Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I get a copy of The Rhythm Book in my country?

Two of the volumes are published by Hal Leonard; the other four volumes are published by Rhythm & Dues.

Because Hal Leonard is the largest publisher of music instruction books in the world, they have a lot of distribution.  How best to obtain a copy depends on where you are in the world. Among the possibilities are local retail outlets in your country that carry Hal Leonard products (if they don’t already have these books in stock, they should be able to order them):

… online outlets:

… or, depending on whether they deliver to your country, Amazon (here are the links for the USA):

Is it possible to order copies of The Rhythm Book directly from Rory?

Sorry, but no.

Are there recordings to support The Rhythm Book? If so, how do I access them?

Yes, there are recordings of every exercise in each of the books, and this is a key element. For the books published by Rhythm & Dues, the recordings are on this site.  For the books published by Hal Leonard, you will find the website URL and a personal code in the front of each book to access all of these recordings on Hal Leonard’s site (more than 1,000 mp3s in support of the first two volumes). Please make use of this feature!

How should I use the recordings of the exercises?

You can use the recordings to check your reading: First, sing, clap, or play an exercise by sight-reading it from the book, then listen to the recording to confirm you’ve done this correctly. You can also use the recordings to practice writing the rhythms (if you want even more practice than the worksheets provide): in this case, listen to the recording, notate the rhythm, and then check the book to see if you’ve written it correctly.

At what tempo should I do the exercises?

Read (and sing/clap/play) the exercises at whatever tempo allows you to do them accurately, feeling very grounded in the underlying pulse. Accuracy should be your priority; as you improve, you can read the exercises at faster tempos. Don’t let the tempo of the recordings unduly influence you; use an application (such as Audacity, Amazing SlowDowner, etc..) to slow down or speed up each exercise as needed (the media player at Hal Leonard’s site lets you slow down or speed up each exercise); it is fine to change the tempo as needed.

Sometimes I’m not sure whether I should sing, clap, or play the exercises on my instrument. Which is best?

Both the Beginning and Intermediate books describe a lot of different possible combinations of singing, clapping, foot tapping, etc… which you should try. Two rules of thumb I suggest: 1) Make certain you can sing an exercise before you play it on an instrument; 2) You will probably find certain ways of doing exercises that you personally prefer, but do try to mix it up and do them differently from time to time.

How should I use the worksheets?

The worksheets can be used for self-study, or by a student taking private lessons, or as homework assignments in a classroom situation. There are mp3s on the website associated with the worksheets that allow the reader to practice transcribing rhythms. If you are using these for self-study, it is not essential that you do every problem on every worksheet; do as many as you find useful in developing skill with a particular kind of material.

I’m a teacher/professor and am interested in using The Rhythm Book as a textbook for my class. Can I get a desk set from Hal Leonard or Rhythm & Dues?

Although Hal Leonard tells me they no longer send out desk sets, I am very interested in these books reaching people around the world who can benefit from them. Please contact me directly  (use the contact page) and let me know for what class you would like to consider using these as textbooks.

As a teacher/professor using The Rhythm Book as a textbook for my class, are there more supporting materials I can get (answer sheets, etc…)?

Yes, please contact me (using the contact page) about this.

I found a few errors in the Beginning book; what’s up with that?

The publisher accidentally introduced a few errors in the Beginning book, and subsequently issued an errata sheet, which should be included with every copy of the book.  However, some early copies of the Beginning book were shipped before the errata sheet was included.  I have provided a link to it, which you can access on the home page by the image of the Beginning book.

I found a great musical example/something I think is an error/a suggestion etc…

I’d be happy to hear from you, please contact me and let me know!

Is it possible for Rory to do a clinic in my school/a workshop in my country/an individual Skype lesson/etc…?

Schedule permitting, yes.  Please contact me (use the contact page) if you’re interested in one of these.