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How To

What Is A BPM Finder?

Photograph of the blog post author, Maria Hanlon

Maria Hanlon

16.2.2022

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Whether you’re a singer, composer, conductor or musician you’ll be paying attention to the speed of the music, also known as the tempo. Song tempo is often measured in beats per minute (BPM) and in this article we’ll look at what BPM is, why it’s important and reveal the best BPM finder.

song sheet with musical notes

What Are Beats Per Minute In Music?

The term ‘beats per minute’ (BPM) is fairly self-explanatory as it means the number of beats in one minute. For example, a tempo of 60 BPM means that there is one beat every single second of that minute. A BPM of 120 would be twice the speed, with two beats every second. BPM is the most accurate way of indicating tempos and we’ll explore why it’s important next.

alarm clock counting beats in a minute

Why Is It Important To Understand BPM?

Tempo is as important as the actual notes and rhythms being played, and the BPM is the best way to describe different tempos. Many musicians can hear the words ‘allegro’ (fast) or ‘vivace’ (lively) and instantly have a sense of what tempos they convey. Similarly, if they’d heard the phrase ‘60 BPM’ or ‘120 BPM’ they’d have an idea of the tempo and roughly what the piece will sound like.

Understanding BPM can also assist your songwriting process too. Many of the most iconic songs of all time are written in a tempo range of 100-140 BPM. For example, ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ is exactly 100 BPM and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana has a tempo of 117 BPM. 

Interestingly, 120 BPM is considered to be the perfect tempo for a hit, according to many songwriters. That’s the tempo used on Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and Adele’s ‘Rumour Has It’. Meanwhile, many hip-hop songs use a slower tempo of around 80 BPM, which allows MCs to maximize the syllable counts in their rhymes.

Each genre of music has a different tempo, here are a few examples:

  • Dub: 60–90 BPM
  • Hip-Hop: 60–100 BPM
  • House: 115–130 BPM
  • Techno/Trance: 120–140 BPM
  • Dubstep: 135–145 BPM
  • Drum And Bass: 160–180 BPM
music shop with different genres of music

What Is The Key Of A Song?

The key in a song is the main group of pitches, or notes, that form the foundation of a piece of music. The main pitches in a song are usually all from one particular scale, and this is where we get the song’s key from. 

For example, if a song only uses notes from the C Major scale, it is likely that the song is ‘in the key of C Major’. We’ll suggest some great key and song BPM finder websites and apps shortly to help you determine the key and BPM of a song.

How To Find A Song’s BPM

So now you know what BPM is, you’ll want to know how to find the BPM of a song? Luckily nowadays finding the tempo of a song is easy as we can simply use a BPM finder to help us. There are apps that allow you to tap your screen in time with the music and they reveal the BPM after a few seconds of analyzing the pace of the tapping. 

You can also use software that finds the BPM of a song you have recorded as an audio file (e.g. MP3 or WAV files). All you need to do is upload the song to a DJ software program with a BPM finder function. Let’s now look at some of the best key and BPM finders so you can find the tempo of your track in no time!

bpm finder

Key And BPM Finders

Here are some of the best key and BPM finders:

Mixed In Key – Mixed In Key is a popular tool used by some of the world’s best musicians, producers, and DJs to create perfect sets in the right key. Mixed In Key is available for download on MacOS and Windows computers. Although Mixed In Key isn’t free like some of the other BMP finders on our list, you can try it with a 30-day money back guarantee. 

Tunebat – Tunebat is a free online BPM checker with over 40 million songs. As well as showing BPM and key detection, it also gives you recommendations for harmonic mixing. It’s a fantastic tool for music producers looking to remix songs and music lovers who want to understand music better by recording and tuning it. Another big benefit is that you can upload your own audio files to find out the key and BPM. Tunebat offers a free version to access key and BPM information or you can pay $7.99 billed monthly or $35.88 for the year to get the pro version.

AudioKeyChain – If you’re lacking memory space on your computer AudioKeyChain is a brilliant option. Easily upload your tracks (MP3 or WAV) directly from your computer and it will do all the hard work for you and determine the song key. It also has features such as a BPM counter, online metronome, games for testing your rhythm, and lots of songs so you can search and find the key and BPM of many different tracks.

KeyFinder – KeyFinder is a clever key detection tool made for DJs interested in harmonic and tonal mixing. It’s intended to be very focused with no library management, no track suggestions and no media player. For beginners taking their first steps in computer composition, this program is perfect, and even better it’s free!  

Djay Pro – You can download Djay Pro on your iOS and Android phones as well as on both Mac and Windows computers. This application is DJ software offering the most advanced features to detect Keys, BPM, and has a beat tempo finder. The savvy software also features a frequency-based colour waveform to help find keys easily and making the interface more attractive. There’s a free version which is ideal for casual and less-experienced DJs who don’t need as many tools and features. 

GetSongKey – GetSongKey is a useful website for DJs, songwriters, and musicians as it offers more than six million databases of keys and other information for music fans. Every song is stored in four categories to make finding the key of the samples simple – Positiveness, Danceability, Energy, and Acuteness. It’s a perfect place for musicians of all levels to check the key and BPM of a track.

Song Key Finder – Song Key Finder is an excellent free app available for Android that will help you find your keys quickly and easily when you’re on the go. You can play the song through your device’s microphone to the app for analysis, upload the song, or you can manually enter the chords you have been playing. A guaranteed go-to for all musicians!

That’s Everything You Need To Know About How To Find A Song’s BPM

We hope we’ve helped you get your head around beats per minute and how to find the BPM of a song. Once you start searching for BPM and working out which genres and styles of music have which BPM’s you’ll feel like a total music expert!

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