htb_homepage_middle_1Rhythmically challenged? 

Lack musicality?


Want to get in the groove? This website and my two books will:

  • Help you improve your rhythmic connection to music (especially, if you have no talent in music, like me)
  • Help you move to music
  • Help you enjoy music more and be that person who’s “got rhythm”

What’s in this website?

I explore the scintillating topics of how to hear the beat, counting music, musicality, rhythm and moving to music (especially dancing but I also look at working out to music and biomusicology). All the content in this site is free (except for the books but, come on, pretty darn cheap).

Where to begin? I don’t know so I’m just going to give you a list of the pages:

  • Here the 8-count in music – a primer on how to hear the “sets of 8” – this is the place to start if you struggle with music (read: ain’t got no rhythm)
  • Freebie Video – these are the free instructional videos that go to the first book, Every Man’s Survival Guide to Ballroom Dancing
  • Video Playlist – this page is under construction but you can check it out now– these are the videos to the forthcoming book (spring 2017), Hear the Beat, Feel the Music
  • Blog category: Hear the Beat of music – a list of my blog posts on hearing the beat of music
  • Blog – my blog
  • Free chapter: “Counting Music
  • Free chapter: “Slow Dancing
  • Free chapter: “Surviving the Wedding Dance
  • Learn to dance – a quick primer on learning how to partner dance (note to self: this page needs to be revised)
  • [link coming soon] Working out to music – the biomusicology of workout music – this is a new page and I’m still working on it
  • My Story – get the scoop on me
  • Contact – my email address plus info if you’d like to be coached on hearing the beat


Book 1 –  Every Man’s Survival Guide to Ballroom Dancing:Ballroom dancing survival guide on Amazon Ace Your Wedding Dance and Keep Cool on a Cruise, at a Formal and in Dance Classes
(the Freebie Video page includes a Table of Contents)

* Amazon print ($10.95) * Kindle ($5.99) *  Apple iBookstore ($5.99) *


  • Midwest Book Review: “…a non-dancers crash course in understanding the basics of dance so they don’t look like a fool on the dance floor…”
  • khan: “…He talks about things which are hardly touched in dance classes…”
  • Gretechen: “This book is written for men, but women would find good information in this, too. It is packed with lots of practical suggestions. A must for all beginners.”

Book 2 – Coming Spring 2017: Hear the Beat, Feel the Music: Count, Clap and Tap Your Way to Remarkable Rhythm (the Video Playlist includes a Table of Contents)

* Amazon links coming soon *

Who are these books for?

htb_homepage_backcharlestonThere’s a bit of overlap between the two books. The first book is geared toward partner dancing (ballroom, swing and the Latin dances like salsa, cha cha, etc). It has parts on music, rhythm, dancing and surviving on the dance floor. BTW, ladies, despite the title, this book will help you too, really.

The book that’s due to drop this spring (2017), Hear the Beat, Feel the Music, expands on just the first part, music, which makes it helpful to a broader audience:

  • All types of dancers, from ballet to hip hop to club dancing to dancing alone in your kitchen when you do the dishes
  • All dance fitness, like aerobics and zumba (see below for a testimonial from a fitness instructor)
  • People who workout to musichtb_homepage_runner
  • Anyone who is rhythmically challenged (that was me once)

CAUTION: When I discuss music it’s based on the way that dance choreographers count music, not musicians. While a choreographer’s count is related to music theory, it’s slightly different. If you’re a musician, please don’t have a heart attack!

A testimonial from a fitness instructor

Here’s the experience of Kendra P. who was training to be a fitness instructor:

“I stumbled upon your blog/website [] when I did a YouTube search for “counting 8 beats in music.” I recently attended a PiYo Strength Training (which is a fitness training) and the instructor told me to work on musicality. I have been a dancer my whole life, but somehow managed to memorize and rely on the lyrics, rather than listening to and “feeling” the music…silly, I know! I feel confident in the physical aspect of the teaching, but I was really uncomfortable with the counting beats portion. In a fitness class, it is very evident when the instructor does not know how to count to music…the class seems very choppy and feels like it doesn’t flow. I definitely didn’t want to be that instructor! I read through your website word for word and watched all of your videos and Skippy’s video. It has helped me so very much! I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a descriptive, detailed tutorial on dancing and music. My friend was telling me once the beats are pointed out, you will say, ‘oh, duh! Why didn’t I hear that before?!’ And it’s very true….after watching your videos and watching your hand motions, it’s so obvious now!”

Kendra P.


(House cleaning: here’s the original Table of Contents for Every Man’s Survival Guide to Ballroom Dancing, which I’m keeping live until I can figure out how to preserve the comments)


Credit for three photos in header: 1) Lidyanne Aquino on flicker 2) Damion Gadal on flickr 3) Brendan Lally on flickr

Credit for photo below the header of a drummer: Bill Gracey

Credit for photo mid-page of two dancers and two musicians: daspunkt on flickr

Credit for photo mid-page of couple dancing back charleston (original image was modified by cropping out some of the background): Elvert Barnes

Credit for photo near the bottom of a runner: Nathan Rupert on flickr


Copyright © 2012-2016  James Joseph. All rights reserved.