A Section Shells & Stride
In the previous module we covered a number of drills and exercises to improve our confidence with left hand stride. We will now introduce the melody in our right hand and explore some different techniques for outlining the harmony in our left hand.
Create A Varied Accompaniment
When we are playing in a stride style we don’t have to exclusively stick to the stride left-hand pattern. Whilst the stride creates the foundation of our left hand accompaniment, we can also introduce other types of voicings such as left hand shell voicings and two-handed spread voicings.
Melodic & Harmonic Considerations
The stride left hand pattern is particularly effective when we have a single chord in the measure and/or space in the melody. In this case the stride left hand adds rhythmic and harmonic interest. Conversely, when we have a busy melody line and/or multiple chord changes per measure, we can opt for other voicing techniques such as shell and spread voicings.
Intertwine the stride left hand pattern with occasional shell and spread voicings to create a more varied accompaniment and arrangement.
Always keep in mind the melody and the harmony which can help you to determine the most suitable choice of voicing structure in your left hand.
Outline the quarter beat with your left hand when playing spread and shell voicings to help create a steady pulse as you play through the tune.