Where get definitive numbers for tempos in my music book, specifically Mel Bay's (Roger Filiberto's, New Sounds for Electric Bass and Guitar?

Specific examples include wanting BPM of the following listed (but undefined tempos)
Boogie Bounce
Bright Beat
Bright Rock
Bright Tempo
Easy Groove
Easy Rock
Hard Drive
Latin Beat
Medium Rock Tempo
Moderate Rock
Moderate Rock Tempo
Slow Rock
Solid Beat
Solid Drive
Solid Four
Solid Rock
Steady Drive
Steady Rock
With Drive

  • 3
    It's worth noting that these terms are not simply communicating speed, but feel. It's more about how you play than how fast. Speed is a part of this; for instance, you're not likely to call a piece "steady" if it's full of semiquavers at 200bpm, or "driving" if it's at 65bpm.
    – AJFaraday
    Commented May 13 at 14:32
  • 1
    Related: List of average genre tempo (BPM) levels?.
    – Aaron
    Commented May 13 at 15:33
  • I've seen a lot of close-votes lately, with the "identification" reason, without explanatory comments. Although this question can't get the answer (but has gotten the answer it needs), it doesn't seem like it has anything to do with finding external resources, aside from the fact that it uses the word "where." I would encourage close-voters to leave comments, and to use their own custom reason if there isn't an appropriate one. But also to, geez, overlook a single word. Commented May 14 at 16:39

2 Answers 2


None of these are strictly defined. They describe musical feelings more so than specific BPM. They are combinations of tempo ranges, rhythmic patterns, stress patterns, dynamic levels, timbres, and various other musical elements. It will be most effective to have someone demonstrate them for you. According to the Mel Bay website, there is audio/video material that accompanies the book, so that seems a good place to start.


There will be no definitive bpm for any of these. They're simply modern versions of 'allegro', 'andante' from classical times. Those were (and still are) vague on purpose - look at any old metronome and the range for each term will be more than a few bpm at the very least.

They've been vague on purpose, to give licence to the player, who can (and will) use the terms as a (very) rough guide. On one of my metronomes, for example, larghetto ranges from 66-100 bpm!

So there is little or no point in listing what bpm, or even range of bpm any of the terms quoted represent, as it's hardly even academic, let alone of musical use.

Best option is to treat each as whatever you (or your teacher, obviously) considers a sensible rate of tempo. Mainly because one man's 'moderate rock' may well be another man's 'steady drive', for instance. In fact, I'd be ignoring the tempo marks altogether, and playing at whatever speed I thought appropriate both for me and the piece. Maybe starting slower than that, and speeding up as I became more proficient.

  • One reason that explicit tempi are not used is that the venue matters. A small club may require a different speed from a large ballroom. Sainte Chapelle requires a different tempo approach from that in Notre Dame de Paris (you wouldn't want to burn up the floor there.)
    – ttw
    Commented May 13 at 18:21

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