Stride Piano Lesson: Free Video and Tips

stride piano lessonsAre you looking for some more interesting ways of playing your favorite jazz standards and chord progressions on piano?

Well, in today’s jazz piano lesson we’re going to study a classic rhythmic way of doing this called stride piano. (Video lesson, notation, and tips below.)

This particular style was made famous by many great players like Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Willie “The Lion” Smith, James P. Johnson, and Fats Waller.

It’s a very fun style to play and it can immediately add some variety and sophistication to your jazz piano arrangements. Plus, it’s not to hard to learn!

Lets get started learning now! I suggest you watch the video below first and then scroll down for notation and extra tips.

Stride Piano Lesson Notation

stride piano chords

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7 Tips To Help You Master This Lesson

1.The chords I’m using are rootless voicings. If you need more help building these chords then check out this whole lesson on rootless piano chords.

2. The basic concept behind stride is a low bass note is played on beats 1 and 3 and chords (toward the center of the piano) are played on beats 2 and 4.

3. You can add the stride piano rhythmic style to almost any jazz standard that’s in 4/4.

4. This particular style would even work great on many rock classics. For example, songs like “When I’m 64″ by The Beatles or “Bennie and The Jets” by Elton John.

5. In order to speed up the tempo on stride piano and not drag always remember to keep your hands close to the keyboard.

In other words, don’t make your leaps broader motions than they need to be. It’s inefficient and cause you to drag your timing.

6. If you need more help learning jazz piano then check out this huge list of other jazz piano lessons

7. For a super fun and killer example of stride check out this Errol Garner video. It’s sort of an older fashion or “retro” sound but very fun none the less!

He starts striding about 27 seconds in.

Now, let me turn the floor over to you. What songs would you like to add stride piano into? What do you think would work great with stride?

If you’re already playing stride what songs are you using it on? Please leave a comment below.

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Steve Nixon is the proud owner of Freejazzlessons.com. He is a world touring jazz and blues keyboard player and educator.

Steve is the author of Premium Jazz Lessons Elite Membership (A comprehensive all-in-one online jazz piano course.)

He is also the author of the The Jazz Masters Method DVD (A study of 9 legendary jazz piano players).

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His brand new course \”The Christmas Jazz Piano Super System\” will be released on Monday November 3rd, 2014.



  • odin387

    When I think of stride, Hazel Scott comes to mind. She was something else!

  • Brian

    thx I’ll try to Satin Doll :3