Stride players?

Posted by: stevewoodzell

Stride players? - 03/21/09 04:27 PM

Any stride players here? I've become obsessed, was wondering if anyone has any tips, advice or personal insights for practice & performance.. I've only just started working on it the past few months, up til now I've been playing mainly classical stuff.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Stride players? - 03/21/09 06:14 PM

Do a Youtube search on Adam Swansom, Jim Hession, Max Keenlyside, Dick Hyman, Fats Waller, Art Tatum or just stride piano. 1000's of videos are there. There are also many instructional videos by Dick Hyman and maybe Hession.

What pieces are you working on? Have you heard some of the stride classics? Some of the good stride piano books are Harlem Stride Piano and Fats Waller Transcriptions(I forget who did them).

In order of increasing difficulty IMHO are the works by James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Tatum(most of his are virtually impossible except for those with conservatory level technique). If you don't have big hands some of Waller's pieces can be difficult but if necessary you can roll all the LH tenths.

Here's a thread at Pianophilia where people have posted many stride pieces. You have to join but it's free. Many of the pdfs in the thread will have been deleted by now because they were posted a while ago, but if you ask nicely someone will almost always repost any deleted score you want.

http://www.pianophilia.com/pun/viewtopic.php?id=274

You could also try posting on the non classical piano forum at PW.

There is a terrific stride pianist who plays every weekday afternoon in a huge skyscraper atrium(so there's no charge) in Manhattan near 53rd and Madison. PM me for further details if you want.
Posted by: Andromaque

Re: Stride players? - 03/21/09 06:22 PM

This may be totally ignorant, but why is it called stride? blush
Posted by: stevewoodzell

Re: Stride players? - 03/21/09 10:20 PM

Thanks pianoleverus, thats good info.. I picked up the Maple Leaf Rag a little while ago and then decided to try out my left hand at various approaches to Putting on the Ritz, I've Got Rhythm and some other tin pan alley and prohibition era stuff I've found online. My first objective is regaining some practice discipline however (I'm about five years out of regular practice, eek) so I haven't got too far with any tunes yet. I'm familiar with Waller and Tatum but not intimately so...time to dive in!

@andromaque- stride refers to the left hand "striding" a steady beat, alternating between bass notes and a high chord. it creates a great swing rhythm, kind of like a walking bassline but with chord voicings...really infectious stuff

ps good call, did not see the non-classical forum!
Posted by: Claude56

Re: Stride players? - 03/21/09 10:28 PM

Lol infectious!

Yeah, I used to get sick every time I heard Handful of Keys. It made be jump up and down all day...
Posted by: Claude56

Re: Stride players? - 03/21/09 10:41 PM

I would say most of Tatum's pieces are at the Chopin level. You just got to have good technique in order to play it even half good.

The easiest runs in my experience are his pentatonic scale runs. He has many others, but in my opinion, those are the easiest.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Stride players? - 03/22/09 05:17 AM

John Farrell's transcription of Ayer's King Chanticleer is a tremendous amount of fun to play.

A midi is here (No.31):

http://www.stridepiano.co.uk/id2.html


Mel
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Stride players? - 03/22/09 12:22 PM

Originally Posted By: noSkillz
I would say most of Tatum's pieces are at the Chopin level. You just got to have good technique in order to play it even half good.


But there are a fairly large number of Chopin's works(the easier waltzes, mazurkas, preludes,nocturnes)that can be handled from a technical point by intermediate pianists with say 5 years of playing. I don't think there are any Tatum pieces in this category.

If all you need is "good technique" to play Tatum's works, why was he considered a "god", especially from a technical standpoint by most jazz pianists?

What level of technique do you think is needed to play these?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHzOnLpY6V8&feature=channel_page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib_3iZHIaqA

or even the relatively easy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9RPf4xtW1g
Posted by: Claude56

Re: Stride players? - 03/22/09 08:55 PM

I believe Tatum's pieces are late intermediate to very advanced. If you want to play his very advanced pieces, go ahead and play his very fast full stride arrangements of Tiger Rag, the Shout, Liza, Tatum Pole Boogie, or How High the Moon. These I believe, are at the Liszt level. But if you are only playing Tatum's slower pieces, you are probably at the Chopin/Chopin etude level.

I would say Tea for Two is most likely somewhere in the Chopin level, but I cannot really tell, because in the middle of the piece, he does a run of E flat pentatonic thirds down and up the keyboard in the right hand. I have played the piece, but everytime I play those thirds, I mess it up badly. So most of time, I don't play the thirds, and I play a E flat pentatonic scale instead.

Art Tatum was a virtuoso of the Liszt level, but like many composers, I believe he didn't incorporate all his technique he had into every piece. Rather than making them all technically difficult pieces, it was more about giving his arrangements some "soul". Art Tatum, like the classical players, knew harmony very well. He pointed the way to the future, and his harmony and impovisational techniques would influence the bebop players. That's why Art was God, because he could improvise better than most other jazz players. Even if you can play Art Tatum's Tiger Rag, you still are not Art Tatum, because most likely you cannot improvise or hear things at his level.

Tatum's runs are not the best technical exercises out there. Take, for example, the pentatonic scale he does every once in a while. It only uses the first three fingers and this can probably be accomplished by the late intermediate pianist. Another reason why they are not the best is that they don't improve your technique as much as pieces like Chopin, Alkan etudes, although they require the same level of technique. All I want to say is, if you want to play as technical as Art Tatum, I would reccommend that you play some Chopin, Alkan, Liszt etudes first.
Posted by: ClassicalMan

Re: Stride players? - 03/24/09 09:17 PM

Playing ragtime can also help you develop stride playing. Although stride is more harmonically adventurous, the huge left hand jumps that classify stride can help.

