I am learning the piece Louie Louie as part of a jazz ensemble.

The tempo marking is only Tempo di Louie.

  • How fast/slow is this meant to be?
  • Is the piece meant to be swung?
  • Are there any unusual accenting patterns in this piece?
  • 1
    Why don't you just listen to the original recording? May 26, 2017 at 11:22

2 Answers 2


"Tempo do Louie" is really just a joke; literally it means "Louie's Tempo," which really means nothing at all.

In cases like this, the best thing to do is consult the original, in which you'll hear that the song is roughly ♩ = 124bpm.

In the recording, you'll also hear that it is not meant to be swung. I don't hear any unusual accenting patterns.


Richard already provided a great answer, but I want to elaborate more on a comment from Carl Witthoft.

When learning any jazz tune, it is best to listen to as many recordings of it as you can. Listen to jazz greats playing the tune and how they add their own spin on things. Mimic these different styles and even try developing your own.

Here's an example of the same song by three different cats:

This really helps you get a understanding of the song that's certainly better than anything you'll get from reading sheet music (which is why it's great to learn songs by ear).

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