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A Beginner’s Guide to 8-Count Sheets


Ah, the 8-count sheet. A simple, but incredibly helpful tool for coaches, choreographers, and of course, cheer music people. The purpose of the 8-count sheet is to create a visual/textual representation of your routine, which we will use as guidelines for your music. You can also use your sheets to help you make changes to your routine. A 1:30 routine is typically 27 8-counts, and a 2:30 is around 46 (meaning it ends on 46.1).There isn’t much more of an introduction, so let’s get started!

First, you’ll need an 8-count sheet, if you don’t already have one. Our 8-count sheet is in Microsoft Excel format.

Exploring the Sheet

Now that you have the 8-count sheet, lets take a look at it. A typical spreadsheet with a header, some grey boxes along the left and right side, and some numbers. Don’t feel overwhelmed – you don’t have to fill in all of these boxes!!!

Before going any further, write your Gym and Team name in the “Team Name” box at the top left. We print the 8-count sheets out, especially if we are making cheer music mixes on travel, and it is very easy to mix them up!

So, what is this grid for? Well, the leftmost column is where the routine section will get written, such as Baskets, Stunts, Tumbling, Pyramid, Dance, Jumps, Cheer, etc. The rightmost column is where you would indicate song selections.

Each row is an 8-count, and each column represents a count (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), like you count at practice. If you do not feel comfortable counting, or you do not count at practice, you may want to check out our premade cheer music.

You’ll also notice that the first 8-count’s section is labeled “INTRO Lead-In”. This is not there just for the heck of it. Coaches sometimes overlook the fact that you can’t just start your music and routine on the same count. The cheerleaders need a “count in”. Most music starts with a “5-6-7-8″. It is also common to start on 7, or 3.

What You Must Include!

There are only a few things you MUST include. They are:

  • Team Name
  • Routine Sections (don’t forget Transitions!!!)
  • Song Selections

That’s pretty much it. With that, we can make you an awesome mix! However, if you have more information that you would like to share, feel free!! The next set of information we highly recommend including is:

  • Stunts
  • Baskets
  • Jumps
  • Tumbling
  • Pyramid
  • Motions
  • Voiceovers

We don’t need the complete details about these sections, just the actual count where the stunt hits, or where the jump happens, or when the basket tosses and kick-doubles.

You can simply write an “X” in the box and we will put some kind of sound effect that is appropriate for the section, but if you actually write what it is (i.e backtuck, toetuch, handspring, kick-double, pop-double-cradle) we can fit the sounds much better. Feel free to write the voiceovers across mulitple boxes.

What to Leave Out!

There are a few things we ask you leave out, only to retain the clarity of the 8count sheet, and the relevance to the music. Please try to leave out:

  • Cheerleader’s names
  • Time-ranges of songs (ex: “from :28 to :42″). It is better to indicate lyrics.


Here is a good example of an Sample 8-Count Sheet from a customer.  This is a real example; the only thing I changed was the gym and team name.


Well, I hope this article helped you understand the 8-count sheet a little better! Show us your new 8-count sheet skills on your next order!

Carmine Silano

About the Author     Carmine Silano is an accomplished musician and co-owner of CheerSounds Music and training, LLC.     His cheer music career began at Northeastern University in 2005, where he cheered and studied Music Industry with a focus in Music Production and Engineering. Carmine’s efforts are mostly focused on Cheer and Dance music for All Star, College, High School and Youth teams. www.CheerSounds.com

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