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#1141837 - 06/17/05 07:30 PM Faux Stride
Riddler Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 803
Loc: Florida
Recently I watched a TV program with a pianist named Bradley Sowash demonstrating a left hand accompaniment method he called "faux stride" or “fake stride”. The problem he was addressing is that it gets tougher and tougher to swing that left hand back and forth between the root or fifth, and the chord, as the tempo gets faster. One of his solutions is to play a single note on each beat, using fifth finger or thumb only; i.e., on the first beat, hit a low C with fifth finger, on the second, a C an octave above that with thumb, etc. The total effect sounds a bit like stride, in spite of the fact that no chords are being played, especially if you are keeping busy with your right hand.

Another method I have read about is to play root with fifth finger on the first beat, then 3rd and 7th with other fingers on the second beat, all within an octave, so as to minimize left hand motion.

Are there any other tricks for creating a stride sound at faster tempos?


My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.

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#1141838 - 06/19/05 03:04 AM Re: Faux Stride
Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 790
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
I know it sounds silly but for some reason I cannot explain I have always found single notes and other abbreviations far harder than octave or tenth plus chord. I am much more likely to miss a single note at speed than an octave. For this reason I always substitute octaves for any single notes in the left hand of ragtime e.g. Joplin or Scott - played more lightly if necessary.

I think it's something to do with balance of the hand. If I have to strike a single note at the bottom in classical pieces I often find it better to use my third finger than my fifth, which fingering sounds really stupid but is in fact easier for me.

A case in point is the Scivales transcription of Carolina Shout. There are many single notes at the bottom. I find these a bit awkward and I substitute octaves for them.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

#1141839 - 06/19/05 03:17 PM Re: Faux Stride
Sweep88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 190
Loc: Ohio
it sounds like your'e comping more than striding... 2 questions...

Can you reach tenths, and... why would you want to "create" a stride sound instead of just striding it???

Sweep88= a stride jazz pianist
I try to live, love and laugh as much as I can every day, because every day may be my last

#1141840 - 06/19/05 05:27 PM Re: Faux Stride
Riddler Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 803
Loc: Florida
<<2 questions...

Can you reach tenths, >>

Eb to Gb - yes; Db to F - no; C to E - almost.


Here's my predicament. I am a (totally amateur) organist-turned pianist, and I am struggling with the transition. The problem: how to do with my LH, that which I formerly did with my foot plus LH. It's not just that my LH is weak (which it is), the larger problem is in my brain (which isn't really all that strong either!) - I have to focus so much on my LH that I lose focus on my RH improvising; and when left to their own devices, my RH fingers have a tendency to just regurgitate fingering exercises. On the organ, my foot + LH tended to become a robot accompanist, leaving most of my mind free to think about my RH playing; now my LH is gobbling up a lot of my attention. Thus, I am looking for LH techniques that are not so all-consuming.

Another way to put it - on the organ, I always knew, without looking, where my foot was; on the piano, especially when trying to play stride style, I have to keep watching my LH.

Practice, of course, might solve this problem - time will tell.


My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.


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