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Questions regarding tempo

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Eyescream, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    So I'm learning how to read music and thus far i'm doing pretty good. With help from Benjamin Strange and girlybassplaya, I've gotten far enough in my studies that I was able to figure out the major, minor, and harmonic minor scales and transcribe them (as, you know, practice), and I've started trying to pick my way around the fingerboard using different techniques my instructor taught me in our first lesson for playing the major scales.

    Now, to my question: I'm looking for classical sheet music to play, and I found this solo written for double bass that I want to give a shot at, but there's no tempo listed. It's written in 3/4, and I'm cool with that, but I've no way of knowing how fast I'm supposed to play it. Is there a way to write tempo that's equivalent of writing "C" on the staff for common time that I just don't know to look for, or can I just play it as quickly or slowly as I want?
  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Usually if there's no tempo listed, it will give a description of the tempo. Moderato, allegro, etc.... this one says "grave". I'm assuming that means very slow.
  3. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I was afraid to guess that.
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Benjamin Strange is correct, the grave is slow and serious for the intro. Then you switch the lively (Vivace) for the rest. Classical music never gives a tempo, just hints (like Grave). It is up to the conductor to choose the right tempo to fit the piece.
  5. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks. :)