Stride piano technique

Hi everyone!
I’d like to improve the stride piano technique but I don’t know if there are some course in pianogroove. Could you tell me if there are any course about it or something than you could recommend me?



Hi Ric :wave:t2:

Good question!

Firstly, a handy feature is to search for the word “stride” in the search box on the main website.

This will give you a list of all lessons (theory and jazz standard lessons) which include the word “stride” on the page. There are 3 pages of results that you can see here: You searched for stride |

I would recommend learning some of the jazz piano arrangements as then you will have a better understanding of how the stride style is applied in actual tunes and compositions.

In fact, my live seminar last week was on the tune “Body & Soul” and we covered some information on stride technique - so check that one out.

It’s also worth pointing out that stride is a somewhat loose term and incorporates different styles of playing with the main differentiating feature being the tempo.

For example, Tuomo’s tutorial here on the tune “Manhattan” has a medium tempo:

Whereas you will find with my jazz standard arrangements they are mostly ballads and I often introduce a stride feel in the 2nd half of the tune to build towards a climax, a nice example would be my arrangement of “Embraceable You”:

A few other lessons I would recommend to you are:



I believe @Tuomo studied and transcribed a lot of stride music in the past, so I’m sure he can give you some additional direction with musicians and discography to gain a deeper understanding of the style.

Hope that helps Ric!


Thanks a lot!
I like this technique because is useful for playing anything, but for me, is so complicated if you are playing only with a left hand, and doubling the bass line.
I have listened Mary Lou Williams in a piano solo concert in Montreux Festival 1978 and it’s amazing!


Given your comments, you might enjoy Emmett Cohens’ new album Future Stride (2021 Mack Avenue). According to a review in The Guardian,

[he] revisits the stride piano sound of the roaring 20s on a set of classics and originals with charm to spare. . . . The “stride” of the title number refers to a piano style that evolved in 1920s Harlem, and the piece features bursts of stride barging into passages of later styles. It’s funny and must be fiendishly difficult to play.

Here are a few tunes: the title tune, “Dardanella,” and a really beautiful ballad by Jimmy Van Heusen. Enjoy!

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Hi guys, I’m happy to talk about stride piano, give tips etc. :slight_smile:

For starters, check out the legends! There are numerous great stride pianists to influence us, but here some of them you can start with, and songs that are considered their iconic pieces:

Fats Waller - Handful Of Keys

Willie The “Lion” Smith - Fingerbuster

James P. Johnson - Carolina Shout

Also, for more modern, sophisticated stride style check out Hank Jones’ solo piano records:


If people are interested, maybe we can do a course in the future :slight_smile:



Thanks Tuomo - this is great, and yes I think a dedicated stride course would be awesome in the future.

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Fingerbuster, isn’t that Jelly Roll? I’ve seen a good version by Dick Hyman on youtube. Then there’s that scene at the end of some Tim Roth movie on a cruise ship.

@TimD , you’re right, although Finger Buster is known as Willie The Lion Smith’s song, there’s also Finger Buster by Jelly Roll: