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My natural piano playing speeds in bpm!

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After playing the piano for 30 years, I figured it out!

Wow, tonight an amazing thing happened.

I figured out my brain or my hands or my natural beats per minute.

When I play the piano and compose music, it's in sort of a patterned way. I run on automatic and I'm never sure what's going to come out.

But the speeds that I play at are always a mystery to me. I've tried with metronomes in the past to figure it out but I couldn't.

Tonight, I did!

My super-fast speed, when my right hand is going a mile a minute, the music comes out at exactly 100 BPM! I couldn't believe out exact that was.

Then it got weirder. I shut off the metronome and played something else for a little while. I tapped with my foot to set the rhythm and then I turned on the metronome. Click click click it went. I moved it down down down... and then when my foot tapping and the metronome and my playing were matched up, it was... 80 BPM.

So, 100 bpm, then 80 bpm.

Then I played a very slow, melonchaly piece. It ended up at 60 bpm.

Then a whimsical piece with an oomm-pah-pah style. Worked out to: 70 bpm! But 70bpm only was my natural speed in the waltz style and no other.

Why such exact numbers?

I don't know. I never expected that!

It might explain why I always had trouble playing musical instruments with others and keeping their time. It seems as if I have my OWN rigid time that is hard to break!

The weird things you learn about yourself!

Kenneth Udut, age 36, Naples, FL USA
444 1 rate


Jeffy on Nov. 6 2008 edit · delete

Very interesting, and fun to hear about.

I will try your experiment. I play piano about 30+ hours a week at my job. I've not wondered exactly as you put it, but that's very interesting.

I have no trouble playing with others, but I still struggle, after all these years, to remain steady in tempo with such things as waltzes or a rag like "The Entertainer," you know, tunes I know well but still fluctuate on tempo. Perhaps the opposite of the problem you had.

Till later, Jeff San Diego
Simplify3 on Nov. 9 2008 edit · delete
Keeping tempo can be a pain.

In finding my "natural tempos" - I found it was easier to play songs that I used to "waver" on, like the Entertainer (I would always play it too fast and inconsistantly)

Thanks for the comment! Even if your problem is slightly different, it's still good to know that there are others with tempo issues (I always try to play things too quickly)
My natural piano playing speeds in bpm! After playing the piano for 30 years, I figured it out!