How Fast Was That Bumblebee?

Guest Post by PARMA Intern Alycia B.

As an eager fifth grade cello student, I made it my goal to accomplish playing Flight of the Bumblebee by the time I graduated from high school. I figured this was reasonable – I would be a much better player in high school, so it would be easy (or so I thought.) When I found out it was to be played at a ghastly 170 beats per minute, I decided to focus on things that were easier for me to attain with my college auditions coming up. Now that I’m closer than ever to graduating from college, I thought it was a good idea to pick it up again – until I found out about John Taylor and Daniel Himebauch. Click “Read More” to find out who they are.

A typical performance of Flight of the Bumblebee is performed at 170 beats per minute, as I previously said. So it’ll sound something like this:

Now, John Taylor is a music teacher out of Westminster, Colorado. His version sounds something like this:

Whether he’s an electric guitarist or not – you have to admit that was impressive. I would love to see someone play Flight of the Bumblebee that fast on a typically classical instrument like the cello. The Guinness Book of World Records uses Flight of the Bumblebee as a standard due to the overwhelming number of people who try to win the record by playing trills and picking quickly. John Taylor won the World Record for Fastest Guitar Player in 2011. How fast did John play to earn the record? 600 beats per minute.

Now, about this Daniel Himebauch I also mentioned. Imagine if he played twice as fast as John. That’s 1200 beats per minute. Crazy, right? Well, it gets better.

Needless to say, Daniel is now the record holder with a tempo of 1300 beats per minute.

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