"Rhythm Is My Beat"

An autographed copy
would make a unique gift*

Book cover with photo of Freddie Green playing Gretsch guitar.

*Note: If you want an autographed copy you must buy here at freddiegreenrhythm.com. Please make sure you indicate when ordering, the name you would like inscribed. (Domestic shipping only) For international shipping, order from one of the following sites:

rowman.com - amazon.com - bn.com (Barnes and Noble) or check your local bookstore.

Book Reviews

Review: 7/6/2016

Alfred Green’s biography of his father is lovingly written, with long-hidden details of the life, music, and personality of a figure so intensely private that only a close relative would have access. Green goes beyond his perspective as a son, however, to contribute a valuable and comprehensive account of the elder Green’s professional activity and evolution as the bedrock of the Count Basie rhythm section. . . .Rhythm Is My Beat fills a long-standing need for an authoritative biography of Freddie Green – a tall order when one considers that the book’s subject was such a private figure, and gave few interviews. Alfred Green’s own recollections, access to primary sources, and willingness to incorporate the work of other experts on Freddie Green’s music combine to form a comprehensive account of his father’s life and impact. The book’s supplemental materials offer a valuable reference tool for those who seek an authentic account of Green’s technique, or who marvel at how the quietly steadfast guitarist elevated the often thankless job of rhythm guitar to an essential part of one of jazz history’s most powerful rhythm sections. — ARSC Journal

Review: 1/22/2015

Alfred Green has done a marvelous job of gathering the facts about his father’s life, interviewing musicians and others who knew or were influenced by Freddie, providing analyses of his style and technique, and providing relevant information about their personal relationship. . . .This book is valuable on many levels. For the layman who loves jazz and big bands, there is ample information and entertainment, for musicians, particularly guitarists, the technical aspects of Freddie Green’s artistry are addressed, and for whose approach to jazz is an educational one, it offers a wealth of information about various areas of jazz history. It is well conceived and nicely writtened, a valuable addition to jazz literature.

— Jersey Jazz (Journal of the New Jersey Jazz Society)

Review: 8/27/2015

[The book] also includes some great stories - a successful feat by author-son to personalize and demystify his musician-father.

— The Charleston Chronicle

Rview: 10/18/2015

Alfred Green presents a good overview of his father’s career. . . .Green adequately summarizes his father’s career without getting bogged down in details or becoming technical when discussing music . . . General readers can enjoy the book.

— Music Charts Magazine

Review: 10/13/15

"Alfred Green solves the problem of being the observer and the son at the same time in the best way possible. His ability to change perspectives only adds to the understanding of Freddie Green's musical contribution to jazz. In all of this, his personal connection, his memories and feelings never get in the way of the scholarly effort, the research that went into the project of documenting Freddie Green's life. He does not have him sound like a saint but like a human being striving for the best as good as he could. After reading "Rhythm Is My Beat", I feel like knowing Freddie Green better, both as a musician and as a man. Thanks for such an enjoyable read with so many new insights into Freddie Green's life and jazz history in general."

- Dr. Wolfram Knauer (Director) Jazzinstitut Darmstadt (Germany)

Review: 9/16/2015

"I’m really enjoying reading your book. I got a late start because I was finishing another book for a community reading project. So far I’m digging this view into the life and times of Mr. Rhythm while discovering what it was like in the 1920s and 1930s in both Charleston and the various neighborhoods of New York. The extended family, food, house rent parties, etc...all so cool. I also appreciate the timeline you provided at the outset. It was very helpful for putting things into context (and even set me straight on a few facts). I find the book to be socially and historically meaningful, while also being entertaining and intellectual. You’ve done an amazing job assembling your own experiences and memories along with the stories of others and the vast historical resources you cite. Very impressive!"

- Carl Severance - freddiegreen.org

“I have not finished the book yet but am enjoying and savoring it. Well written and researched from what I can tell. Freddie Green is certainly one of the most iconic jazz figures in history and one of my favorite guitarists of all time. I am also a big fan over the years of the Basie band and saw them at Westbury New York when the Count and Freddie were still there in the early 1970s. Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson were also on the bill--quite a night. A friend of mine who was not yet into jazz came along and was blown away not being accustomed to that level of professionalism and musicality. The author of course is the son of the subject and has done a heartfelt, respectful and objective job all at the same time. Bravo! Buy the book even if the price is a bit high.”

- Frank on October 7, 2015 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase (Amazon.com)

"Great history of one of the greatest rhythm guitarists."

- Molly on September 19, 2015 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase (Amazon.com)

Book Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Pages: 336 * 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-4422-4246-3 * Hardback * $75.00

ISBN: 978-1-4422-4247-0 * eBook * $74.99

Series: Studies in Jazz

Subjects: Music / Individual Composer & Musician, Biography & Autobiography / Composers & Musicians, Music / Genres & Styles / Jazz, Music / History & Criticism, Music / Musical Instruments / Guitar/ Freddie Green

Table of Contents


Chapt. 1: God Said: Let There Be Rhythm and Freddie Green Heard the Call
Chapt. 2: The Trail to Basie
Chapt. 3. Finding the Groove
Chapt. 4. Building the Wave
Chapt. 5. On the Road
Chapt. 6. You Don't Screw With What Got You Here
Chapt. 7. You Don't Have to Shout to Be Heard
Chapt. 8. Mr. Rhythm the Man

Appendix 1: The Quest of Freddie Green: From Ukulele to "Mr. Rhythm"
by Michael Pettersen

Appendix 2: The Dynamic Chord and Muted Notes (DCMN) Analysis of Freddie Green's Rhythm Guitar Style: What's in a "One Note" Chord?
by M.D. Allen

Appendix 3: For the Experienced Jazz Guitarist: Freddie Green Fundamentals
by Michael Pettersen

Appendix 4: Favorite Chord Voicings of Freddie Green
by Michael Pettersen

Appendix 5: String Height of Freddie's Guitar and How it Shaped His Unique Style
by Michael Pettersen

Appendix 6: Did Freddie Green Always Play the Guitar Charts "As Written?"
by Michael Pettersen

Appendix 7: Improvised Jazz Counterpoint: The Stylistic Characteristics of Freddie Green's Rhythm Guitar Playing
by Trevor de Clerq

Appendix 8: Freddie Green's One Note Chord Technique: Supporting Evidence from Other Guitarist

Appendix 9: Chapter Transcriptions

Appendix 10: The Ultimate Transcription

Appendix 11: Freddie Green Compositions Compiled by Mark Allen

Appendix 12: Freddie Green Recordings: A Selected Discography

Appendix 13: Freddie Green on Film and Video

Appendix 14: Freddie Green's Non-Basie Recordings



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