What is a good BPM? Frequently Asked Questions

The number of beats per minute (BPM) a song or piece of music has varies quite widely across all the genres and styles. However, some people prefer slow music, and some people prefer fast music. Still other people prefer music that sits somewhere in the middle. For this reason, there is technically no such thing as a ‘good’ BPM. However, there is a popular BPM level as well as some well-received tempo choices over the history of music.

In popular (or ‘pop’) music, it is most common and appreciated for songs to have a BPM of 120. This works well for popular music, and the mass market audience appreciate it. However, as with most things related to BPM, this tempo level is not a hard and fast rule. Some songs are much slower, especially love songs. And popular music in the dance genre often has a quicker rate of beats and therefore a faster tempo. It is down to the composer of the music as regards the tempo choice.

Another way of looking at this question is to think about comfortable levels of beats per minute. Many people would find it very difficult to follow music that has two fast a tempo. This is why some people can't manage drum and bass music.

There have probably been no serious studies about music that is ‘too fast for human consumption’, but it's fair to say that unless each beat is one that can be registered by the human ear, then the music could be unpalatable. This would make it a ‘bad BPM’.