Waltz Tempos

February 17th, 2012
contra
Playing the Thursday Night Contra at the Scout House with the Free Raisins last week I was talking to Edward Wallace about waltz tempos. While I know what bpm I'm shooting for playing for contras (110-122, 118 is good) I realised I don't really know what tempo is good for waltzes. Waltzing works over a very wide range of tempos, so it doesn't matter as much, but I was still curious. I went back over my recordings of dances and wrote down what tempo we played each of the waltzes:
date Group break final
2007-03-02 Contrail 160 [1] 128
2010-05-04 ? 114 122
2010-08-13 Free Raisins 138 116
2011-02-23 Jon, Peter, Rick, Gary, Jeff 138 126
2011-09-24 Free Raisins ? 126
2011-10-11 Free Raisins 122 128
2011-11-12 Free Raisins 116 124
2011-12-11 Free Raisins 118 122
2012-01-15 Peter Barnes, BIDA Open Band 122 120
2012-01-24 Edward, Peter, Jeff 130 128
2012-02-01 Free Raisins 114 118
2012-02-09 Free Raisins 118 128
We seem to mostly be playing the first waltz between 114 and 130 and the second between 120 and 128. I want to play around with a pretty fast (140, 150?) first waltz now.

[1] This is back when we had no idea what we were doing.

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