How to Hear the Beat in Music

Below are all my blog posts for how to hear the beat in music.

But, if you haven’t seen this already, the best place to start is my primer page, “Hear the 8-Count in Music.”

If you want more, there’s an in-depth treatment on hearing the beat, counting music and sets of 8 in this free chapter, Chapter 2 – Counting Music: Finding the Sets of 8, from my book, “Every Man’s Survival Guide to Ballroom Dancing.”

Where to learn: how to hear the beat of music

You will not find a class on hearing the beat of music (if you teach a class in that, throw me an email, we should talk). It’s rarely touched upon in ballroom dance classes. You must learn the beat on your own. Don’t fret, it’s simple, just listen to music (like with an iPod or […]

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Warning: Ballroom dance classes do not teach how to hear the beat of music

You will not learn “rhythm” in a ballroom class. The convenient explanation is that they’re dance classes and not music classes, but I’m not buying it. My guess is that dance instructors don’t really know how to teach you to count music and hear the beat. The only time you hear beats counted—counting the “sets […]

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Are you in denial about being rhythmically challenged?

rhythmically challenged: A phrase frequently used to describe someone who consistently dances off time. A better definition would be a person who lacks the education required to be able to rhythmically count beats of music. (reference: Skippy Blair’s Dance Terminology Notebook) I was rhythmically challenged. Even after seven years of ballroom dance classes, I still […]

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Counting 32-beat major phrases (video: 6 min, 40 sec.)

Phrasing in ballroom dancing is an intermediate-level concept but I beg you, O Humble Beginner, to begin actively listening for the major phrases in all music (this video goes with the book so it’s also posted on the Freebie Video page): This will help you to hear the sets of 8, hence, how to hear […]

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New videos – how to count music and hear the beat

I’ve posted some new instructional video clips in recent weeks. (They’re the videos that go with the book so they’re also posted on the Freebie Video page.) The two below help with how to count music and hear the beat. First, there’s counting sets of 8: I’d guess that over 80% (probably over 90%–I don’t […]

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Beware of tempo

I have an issue with tempo. I went through a long period where I could dance okay in class but I was terrible at a social dance. Some of that had to do with a lack of familiar partners (read: my leading sucked and partners at a dance were not familiar with the step patterns […]

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Sets of 8: test yourself on how to count music and hear the beat

Here’s a good test to see if you can count music and hear the beat by counting sets of 8. Flip the radio dial, stop on random songs and accurately count the sets of 8 and know you’re right. It took me about a year of dedicated practice before I could do that 90% of […]

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Count music: sets of 8, heavy measure, light measure (video: 1 min. 15 sec.)

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