Gospel Stride Tutorial
In this lesson we explore gospel stride in the key of C using the classic gospel tune “Down By The River Side”.
Left Hand Gospel Stride
When playing gospel stride or any kind of stride on the piano we must play the bass note in our left hand and then bring our hand up to play the chord with the same hand.
There are 3 variations that we can play for our left hand bass notes. The simplest variation is to play the root note on its own. We can also play the root and 5th, octave bass, and even octave bass with an added 5th.
Simplify The Chord Progressions
To become efficient and effective at gospel stride, it’s important to first simplify the chord progression that we are working with. For this tune we can simplify the progression to just the I chord and the V chord which is Cmaj7 and G7.
We can also approach the root notes with a walk up. The walk ups can consist of both whole steps and half steps. An example would be approaching the bass note C with A, Bb, B, –> to C. This can be played with single notes or with octave bass.
The Role Of The Right Hand
The right hand can comp eighth or quarter note patterns similar to the role of the banjo. Inverting and slurring into our right hand chords adds more character and interest to the stride performance.
Finally, we can arpeggiate the chord tones in our right hand and add slurs from the b3 to the 3, and the b5 to the 5 of each chord.
“Down By The Riverside” Score File Type: pdf
Gospel Stride Patterns File Type: pdf
“Down By The Riverside” Transcription File Type: pdf