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Blog overview

How to find your tempo without a metronome (or tap tool)

Aug 13, 2020 | 3 min read

Find tempo without a metronome… Sounds impossible? Maybe at first. With our BPM cheat sheet, you might be surprised by how well you know some tempos already!

Let’s say your phone just died and you find yourself stuck without a metronome. (This is assuming you already have a metronome app downloaded on your phone – if not, check out ours here.) You have to play something at 118 BPM. Given most of us don’t have absolute tempo, how on earth do you find your tempo without a metronome?

Don’t panic. If you were asked to sing the chorus of Don’t Stop Believin’ or Bad Romance, you could probably do that, right?

If so, good news–because these songs are at 119 BPM. And if you can sing either of these songs, you can recall their pulse, which means you have an internal clock, which means you can use the songs you know as BPM references

Metronome finding tempo

Okay, so you probably won’t get a perfect 119 BPM on your first go, because we’re human and not perfect metronomes. But you’ll definitely be closer with a reference point than if you tried to lift your tempo out of thin air.

We put together a handy cheat sheet of songs (and tempo markings) for you below – so for whatever BPM you need, you can recall a corresponding song and feel its groove. Internalize that beat, and you’ve found your tempo without a metronome!

With time, you’ll train up your tempo memorization and become the best possible human metronome. Test out your internal clock with the Tap feature on our app or watch, and see which songs give you the best accuracy for tempo identification!

Tempo Markings
Largo/Larghetto – 40-66 BPM
Adagio – 66-72 BPM
Andante – 72-108 BPM
Moderato/Allegro moderato – 108-120 BPM
Allegro – 120-156 BPM
Vivace – 156-176 BPM
Presto – 168-200 BPM

Your BPM Cheat Sheet

50 BPM*  

*It’s harder to grasp a precise tempo with slower songs. We recommend finding the
tempo that’s twice as fast and treating every other
beat as a subdivision.

Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley (48 BPM)
My Heart Will Go On – Céline Dion (50 BPM)
My Girl – The Temptations (53 BPM)
100 BPM  
Oops…! I Did It Again – Britney Spears (95 BPM)
Shallow – Lady Gaga (96 BPM)
Good as Hell – Lizzo (96 BPM) Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers (96 BPM)
All The Stars – Kendrick Lamar, SZA (97 BPM)
Follow Your Arrow – Kacey Musgraves (98 BPM)
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd (98 BPM)
Crazy in Love – Beyoncé, Jay-Z (99 BPM) Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross (99 BPM)
Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira, Wyclef Jean (100 BPM)
Superstition – Stevie Wonder (100 BPM)
Rock Your Body – Justin Timberlake (101 BPM)
Dancing Queen – ABBA (101 BPM)
She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5 (102 BPM)
Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane (103 BPM)
Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees (104 BPM)
Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2 – Pink Floyd (104 BPM)
110 BPM  
Rolling In The Deep – Adele (105 BPM) 
thank u, next – Ariana Grande (107 BPM)
Stronger – Britney Spears (108 BPM)
Some Nights – Fun. (108 BPM)
Need You Now – Lady A (108 BPM)
Eye of the Tiger – Survivor (109 BPM)
Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani (110 BPM)
Another One Bites the Dust – Queen (110 BPM)
Grenade – Bruno Mars (110 BPM)
Alright – Kendrick Lamar (110 BPM)
Walkin’ on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves (110 BPM)
A Spoonful of Sugar – Mary Poppins (111 BPM)
Changes – 2Pac, Talent (111 BPM)
Like A Prayer – Madonna (111 BPM)
Purple Rain – Prince (113 BPM)
60 BPM  
Redemption Song – Bob Marley (58 BPM)
Desperado – Eagles (60 BPM)
Super Rich Kids – Frank Ocean (60 BPM)
120 BPM  
You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Randy Newman (116 BPM)
Baba O’Riley – The Who (117 BPM)
Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey (119 BPM)
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga (119 BPM)
Fly Me To The Moon – Frank Sinatra (119 BPM)
I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston (119 BPM)
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson (119 BPM)
Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen (120 BPM)
It’s My Life – Bon Jovi (120 BPM)
Boy With Luv – BTS, Halsey (120 BPM)
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (120 BPM)
Conga – Gloria Estefan (122 BPM)
Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen (122 BPM)
Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi (122 BPM)
Psycho Killer – Talkin’ Heads (123 BPM)
 130 BPM  
Believer – Imagine Dragons (125 BPM)
Disturbia – Rihanna (125 BPM)
Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar (127 BPM)
I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas (128 BPM)
Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5 (128 BPM)
We Found Love – Rihanna, Calvin Harris (128 BPM)
Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles (129 BPM)
Uptown Girl – Billy Joel (129 BPM)
Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO (130 BPM)
On the Floor – Jennifer Lopez (130 BPM)
I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry (130 BPM)
Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson (131 BPM)
I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles (131 BPM)
Gangnam Style – PSY (132 BPM)
Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield (132 BPM)
Kill This Love – BLACKPINK (132 BPM)
Good Vibrations – Beach Boys (133 BPM)
Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra (134 BPM)
70 BPM  
Alexander Hamilton – Hamilton: An American Musical (66 BPM)
Talk – Khalid, Disclosure (68 BPM) 
Lover – Taylor Swift (69 BPM)
Bad Day – Daniel Powter (70 BPM)
7 rings – Ariana Grande (70 BPM)
Paradise – Coldplay (70 BPM)
Let It Be – The Beatles (71 BPM)
140 BPM  
bad guy – Billie Eilish (135 BPM)
Between the Bars – Elliott Smith (135 BPM)
I Like It – Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin (136 BPM)
Barracuda – Heart (137 BPM)
Viva la Vida – Coldplay (138 BPM)
Any Way You Want It – Journey (138 BPM)
Accidentally In Love – Counting Crows (138 BPM) 
Feel Good Inc – Gorillaz (139 BPM)
Womanizer – Britney Spears (139 BPM)
Beat It – Michael Jackson (139 BPM)
OMG – Usher (140 BPM)
When I’m Sixty Four – The Beatles (140 BPM)
Everytime We Touch – Cascada (142 BPM)
All of the Lights – Kanye West (142 BPM)
 150 BPM  
Hotel California – Eagles (147 BPM)
Three Little Birds – Bob Marley  (148 BPM)
Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne (150 BPM)
Bang Bang – Jessie J (150 BPM)
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison (151 BPM)
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz (151 BPM)
80 BPM  
Angels – Robbie WIlliams (75 BPM)
Savage Love – Jawsh 685, Jason Derulo (75 BPM)
The Chain – Fleetwood Mac (76 BPM)
E.T. – Katy Perry (76 BPM)
What Goes Around…Comes Around – Justin Timberlake (76 BPM)
Complicated – Avril Lavigne (78 BPM)
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac (80 BPM)
Dream On – Aerosmith (80 BPM)
We Will Rock You – Queen (81 BPM)
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham! (82 BPM)
Come Together – The Beatles (82 BPM)
Blue Ain’t Your Color – Keith Urban (82 BPM)
Free Fallin‘ – Tom Petty (84 BPM)
N.Y. State of Mind – Nas (84 BPM)
Stuck Like Glue – Sugaland (84 BPM)
160 BPM  
Truth Hurts – Lizzo (158 BPM)
Surfin’ USA – Beach Boys (159 BPM)
Paint It Black – Rolling Stones (159 BPM)
Shake It Off – Taylor Swift (160 BPM)
Happy – Pharrell Williams (160 BPM)
Survivor – Destiny’s Child (161 BPM)
Dance With Me Tonight – Olly Murs (164 BPM)
 180 BPM  
Dancing with Myself – Billy Idol (176 BPM)
Despacito – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee (178 BPM)
Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin (178 BPM)
Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra (178 BPM)
Get Ur Freak On – Missy Elliott (178 BPM)
Modern Love – David Bowie (182 BPM)
90 BPM  
Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chilli Peppers (85 BPM)
Umbrella – Rihanna (87 BPM)
Irreplaceable – Beyoncé (88 BPM)
Our Song – Taylor Swift (89 BPM)
In Da Club – 50 Cent (90 BPM)
They Don’t Care About Us – Michael Jackson (90 BPM)
Bailando – Enrique Iglesias (91 BPM)
Gold Digger – Kanye West (93 BPM)
Back in Black – AC/DC (94 BPM) 
180 BPM  
Dancing with Myself – Billy Idol (176 BPM)
Despacito – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee (178 BPM)
Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin (178 BPM)
Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra (178 BPM)
Get Ur Freak On – Missy Elliott (178 BPM)
Modern Love – David Bowie (182 BPM)
 190 BPM  
Starboy – The Weeknd (186 BPM)
Single Ladies – Beyoncé (193 BPM)

Once you learn to identify BPMs through specific songs and grooves, it’ll become a breeze to find tempo without a metronome!

We hope this helps you find your tempo without a metronome – or, never go without one by wearing it on you!

Soundbrenner is a company dedicated to help musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music. Click here to find out more about our products.

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