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Master Class-Stride Piano Keene NH

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of piano players like the mention of stride piano. This seemingly impossible old style is like ragtime on steroids, and pushes jazz pianists to the limit.

Valerie A.
(877) 231-8505
Beechstone
Portsmouth, NH
Subjects
Music Theory, Piano, Flute
Ages Taught
10 to 30
Specialties
For Piano I prefer to teach beginning students.
Education
University of New Hampshire - Music Education - 9/2005 - 5/2009 (Bachelor's degree received)
Membership Organizations
TakeLessons Music Teacher

Data Provided by:
Valerie A.
(877) 231-8505
Academic Way
Durham, NH
Subjects
Music Theory, Flute, Piano
Ages Taught
10 to 30
Specialties
For Piano I prefer to teach beginning students.
Education
University of New Hampshire - Music Education - 9/2005 - 5/2009 (Bachelor's degree received)
Membership Organizations
TakeLessons Music Teacher

Data Provided by:
Concord Community Music School
(603) 228-1196
23 Wall Ccms St
Concord, NH
 
Westbay George Guitar Lessons
(603) 665-9076
922 Elm St
Manchester, NH
 
Music Together of Portsmouth
(603) 431-4755
95 Albany St
Portsmouth, NH
 
Ian Walsh
5B Upper Rd
Plaistow, NH
Instruments
Audio Recording, Composition, Ear Training, Electric Bass, Guitar, Other, Piano, Recording, Theory
Styles
Blues, Classical, Electronic, Folk - Country - Bluegrass, Jazz, Kids, Other, Rock - Alternative, World
Experience Levels
Beginner, Intermediate
Rate
$30
Years of Experience
8 Years

Data Provided by:
Keene Community Music Center
(603) 352-6011
39 Central Sq
Keene, NH
 
Practice Makes Perfect Music Learning Center
(603) 898-9010
361 S Broadway
Salem, NH
 
Peterborough Music Company Llc
(603) 924-2145
19 Wilton Rd
Peterborough, NH
 
Northstar Music
(603) 382-2242
37 Plaistow Rd Unit 12
Plaistow, NH
 
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Master Class-Stride Piano

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of piano players like the mention of stride piano. This seemingly impossible old style is like ragtime on steroids, and pushes jazz pianists to the limit. The left hand alternates a low bass, frequently played in tenths, with close position mid range chords, while the right hand provides melody, syncopations, lines, and runs. The total effect is a relentless, locked-downswing eighth-note feel.

Even if you can’t invest the hours necessary to master stride, studying its fundamentals will increase your harmonic language skills and center your time feel.Plus, there’s nothing wrong with gaining an appreciation of an almost-lost art that has inspired everyone from Duke Ellington, ArtTatum, and Oscar Peterson to Dick Hyman,Marcus Roberts, Kenny Werner, and Bill Charlap. Beyond the flash and the bluster of stride is a deep awareness of song structure, chord voicing, root movement and harmony, and most of all, swing.

Ex. 1. When playing stride, your left hand is the rhythm section, and it never lets up. Practice getting used to the motion of your left arm, aiming low with your fifth finger to hit the bass note, then moving quickly to the middle register to grab a chord. In example 1a, the chords move from I to V7, F to C7, using an alternating bass note on beats 1 and 3. One trick: Start the V7 (C7) on the fifth (G) of the chord instead of the root. This way you don’t have to repeat a note (C). Make your bass line more melodic in 1b by starting the F6 on the third (A) in the second measure, then move down to the V7 through a passing diminished chord (Abdim7). Since you start the V7on the fifth (G), substitute Gm7 and make a ii7-V7. Upstairs, notice the chord voicings in the last two measures. The top notes in each chord create a nice melody — D, E,D, C — and you can use your thumb to bring these out. Click here for audio.

Click sheet music images to open larger versions in a new tab or window.

0.KB0909_Lesson_Stride_Ex-01.jpg

 Ex. 2. Most of the great stride players like James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Earl "Fatha" Hines, and Art Tatum played tenths in the left hand, and sometimes added a third note with the second or third finger. The top thumb note adds a tenor voice and a rich counter-line; the effect is harmonically dense and exponentially more difficult to play.Give it a shot but don’t push it. Click here for audio.

0.KB0909_Lesson_Stride_Ex-02.jpg

Ex. 3. Try the same constructions show in Example 2 with two hands, to make things a bit simpler. It’s not cheating to break up the tenth and, at fast tempos, this is an effective technique. Here is a complete eighth-bar A-section with a turnaround, using the passing diminished and ii7-V7. Click here for audio.

0.KB0909_Lesson_Stride_Ex-03.jpg

Ex. 4. If you can handle tenths, here’s how it’s done. Notice the embellishing pickup at the end of bar 4 — E to F. Click here for audio.

0.KB0909_Lesson_Stride_Ex-04.jpg

Ex. 5. The right hand in stride is based on swing eighth-note lines, usually built on broken-up chord tones. Practice this example with simple chords in the left hand and get used ...

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