What do you consider to be good time?

AZslim

Senior Member
If you are playing say, a nice groove song at about 130 BPM and the song calls for very solid time. What do you consider to be good? Within 5 BPM? Less? More?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
You can move within maybe 5bpm range, that is, ±2.5bpm, and I'd think that's acceptable in a completely live (no click) situation. But ±5 bpm is pretty noticeable at that tempo. If' you're playing at 190, you could cretainly get away with a little more fluctuation before getting chastised. Conversely, if you're playing at 70bpm, 5 beats is very noticeable!

Bermuda
 

AZslim

Senior Member
You can move within maybe 5bpm range, that is, ±2.5bpm, and I'd think that's acceptable in a completely live (no click) situation. But ±5 bpm is pretty noticeable at that tempo. If' you're playing at 190, you could cretainly get away with a little more fluctuation before getting chastised. Conversely, if you're playing at 70bpm, 5 beats is very noticeable!

Bermuda
Thanks. I guess I never considered the + thing. I tend to rush and so does my band. I've thought 5 bpm was pushing it, but OK. I need some work I guess.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
If you are playing say, a nice groove song at about 130 BPM and the song calls for very solid time. What do you consider to be good? Within 5 BPM? Less? More?
Wouldn't good time in this case be 130 bpm? A fluctuation, although perhaps maybe not noticeable within a 5 bpm range, is still a fluctuation.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Why the 5 bpm variance?
Human error.

I hear a LOT of recorded music that wavers + - 5 BPM throughout the song. I don't know if it's the original recording or the fact that the mp3's have been copied so many times. I notice it more in older stuff so I think they didn't use any kind of click in the olden days.

I can't hear it just by listening. I doubt anyone can. I just discovered it when trying to determine cover song tempos.

Apparently I need to work harder at my time keeping.
All of us do :)

My 3 piece band plays with segmented backing tracks about 70% of the time so it helps us stay on track. The backing track becomes the leader and we have no choice but to follow it. It has been an interesting learning experience. Individual players can and will make constant minor adjustments to stay tight. The WAV files have no such abilities.....yet.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Well, I guess because I'm not good enough to keep it within 1 bpm. That is the essence of my question. Do you keep it within 1 bpm? Apparently I need to work harder at my time keeping.
Well, keeping the time is really the issue, and you want toi minimize the variance as much as possible. Many drummers can't keep the tempo within a range, and typically speed up, then speed up some more, until the song has noticeably changed its tempo. That's what you don't want.

As long as you can stay on a tempo without noticeable changes, that's the goal, regardless how you measure it. As I'd said, the bpm variance is more detectable at slower tempos than at faster ones, so don't get too occupied with numbers. 5bpm may be acceptable at a fast tempo, and disastrous at a slow one.

Best bet is to aim for steadiness, and working with a drum loop will help identify where your weaknesses are. If triplets are problem, you learn to correct them. If it's fills and transitions, you learn to correct them. Eventually it becomes second nature and you don't even think about the adjustments. But, you'll always know your tempo is better as a result.

For example, I used to have a problem with triplets. I usually rushed them and would come out of a fill at a faster tempo. Saem thing happened again the next time there was a triplet figure. I learned that I had to kind of "sit" on my triplets, to play them more deliberately if you will, and soon they landed just right. Since then, that's just how my triplets go. I don't even have to think about correcting them.

Bermuda
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Why the 5 bpm variance?
Because people aren't machines?

This was a point of study for me and still is... I wanted to figure out why some songs sounded amazing and full of life, while others sounded stale or "overproduced" to use my own words. I found that most of my very favorite songs were recorded sans-click and they tended to waver back and forth about 5-10 bpm depending on what's happening in the song. Not huge noticeable fluctuations but "breathing" the song so that every 2 and 4 was not machine-like in the same place. When things are too perfect, and don't sound real anymore it fatigues my ears.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
Allowing the song to "breathe", as Dr. Watso describes, as very acceptable in my book. If the band speeds up a few clicks during exciting part of the tune, eh, that's totally fine, but its a subconscious thing that the band does this together. The drummer rushing out of a fill into a new tempo separate from the band is bad news and should be dealt with.
 
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