Counting the hop

August 17th, 2009

Some thoughts on counting in Lindy Hop

  • You have to count
    Although I find it often more useful to sing a rhythm than to think about counts, it is elementary to be able to count if you want to learn about the phrases and bigger structures of a song. There are many songs with a blues structure (12 bars to a phrase) that you cannot tell from a swing form (16 bars) without counting.
  • Count to 4, not 8
    Counting to 8 is common in dancing, e.g. Salsa. My believe is that the biggest reason for this is the 8 beat basic pattern, like a swing out. It is not true that musicians count till 8 – they count till 4. So, if you want to improve your musicality throw away the dancing school habit of counting till 8.
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