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What sort of "counting rhythms" have worked for you when breaking down the swing?


Birdie Member
Nov 5, 2021
Reno, NV
What sort of "counting rhythms" have worked for you when breaking down the swing?

Not sure how best to explain this. I tend to have a rhythm-oriented mind and I often try to break a swing down to its core components and treating them as beats in a rhythm when I'm trying to fix issues. For example, for a standstill backhand shot, if my weight shift and lag is all askew, I've been doing this lately at home with and without a disc in hand. Sometimes I'll even put a hammer/dumbbell in one or both hands....

Setup: Get into standstill position with front foot positioned parallel to the back foot in a toe (back foot) to heel (front foot) stagger. I pretend there's a line connecting my rear toe to my front heel. That line is my target line, essentially.

Once ready I will load all my weight into the front foot, feel the weight of my arm dangling (pendulum style) and then the count begins. Not even thinking about my upper body. It naturally moves during the count.


Beat 1. Deweight front foot while lifting heel (heavy arm naturally starts penduluming backwards. Again, zero cognizant thought of what the arm is doing. Weight naturally shifts towards rear toe/instep.)

Beat 2. Bring all that weight I just removed back to the front foot by "crushing the can" with the front heel. Sink into it. Arm is still penduluming backwards from Beat 1 on Beat 2.

Beat 3. Swing around the brace formed in Beat 2. The forward pendulum motion doesnt begin until the 3rd beat. This is essential.

That's it. 1, 2, 3. Feels natural, feels powerful, and it keeps me in rhythm by not turning the shoulders too early. Essentially the arm is penduluming backwards until the 2.5 "half-beat". The forward trigger is right on 3. I hope this makes sense. It's harder to implement when actually throwing the disc but this is a sensation that I'm trying to build my muscle memory around since I have some bad tendencies (not fully shifting weight, opening too early, etc).

So, several questions... Is this above standstill 1,2,3 rhythm an appropriate way to think about the swing? Obviously the actual swing is less regimented but you can feel the rhythm through the specific beats. What other "rhythms" have worked for you, whether they be for one-steps, three-steps, four-steps, five-steps, forehand, putting, etc. I feel like there is a natural repeatable rhythm for every motion in the game, I just gotta find them... It's tough because the human brain can really only focus on one thing at a time and there's so many different things and body parts to focus on. In my example, by breaking it down I'm only thinking about where my weight is and adding beats to those weighting/deweighting motions and the forward, gravity-assisted pendulum, it really helps me feel the leverage and the hit at the end of the rainbow that's so difficult to reach.

Others may not think about the motions this way and that's totally fine! This question is geared towards the nutjobs like me who do. Would love to hear some other examples.

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Philo mentioned "app-le pie" in one of his putting clinics but it can be applied to any kind of motion. Basically 1-2…3 or something like that. It's hard to explain on the inter webs
It still seems closest to the waltz rhythm in 3/4 time signature to me (due to my experience with that dance).

In DG some of the relationships between waltz rhythm, tempo, and the abruptness of the crush/swing have taken a while to learn for me. Once those improved, I've continued to need to work on mechanics. But IMO training the fundamental swing rhythm is really valuable. This is why I'm very happy that I don't have to worry about "timing."

Training swing rhythm + mechanics can cause good timing. In contrast, focusing on timing itself often causes breaks or hitches in the swing. That is because you are training your brain to find incredibly small windows of time (learning one or more small timepoints in time), rather than make it learn to deal with all small windows of time equally well (learning rhythm).

I made a playlist of heavy-beat waltzes at different tempos that I use sometimes:

Listen and look for the rhythm here:



Like the Elephant walk there, the crush happens in waltz rhythm. But to continue the dance analogy, the feel of the landing in the final move itself is a little more like this (SW introduced me to krumping):

Relevant prior thread on this:
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Philo mentioned "app-le pie" in one of his putting clinics but it can be applied to any kind of motion. Basically 1-2…3 or something like that. It's hard to explain on the inter webs

Back stroke, Two count App-le and twice as fast, single count, on the follow thru pie.
I'm loving this metal waltz stuff, especially those with differing bpm. Has me paying attention to pacing and beats. Glad I made it over here today.
Does anybody have any good videos to share of pros throwing, with raw audio? Particularly if they have some audible snap and audible steps? Would be great to be able to hear the rhythm directly!
Here's one of McBeast, but his snap isn't super loud. Still, hearing the audio I think is super helpful, if we're talking about timing and rhythm.


One thing I've been noticing is that the time between the plant/brace and snap is VERY short/quick!
Simon's footwork rhythm sounds extremely simple:

1 - 2 - 3 and 4

right - left - right-X-plant

There's a slight tempo increase there, but not much.

"Reachback" happens between "and" and "4."

The author of the video notes that the hit and the plant are almost simultaneous, but not quite. From what I could tell by slowing down the audio on youtube, it sounds like the space between plant and hit is close to a 16th note.

Caps on the steps and snap:

ONE e-and-a TWO e-and-a THREE e-AND-a FOUR *E*-and-a