Why Count Out Loud?

Why do I stress counting out loud?

If you started the free lessons, you will notice right away that counting out loud is a very important skill to develop right from the beginning.  Counting out loud while you are playing develops rhythm, coordination, and prepares you for doing even more complicated tasks all at the same time.

Many students think it’s OK not to count and to learn the notes first, then add the counting later.  Take it from a teacher who has been teaching for 25 years… IT DOES NOT WORK!   You will end up learning the rhythm wrong if you don’t count, therefore when you add the counting AFTER you learn the song, it’s too late.  The purpose of counting is to get the rhythm correct.  So, if you learn how to play the song incorrectly… you will have to re-learn it and what happens when you have to re-learn something?

So, my advice is to develop the counting habit right away, make it part of being a good musician, and in investment in your future success at playing more difficult music.

If you are not convinced, then just trust me.  Take my word for it, and do not let any teacher tell you otherwise.  A successful musician counts during the learning process of a song.  Sure, after you learn the song, you can enjoy playing it without counting it, but learn it right the first time and you will be a much happier student!

See my other post called:  Why can’t I count in my head?


  1. says

    Counting problems are common when you start playing. One effective “trick” I like to use is to record my voice counting with a steady beat for 2-3 minutes and then use that as my metronome. You can make several recordings in different tempo’s and in different time signatures.

  2. says

    Jane, I totally hear you… you probably read the article above telling you how important it is to learn these concepts, so you don’t need to hear that again..you want help. ~smile~ Here is a suggestion that might be very useful to you:

    Record your voice counting for several minutes, at a slow steady tempo so that you can follow it while playing. It’s kind of like using a metronome, but better because as you can hear your voice telling you where the beats start and you will begin to get the idea of how you should be counting.

    This suggestion has actually been an extremely good tool to use to help you get past this common issue.

    Good luck!

  3. Jane says

    I’ve just begun, and find it real hard counting out loud, remembering my fingering and reading the sheet all at the same time! Usually i am good multitasker but i’m finding it tough! Any suggestions??

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