1-2, 1-2, Count, People, Count! Count the Beat When You Sing

count the beat“Count, people, count!” is what my high school music director use to tell us. And, it is just as important in today’s music as it was when I first heard those words.

The beat is everything in singing. If you learn to count the beat when you sing you’ll see massive improvement in timing. And, that is essential in vocal training as you’ll learn below.

Count the Beat for Better Singing

Counting when singing is a good starting point to establishing the beat to a song.

Practice and you’ll do this without thinking. This is sometimes the difference between amateur and professional singers. To have the ability to sing is one thing, but to correctly follow the timing of a song is another thing.

You can have the most beautiful voice in the world, but if you don’t understand how the timing and rhythm of a song goes, your voice will be wasted.

Timing in a song affects how every line of a verse or chorus is sung. The music is counted in bars and beats. Each beat starts on the first note played and will represent one count.

There may be several counts on a bar. When reading sheet music, notice if the timing is labeled as 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, etc. This indicates how many counts are in a bar.

For example, 2/4 means there are 2 beats in 1 bar, 3/4 means there are 3 beats in 1 bar. This will give you an idea of how the timing of a song should go.

Why Timing is So Important

The reason timing is so important is because you need to know where to come in on the song’s introduction and where to start and stop singing throughout the song.

Counting will help tremendously on brand new songs. Once you become familiar with a song and its timing, you’ll no longer need to count.

When singing songs in which you need to start singing immediately, you can count the beat in your head, verbally, or by tapping your foot – “1,2,3,4.” Keep in mind that every song is unique.

Some will be easy to recognize the timing and number of beats while others might be difficult. Work with your instrumentalist to get the right timing before practice. You should practice counting with the song until you are familiar with the timing.

Recognizing Clues

There are other ways to master the timing of a song if you don’t want to count. If you have a good ear for music, you can listen for clues and certain notes or beats in a song so you’ll know when to start or stop singing. Many musicians and singers who learn music by ear only use this method.

Learn the Rhythm

The rhythm of a song is the pattern or grouping of sounds in varying lengths and accentuation. You can tap out the rhythm of a song on a table without the tune.

Whether you tap slower or faster, the rhythm remains the same, but the tempo changes. Rhythm can be identified by where notes are accentuated. The notes are played loud, short, or long or soft, and flow repeatedly. These make up the song’s rhythm.

Number of Beats in a Song

There are 8 beats in a song. If mixing a song, the new song should be added on the first beat of the 8 count.

Here’s an example… count along: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 Start Again 2-3-4-5-6-7-8

Songs are divided into sections, each with either 32 or 64 beats. At these beats, a new sound is either added to a song or removed from a song.

Combine your knowledge of timing and rhythm when learning a new song so you can sing the song smoothly and never miss a beat!

Self-Help Voice Training Courses

count the beat when you singIf you don’t feel you are ready for a full singing career just yet you can find plenty of speech level singing tutorials online by enrolling in distance learning music schools with a professional singing trainer. Learn more ..

If you feel uncomfortable singing in front of a group of people, speech level voice training might be just what you need to overcome your singing fears! Now, count the beat when you sing for effect and you’ll get better and better results. – Bob Pardue

Filed under: Singing Tips