Bpm is an abbreviation that stands for beats per minute. The number of beats per minute indicates the tempo of the music, just like a metronome. The higher the bpm, the faster the song; the lower the bpm, the slower the song. Makes sense, right?
Bpm as a unit of measurement originates from electronic music. For DJs and musicians, who work with drum computers, synthesizers and music software, the number of beats per minute is essential for their musical coordination and arrangements.
Bpm and genre
The tempo of a song is a crucial element of the sound. Each musical style has, roughly, a characteristic number of beats per minute. So, there is a connection between bpm and genres. Most pop songs, for instance, have a bpm of around 120. According to the BBC and Spotify, the pop music charts between 2010 and 2020 were topped by songs ranging between 105 and 125 bpm. Hip-hop is often in the range of 60 to 100 bpm; a lot slower than, for example, house, trance and techno, which vary from 115 to 140 bpm; not to mention drum and bass and hardcore, which are characterized by 160 bpm and faster.
In reality, of course, genres are hard to define and music changes constantly; but, there are rules of thumb. The list below shows the ranges of bpm that are commonly attributed to certain genres.
List of bpm and genres:
- Dub/reggae: 60 – 90 bpm
- Hip-hop: 60 – 100 bpm
- House: 115 – 130 bpm
- Pop: 105 – 125 bpm
- Techno/trance: 120 – 140 bpm
- Dubstep: 135 – 145 bpm
- Drum and bass: 160 – 180 bpm
- Hardcore: 160 – 200 bpm
What is the best bpm for running?
The best bpm for running is between 120 and 140. Of course, this depends on the distance you want to cover and your fitness level! There are countless pop songs, rock bangers and electronic tracks with the so-called “running bpm.”
Change the bpm of a song with Chordify Premium
Did you know that Chordify Premium allows you to change the bpm of every song? This way you can slow down a difficult song and learn to play it at your own pace. Easy does it. Check out Chordify Premium and see for yourself.
Fun fact: In Chordify’s home country, the Netherlands, the abbreviation bpm also stands for “belasting van personenauto’s en motorrijwielen,” which refers to the tax on passenger cars and motorcycles.