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Question about stride playing #2741942
06/04/18 04:13 AM
06/04/18 04:13 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,928
Scotland
Beemer Offline OP
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Beemer  Offline OP
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I'm curious about how composers, when composing stride piano style, decide when to use a single bass note and when to use a bass octave. Looking at scores I fail to see a logical reason why one or the other is used at any particular time.

As a comparison it does not appear to follow a pattern like the simple root and fifth alternating bass does.

Perhaps someone can guide me on this.

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
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Re: Question about stride playing [Re: Beemer] #2741943
06/04/18 04:54 AM
06/04/18 04:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,588
Israel
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Nahum Online content
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Nahum  Online Content
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Israel
In The Entertainer of Scott Joplin, the basses are doubled to emphasize the scale wise movement. http://www.mutopiaproject.org/ftp/JoplinS/entertainer/entertainer-a4.pdf

Re: Question about stride playing [Re: Beemer] #2741948
06/04/18 05:26 AM
06/04/18 05:26 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,928
Scotland
Beemer Offline OP
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Beemer  Offline OP
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Thanks for your reply. However taking this piece, overall there appears to be some places where doubling is discontinued completely, perhaps just for variety. I'm not so sure about your "to emphasize the scale wise movement" comment.

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Question about stride playing [Re: Beemer] #2741952
06/04/18 05:39 AM
06/04/18 05:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,588
Israel
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Nahum Online content
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Nahum  Online Content
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Israel
Originally Posted by Beemer
I'm not so sure about your "to emphasize the scale wise movement" comment.

Ian
I did not guess, but analyzed the part of left hand. Look at notes.

Re: Question about stride playing [Re: Beemer] #2742007
06/04/18 09:48 AM
06/04/18 09:48 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,335
Toronto, Canada
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Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
Greener  Offline

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G
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,335
Toronto, Canada
In terms of playing it, wouldn't it be just a matter of whether you want a fuller sound?

You could use 5th, 6th, 7th, maj7th, single note or octave based on the chord you're on and how you feel about making the bass line fuller (or not) at the time.

I would think the process works much the same for Composers. If they like a fuller sound, they use a fuller bass.

The LH in Rag is often used like a second voice. It is particular and fussy and thus not a good example of how everyday stride may be applied to any piece that may not have been originally written that way. You can apply a stride pattern LH to lots of things and use your own judgement of how to fill up the bass line, or not.

Last edited by Greener; 06/04/18 09:55 AM.
Re: Question about stride playing [Re: Beemer] #2742282
06/05/18 12:47 PM
06/05/18 12:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 257
Kent, UK
Simon_b Offline
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Simon_b  Offline
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Posts: 257
Kent, UK
Hi

Strictly speaking ragtime isn't really stride Piano, but the same thing applies. The question can equally be asked in Jazz stride pieces where 10ths are used, as well as octaves and single notes in the left-hand.

You could equally ask why a composer uses a 3 note voicing in some chords, but 4 or 5 in others. Likewise the way a melody is voiced is an interesting question.

Answer in short to all the above (IMHO); its either to emphasise an aspect of the composition (as per Nahum's answer), or simply a variation to change the sound and keep the piece fresh.

No doubt there are some more esoteric reasons as well, but that's for cleverer people than me to explain.


Cheers


Simon
Yamaha CLP535

Play what you enjoy listening to, listen to what you enjoy playing!




Re: Question about stride playing [Re: Beemer] #2742340
06/05/18 04:21 PM
06/05/18 04:21 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,819
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
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pianoloverus  Online Content
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I think part of the choice is also just a general preference of a particular composer. James P. Johnson uses a lot of single notes, occasional octaves, and few tenths but Fats Waller uses mostly octaves and tenths and even filled in tenths.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 06/05/18 04:21 PM.
Re: Question about stride playing [Re: Beemer] #2742407
06/05/18 11:39 PM
06/05/18 11:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,944
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Whizbang Offline
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Whizbang  Offline
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Originally Posted by Beemer
I'm curious about how composers, when composing stride piano style, decide when to use a single bass note and when to use a bass octave. Looking at scores I fail to see a logical reason why one or the other is used at any particular time.


From the ragtime pieces I know, it tends to be mostly consistent--use of a single bass note mostly throughout or mostly octaves throughout. Joplin's works vary in this regard.

A full octave stride bass is harder than a single note bass and a concern of early publications was difficulty, so some rags may have been simplified in an attempt to be playable by more people.

Low bass notes can really dominate as well, so it is possible that there is some thinning of the bass if the octave would send the bass too low.

However, I don't really have any definitive reference as to which rags might have been simplified or a consistent reason as to why a composer might choose one over the other.


Whizbang [Linked Image]
amateur ragtime pianist
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala
Re: Question about stride playing [Re: Beemer] #2742418
06/06/18 01:57 AM
06/06/18 01:57 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 412
LA CA
Rob Mullins Offline
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Rob Mullins  Offline
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Posts: 412
LA CA
Originally Posted by Beemer
Thanks for your reply. However taking this piece, overall there appears to be some places where doubling is discontinued completely, perhaps just for variety. I'm not so sure about your "to emphasize the scale wise movement" comment.

Ian

Hi Ian:
It's a complex issue.
When working with melodies, often a firm octave reinforcement in the right hand
gives emphasis to the finish.
In the bass, it gets more complex depending on needed volume, emphasis,
hand size, reharmonization, and inversions.
Sorry it isn't more simple, but it it were, everyone would be doing it well.
Cheers.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
Re: Question about stride playing [Re: Beemer] #2743031
06/08/18 12:11 PM
06/08/18 12:11 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,928
Scotland
Beemer Offline OP
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Beemer  Offline OP
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Posts: 1,928
Scotland
I asked the question because for me I find that, I frequently double the bass even if the score does not call for it.

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Question about stride playing [Re: Beemer] #2743038
06/08/18 12:43 PM
06/08/18 12:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,588
Israel
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Nahum Online content
2000 Post Club Member
Nahum  Online Content
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Posts: 2,588
Israel
As I said: there is nothing accidental in the left hand of stride.
Count Basie:

[Linked Image]

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