How often do you make subtle tempo changes of a part doesn’t feel quite right?

thevisi0nary

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I have a song that I can’t decide on a tempo for, sometimes I listen to it and it feels just right or feels too fast. I’ve experimented with changing the tempo of the whole song just by 1 or 2 bpm.

Does anyone adjust the tempo of individual sections by one or so bpm?
 

TedEH

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I find it drives me nuts when people do this - not in terms of playing the song, or listening to the song - but when trying to record, it becomes a pain when every section is juuuuuuuuuuust a little bit off. Drum tracking against a click is enough of a challenge without the click deciding to change, causing you to have to awkwardly shift gears and lose all your momentum, for lack of a good analogy.
 

thevisi0nary

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I find it drives me nuts when people do this - not in terms of playing the song, or listening to the song - but when trying to record, it becomes a pain when every section is juuuuuuuuuuust a little bit off. Drum tracking against a click is enough of a challenge without the click deciding to change, causing you to have to awkwardly shift gears and lose all your momentum, for lack of a good analogy.

I hear what your sayin. Only thing is for me that I’ll be the only one recording on it and the drums are programmed.
 

Drew

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I haven't... I've read posts here by people who do vary the tempo slightly between sections while programming drums or in fills, and IMO that sounds interesting in theory and probably something a live drummer not playing to a click would do, but if it became perceptible that could be problematic.

Definitely, though, I've found that changing the bpm even by just a few beats can make or break getting the "feel" right on a riff.
 

TonyFlyingSquirrel

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I have a song that I can’t decide on a tempo for, sometimes I listen to it and it feels just right or feels too fast. I’ve experimented with changing the tempo of the whole song just by 1 or 2 bpm.

Does anyone adjust the tempo of individual sections by one or so bpm?

I will before I lay down audio, ie; I'll get the whole song mapped out in midi with drums & demo bass tracks, rehearse with it to find the final tempo's before I print to audio. I don't record any other audio until this is established.
 

GunpointMetal

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Yes, all the time. Since I'm writing stuff with the intention of a live drummer playing it I like to use the last measure before the part that needs to be slower/faster to gradually change tempo instead of just changing right on the 1, though. Makes it easier for everyone to "feel" it while we're playing to the click and makes it a little less jarring on the listener (unless that's what the part is going for). You can also do some cool stuff if you're increasing/decreasing speed by 5+ BPMs.
 

newamerikangospel

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I would guess something other than tempo is clashing, and probably a contradictory item, like a technical fill in a deep groove oriented section.
 

Hollowway

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Yes, all the time. Since I'm writing stuff with the intention of a live drummer playing it I like to use the last measure before the part that needs to be slower/faster to gradually change tempo instead of just changing right on the 1, though. Makes it easier for everyone to "feel" it while we're playing to the click and makes it a little less jarring on the listener (unless that's what the part is going for). You can also do some cool stuff if you're increasing/decreasing speed by 5+ BPMs.

Yeah, I agree that this method would be best, to keep a natural feel.

Too much of a tempo change doesn’t work well. So, I’m inclined to agree with newamerikangospel on this. Odds are it’s not the tempo, but something else. Maybe the groove is off, or it requires a bit of behind or ahead of the beat drums? There aren’t a lot of songs that vary in tempo, when it comes down to it. What feels like a tempo change is often something else achieving that effect.

But, I say break rules. So do it, and work around it. Just make sure it sounds like what you really want.
 

fps

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Yep, literally altering between 1-3bpm for different sections of a song can really make it. I'm currently pulling back like 2bpm for verses after an intro.
 

axxessdenied

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I like subtle tempo changes. It can really help you push and pull the energy of a section without changing anything. It doesn't have to be huge. 2bpm can make a big difference in terms of feel.
 

TonyFlyingSquirrel

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I will before I lay down audio, ie; I'll get the whole song mapped out in midi with drums & demo bass tracks, rehearse with it to find the final tempo's before I print to audio. I don't record any other audio until this is established.

Additionally, I do have songs where the verse tempo may be 115bpm & the chorus is at 130bpm, stuff like that, but I determine each tempo by experimenting with the click track & a scratch midi drum track before final determinations are made.
 


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