Know Your Tempos — Jimi Hendrix

Posted on August 8, 2021

 Know Your Tempos Jimi Hendrix

I just realized that I haven’t done a “Know You Tempos” post in months since I did my first one back in January. So here’s another one of these posts, shamelessly stolen from Todd Bishop. I think I’ll just start using a boilerplate description of what “Know Your Tempos” means:

If you ever see some sheet music that says “♩ = 215” and you don’t have a metronome on you, all you need to do is sing a song that you know was recorded at 215. Voilà. You’ll have a pretty good idea of how fast you’re supposed to play. It won’t be as accurate as using a click, but it’s a good trick to have… if you get a decent mental collection of these things, you’ll have a good reference for a variety of tempos. Or tempi. Whatever.

Today is Jimi Hendrix (technically the Jimi Hendrix Experience). I think it’s easiest to do these things with an artist that’s not cutting albums anymore, since then I don’t have to worry about updating these lists.

Let’s run through the Jimi Hendrix tempo trivia. The slowest song is “Voodoo Chile” at 55 BPM. The slowest 4/4 song is “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)”. The fastest tune is “Third Stone From The Sun” (the swing section that is).

You can download a full .csv file at the bottom of this post to see the BPM of all the Jimi songs from the three albums that everyone cares about. In the meantime, here’s a highlight reel:

  • 55 — “Voodoo Chile” [Dotted Quarter] 
  • 68 — “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)”
  • 70 — “Little Wing”
  • 72 — “Bold as Love”
  • 78 — “Wind Cries Mary”
  • 80 — “One Rainy Wish” [3/4 Chorus]
  • 82 — “Hey Joe”
  • 88 — “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”
  • 96 — “Foxy Lady”
  • 100 — “Remember”
  • 108 — “Purple Haze”
  • 114 — “All Along The Watchtower” [Main Groove]
  • 120 — “Gypsy Eyes”
  • 128 — “You Got Me Floatin’”
  • 134 — “Stone Free”
  • 138 — “Highway Chile”
  • 142 — “Little Miss Strange”
  • 148 — “Manic Depression”
  • 150 — “Fire”
  • 230 — “Third Stone From The Sun” [Swing Section]

If you want some additional data that’s ultimately pointless, the mean, median, and mode of the tempos are 105, 110, and 110, respectively.

Download CSV.

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