Timing can. Be. Very important. It's. The reason this. Sentence is a little strange to. Read.
Okay, that was dumb, but the timing in a song can make or break the mood. Having songs that are in time and are consistent make us want to tap our foot along to the beat or nod our head to the rhythm. A song that is out of time can be confusing for the musicians and the listeners, and a song that is too quick or too slow will just sound... strange! Take a listen to the clips below. Smooth Jazz tracks should sound relaxing and mellow, but sped up sounds weird.
This Drum and Bass track slowed down also sounds weird!
So why are we speaking about how fast and slow songs are? Well, songs will have certain Tempos which basically means how fast or slow the song is. The way this is measured is in "Beats Per Minute" or BPM. A clock goes round at 60 BPM, which is pretty slow for most genres. Most Pop music is usually around 100bpm to 140bpm. When we know this tempo we can put that in to a metronome which will give us a click for every beat. This way we don't lose track of time and we can play consistently. All musicians use tempos as we understand them and it gives everyone an accurate way to play together!
Here is what a metronome sounds like over a song, this is 120bpm:
While we're on the topic of metronomes, let's have a look at the reason every musician uses them.
- They count time 100% better than we ever could.
- They are super easy to set-up.
- They are usually free on any App Store (Google even has one built in if you search 'metronome'!)
- Without them, we wouldn't be able to train ourselves to keep time and play with other musicians.
I would HIGHLY recommend downloading a free one on your phone and start using it when playing any tricky melodies or changing between chords. The earlier you use one of these, the quicker you will tune in to rhythm and start naturally keeping time better! If you want to know more about Metronomes, click the link and it will go in to more detail!