to get into the new tempo.

Personally I've always hated these because it makes me think that it is actually two songs bolted together.
 

MLdrum

Senior Member
If it's done well and sounds right, I think it's okay. This might be a thing that I've adopted from classical music, that certain parts of music feels better at different tempi. It is very common in classical music having notes in the music saying slower or faster. I'm actually playing in a fusion trio now, where we last night made a tune going from a kind of straight, but wacky 7/8 to a slower 6/8 Hendrix/early Jeff Beck-kind of groove. Short ritardando on the last few notes in the last bar of 7/8 and it sounds good and like it's intended.

I don't like it when the band almost stops (maybe some swirling synths or guitars to avoid total silence) and counts off again into the a tempo. Then (to me at least) it just sounds as if they don't know how to put two pieces of string together.
 

Diet Kirk

Silver Member
If it's done well and sounds right, I think it's okay. This might be a thing that I've adopted from classical music, that certain parts of music feels better at different tempi. It is very common in classical music having notes in the music saying slower or faster. I'm actually playing in a fusion trio now, where we last night made a tune going from a kind of straight, but wacky 7/8 to a slower 6/8 Hendrix/early Jeff Beck-kind of groove. Short ritardando on the last few notes in the last bar of 7/8 and it sounds good and like it's intended.

I don't like it when the band almost stops (maybe some swirling synths or guitars to avoid total silence) and counts off again into the a tempo. Then (to me at least) it just sounds as if they don't know how to put two pieces of string together.
Yeah I think thats the trick to it. I hear you re classical music. That just sort of sounds right when its done in that context for reasons I can't put my finger on. Possibly something to do with the more fluid nature of the playing, with drums playing in a less metronomic fashion.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I like tempo modulation when done tastefully, both macro large scale different sections like overtures and micro small scale breaks or even swung beats. Ritardando gets old quick though.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I tend to find in-tempo multiples of the 'main' pulse far less distracting than breaks to completly new tempos...and breaks to "open'(undefined) tempos also more paletable...but there are always exceptions to rules re: musical taste.
 
Top