Swingin' Easy, Book one

Welcome to Swingin' Easy, Book One, a set of pieces in jazz style for the beginning player. I wrote these pieces to use with students in the early grades (levels 2-4) because I was always frustrated with the material that I saw at this level. Often the pieces are not interesting and don't really sound like jazz. I'd like to think that these pieces fill a gap. I know I've had fun working on them and my students seem to enjoy playing them.

A big part of my concept is that the sheet music comes with CD with three recordings of each piece: solo piano, trio with piano, bass, and drums, and a rhythm track minus the piano. This way, students can learn to interpret jazz rhythm by imitation.

Eventually I hope to have lessons on each piece recorded and available for download. The lessons will focus on ways that the pieces can be changed, developing the basic skills of improvisation through motivic variation. I've found that students at the beginning levels have a great deal of difficulty changing how they play a piece they've already learned. Working on this skill within the framework of the suggestions in recorded lessons will give students the types of skills necessary for beginning improvisation.

I've included recordings of several of the pieces on this page.

Swingin' Easy is available for purchase--just contact me and I'd be happy to arrange it!