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 midrange chords, while the right hand provides melody, syncopations, lines, and runs. The total effect is a relentless, locked-down swing 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 centre your time feel.
Plus, there’s nothing wrong with gaining an