Speed of Parodies

Questions & Answers with the one and only Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, Weird Al's drummer since 1980!

Speed of Parodies

by Bruce the Duck » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:29 am

On just about every parody, Al increases the tempo of the song. With some songs in which the lyrics go by so quickly, such as "Blurred Lines," it seems like increasing the tempo would just make it more difficult for Al to sing, especially in concert. What is the reason that Al does this? Does he have to pay less in royalties if the songs are shorter?
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Bruce the Duck
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Re: Speed of Parodies

by bermuda » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:44 am

There's often a subtle energy that's conveyed with a faster tempo, even just a few BPM, and it was done a lot in the early days in order to help the parody sound more exciting when it was on the radio. On the other hand, many of the newer parodied tracks are sufficiently fast, and are left alone. There was one that was even slowed down maybe 1 BPM, but I forget which. But the occasional increase in tempo isn't normally enough to make it harder to sing, some songs are tricky to start with and the tempo bump isn't much worse.

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Re: Speed of Parodies

by LoveGiblet » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:04 pm

I knew it! I'm glad that this was intentional. When I was learning to play drums and playing along to records, I always preferred to play along with Smells like Nirvana because its faster. Way more fun that way. Thanks Bermuda!
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Re: Speed of Parodies

by offbeatbryce » Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:57 am

I would think the faster tempo would make it easier to sing because you wouldn't have to hold notes as long.
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