I would recommend listening to one of the greatest stride players around today, Judy Carmichael or Mike Lipskin...especially Judy. Get her 2 book for beginning stride players. http://judycarmichael.com/CDs.shtml#book It comes with a CD and will definitely help develop technique. The two I find good are "you can play stride" and "introduction to stride".

Although Art Tatum played top level stride piano, his techniques emanated from what he heard Fats Waller and James P. Johnson do, except Tatum was a mental genius with his virtuoso stride/jazz playing.

www.perfessorbill.com for ragtime/stride resources
Posted by: Norah

Re: Stride players? - 03/25/09 01:10 AM

I agree with Classicalman. I play stride from Judy Carmichael's book "You can Play Stride Piano" and I use the CD for difficult timing. After listening to Count Basie's Jive at Five I never thought I would be able to play that fast but taking bar by bar....it's all possible and a lot of fun. For some reason I had a mental block with bars 53-58 and after listening to the CD for like a hundred times, I think I have it. I would love to hear her in concert.
Posted by: hv

Re: Stride players? - 03/25/09 03:44 PM

Just uploaded some vids from this past weekend that happened to be a little Stride heavy. Here's some links with wife Sue Keller & my good friend Bill Edwards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC8ZM2d2gTU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0IHiDUv_sk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPNLoKdMKmQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-gcHjhekRU

and some of my older favs with another friend, Paul Asaro:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ7RifVuAU0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FszElLDFzmw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBRjpboMlE0

... Adam Swanson was also on hand this past weekend... should be up later tonight or tomorrow. But he was more into the Novelty style. But remarkable, none the less.

Howard
Posted by: hv

Re: Stride players? - 03/26/09 01:00 PM

... here's the more complete playlist including young Adam Swanson:

Peoria Piano Preview on YouTube

Howard
Posted by: Bhav

Re: Stride players? - 03/26/09 01:43 PM

Michael Sands playing the Charleston (Winifred Atwell version):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX1Y-xr36A4

Best stride piece ever.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Stride players? - 03/26/09 02:31 PM

Some much better versions IMHO of this song in terms of the arrangement and performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9PkPDzj1Fs&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQVjXrbi-kM&feature=related

I find the Atwell version rather boring compared to the two above because the bass pattern is almost the same throughout and I think it repeats the chorus indefinitely. I think Sands has a very good technique, but maybe because of poor mike placement the LH sounds louder than the RH. Also, the playing is almost metronomic and the piano seems horribly out of tune.
Posted by: Bhav

Re: Stride players? - 03/27/09 02:06 AM

It is a honky tonk piece, Atwells music is supposed to be out of tune!

I find it infectious and addictive.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Stride players? - 03/27/09 07:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Bhav
It is a honky tonk piece, Atwells music is supposed to be out of tune!


Although honky tonk was sometimes played on poorly tuned pianos, I wouldn't go so far as to say it supposed to be played on this kind of piano. The pianos shown in the other videos aren't wildly out of tune, I don't think the pianos at the Old Time Piano Festivals and stride contests are out of tune. They're often nice looking and sounding grands.

What do you see as the difference between honky tonk and Harlen stride piano music?
Posted by: pegama

Re: Stride players? - 09/01/10 04:24 AM

The best (only) way to learn stride piano is to learn with good transcriptions of the stride masters.

The only collection of stride piano accurate transcriptions can be found here :

http://www.blueblackjazz.com/sheetmusic.html

I recommend them to anybody who's interested in stride piano.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Stride players? - 09/01/10 07:29 AM

Originally Posted By: pegama


The only collection of stride piano accurate transcriptions can be found here :

http://www.blueblackjazz.com/sheetmusic.html

There are also the previously mentioned Harlem Stride Piano collection and a book of Waller transcriptions other than those at the above site. A huge number of Tatum transcriptions are available at various places on the web and there is the Stride piano thread at Pianophilia with numerous other works.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Stride players? - 09/01/10 11:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Andromaque
This may be totally ignorant, but why is it called stride? blush

Mike Lipskin said that according to Willy "The Lion" Smith, stride meant "alternation." So the term probably comes from walking by strides.
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: Stride players? - 09/01/10 01:40 PM

Ralph Sutton as well comes to mind as a most excellent stride pianist in its purest form.

Stephanie Trick plays pure stride piano - great fun to watch. Hand Full of Keys and Viper Drag are great examples of pure stride. Have fun checking out the rest of her stride videos, and as well contained on her website. What a treasure!

Enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET3n09AfY68

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbWtL4taFJI

Glen

Posted by: hv

Re: Stride players? - 09/01/10 04:36 PM

Isn't Stephenie just great? Here's a link to the complete concert she played at when I had her over:

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=1090363F29678AFF
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D92CDE3F3F0CCF42

Adam Yarian's another one. But he's been preoccupied with college and Law School the last few years. Need to get them both back and shoot some more.

Howard
Posted by: Gyro

Re: Stride players? - 09/01/10 04:38 PM

Stride is great for playing by ear. That is, hit
a low bass note, any note, you're not thinking
any specific chord. Then a higher note, or chord,
any note or chord, you're not thinking a specific
chord or note. All this while you improvise
with the rt. hand, all by ear.
Posted by: pegama

Re: Stride players? - 09/16/10 07:44 AM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: pegama


The only collection of stride piano accurate transcriptions can be found here :

http://www.blueblackjazz.com/sheetmusic.html

There are also the previously mentioned Harlem Stride Piano collection and a book of Waller transcriptions other than those at the above site. A huge number of Tatum transcriptions are available at various places on the web and there is the Stride piano thread at Pianophilia with numerous other works.


I mean the only collection with a hight quality of transcriptions : Posnak transcriptions are not very accurate and Scivaled book includes some partial transcriptions.