I recently watched a YouTube excerpt of Jack Feierman's master class in which he alludes to techniques that can be developed to know where "one" is.

He has a click going on the background — at 2:32 min he establishes where "one" is and moves on to talk about certain topics.

Then, at 3:17 min he nails "one". Then again, at 3:25 min. (just count along to see for yourself)

I find this to be an important skill to have, similar to perfect pitch.

Sadly, Feierman passed away shortly after and it appears his book "Where is One" was not published.

Do you have any insights on this topic or other sources to learn/develop this skill?

  • So, just to be clear - this question is not about finding the downbeat in a musical rhythm or part (like a typical drum rhythm), but just the skill of allowing your mind to keep track of where '1' has been previously arbitrarily decided to be in a chain of identical pulses (like this metronome beat)? Mar 4, 2017 at 15:01
  • yes, the focus is on "the skill of allowing your mind to keep track of where '1' has been previously arbitrarily decided to be in a chain of identical pulses"
    – pepe
    Mar 4, 2017 at 15:42
  • He's spot on, but do we ever find out the secret. Even while talking, there's an inner rhythm happening, which is pretty impressive.
    – Tim
    Mar 4, 2017 at 17:30
  • 2
    It's just counting. Some part of him is still paying attention to the beat.
    – user28
    Mar 4, 2017 at 17:59
  • It's hard to tell whether there's 'anything to see here'; It's quite common to have to feel or count a beat consciously while doing something else; if he's really doing it 'subconsciously' and perfectly, that's impressive, but I'm not sure I'd expect delivering a lecture that he presumably knows well wouldn't necessarily distract him sufficiently that he wouldn't be able to to count or feel a beat in a fairly normal conscious way (especially just for less than one minute, between 2:32 and 3:17). Mar 4, 2017 at 20:10

1 Answer 1


He´s a conductor and mentions conducting patterns so I think he is counting as well. At least that is the way I´m learning choir conducting and we are being taught to count with the conducting patterns. "One" has a clear emphasis. For me the counting is becoming like an internalized running commentary in the background of whatever else I´m trying to focus on. Without the "one" you´re lost. Watching the video I felt that that was what he was doing.

  • I see your point—but do you imply that he's multitasking at a high level? That is, that he can keep counting 1-2-3-4 while talking about something? If so, could you give suggestions on how this is practiced or developed?
    – pepe
    Mar 15, 2017 at 12:07

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