Notes Per Second Calculator

The Notes Per Second (NPS) calculator will tell you how fast you can play guitar, i.e. how many notes per second you can play.

Do the following:

  1. Enter the tempo that you are playing at
  2. Select the subdivision you are using
  3. Read your “notes per second”!

How Does the Notes Per Second Calculator Work?

The formula for the notes per second calculator is as follows:

(Notes per beat x tempo) / 60

The following table shows you how many notes there are to a beat for different subdivistions:

SubdivisionNotes per beat
Whole notes (Semibreve)0.25
Half notes (Minim)0.5
Quarter notes (Crotchets)1
Eighth notes (Quavers)2
Sixteenth notes (Semi-quavers)4
Thirtysecond notes (Demisemiquavers)8
Triplet half notes (triplet minims)0.75
Triplet quarter notes (triplet crotchets)1.5
Triplet eighth notes (triplet quavers)3
Triplet sixteenth notes (triplet semiquavers)6
Triplet thirtysecond notes (triplet demisemiquavers)12

Examples of Calculating Notes Per Second

Here are a few examples to help you see how the calculator is operating:

Example 1 – 16th notes at 130bpm

(Notes per beat x tempo) / 60

Notes per beat = 16ths = 4 (see table above)
Tempo = 130

(4 x 130)/60 = 520 / 60 = 8.67 notes per second

Example 2 – Half notes at 193bpm

(Notes per beat x tempo) / 60

Notes per beat = half notes = 0.5 (see table above)
Tempo = 193

(0.5 x 193)/60 = 96.5 / 60 = 1.61 notes per second

Example 3 – Triplet sixteenths at 167bpm

(Notes per beat x tempo) / 60

Notes per beat = triplet 16ths = 6 (see table above)
Tempo = 167

(6 x 167)/60 = 1002 / 60 = 16.7 notes per second

Example 4 – Triplet quarter notes at 230bpm

(Notes per beat x tempo) / 60

Notes per beat = triplet 8ths = 1.5 (see table above)
Tempo = 230

(1.5 x 230)/60 = 345 / 60 = 5.75 notes per second

Hopefully, with the aid of those examples, you can understand how the notes per second calculator is operating.

What Are the Benefits of Calculating Notes Per Second?

Understanding the “notes per second” (abbreviated to NPS) gives you a fast and easy way to compare the speed of your playing when comparing subdivisions.

For example, say we were playing two exercises which were composed of the following:

  • 16ths at 100bpm
  • Triplet 8th notes at 120bpm

If we have played exercise 1 (16ths) a few months ago, and this month we were working on exercise 2 (triplet 8ths), we might be interested in comparing how we were doing across the two exercises – have we made progress?

At first glance, it’s quite tricky to work out which of these two speeds is faster.

When we use notes per second to compare the two exercises, seeing any difference is quite easy:

16ths at 100bpm: 6.66nps

Triplet 8ths at 120bpm: 6.00nps

So we can see that the original exercise at 16ths, even though the tempo is lower, is actually faster than the triplet 8ths note exercise at 120bpm.

So using notes per second can be a good way to help track progress across different exercises.