The first book to teach students to start soloing using rhythms instead of scales and chords.
This book can be successfully used in the following ways:
Rhythm First! is a much needed resource for the developing jazz ensemble. The concept of creating improvisation from a rhythmic starting point is what has been missing from the jazz literature until now! Tom skillfully crafts this book to meet this need in a way that is sequential, musical and entertaining. The audio tracks are terrific and fun to play along to. Rhythm First! also strengthens students' rhythmic vocabulary which not only prepares students for soloing but for chart reading as well. Every school should have this book as a dietary supplement to inspire and develop their students' skills.”
— Chris Colaneri, Director of Columbia Middle School Concert Band and Jazz Band, Berkeley Heights, NJ
I really appreciate the idea of a book about rhythm in improvisation. The idea of students having a set group of rhythms to build on is great. I especially find chapter 14 useful. It is tough sometimes to get kids to improvise, they don't know what to think about. To give them an extended list that they can have in front of them is priceless. There are so many ways I can incorporate this into my program. Thank you for taking the time to put this all down and share it with everyone.”
— Tracy Walsh DeRagon, Music Coordinator, K-12 Ballston Spa (NY) Central School District
Rhythm First: A Beginner's Guide to Jazz Improvisation is so well put together. I love the pacing of the CD tracks that are included, and the whole concept of rhythm as a starting point from which the creativity of improvising can flourish. For any student of music, at any age, this book can make learning, or improving upon, jazz and improvisation fun and accessible.”
— Dr. Noreen Harris Baer, Instructor of Trombone and Chamber Music, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University