How to hear the beat of music

To hear the beat, train your ear to hear the “8 count.” That’s because the 8 count defines the beat! All dance (ballroom, freestyle, hip hop, jazz, etc), aerobics, Zumba, dance fitness, cheerleading choreograph to the 8 count.

Try to count the 8 count whenever you hear a song. At first, it’s not easy, so it takes practice. Best to see it in action (4:06 minutes – 3 songs):

4:06 min. – 8 count

Do this next:

  • Scroll down this page if you want to see more videos of me counting the 8 count.
  • Click here to go more deeply into the 8 count, including why it’s important in dance and how it relates to the musician’s 4-beat measure.
  • Click here to go more deeply into counting, clapping, the waltz, tempo, phrasing, and moving to music. (This web page is also the youtube playlist for my book, Hear the Beat, Feel the Music.)

How to hear the beat – Coaching

Stuck on a song? Need a quick test to see if you’re counting correctly? Want to bring the beat from your head (counting) into your body (by feeling)? No problem – $20 for 20-ish minutes over Skype. We’ll start with a free 10 minute consultation to see if I can help (if not, no biggie). Send me an email –

Jimi Hendricks – “All Along the Watchtower” (3:47 min.)
Otis Redding – “Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay” (2:26 min.)
Astrud Gilberta – “The Girl from Ipanema” – (2:38 min.)

Stuck on a song? Send me a request (post it in a comment below OR email me –

Taylor Swift – “Blank Space” (3:48 min.)

More 8 count videos coming soon…

(shameless plug)

(shameless plug)

Coaching Special – $50
  • Three 20-minute coaching sessions.
  • Plus, my two books (in ebook form).
  • email me:
  • Wedding dance, aerobics, Zumba, all dance fitness, deejays.

Copyright © 2023 James Joseph. All rights reserved.

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