Why Technique?

Every Tuesday (or thereabouts) we will post some tips on how to get more out of your technical practice. But the big question parents often ask us is “why technique"?” and the answer is simple and it’s also not simple.

Technique is the foundation for being able to do things on any instrument. It trains our fingers - in fact it’s very much like going to the gym when you are preparing for a marathon. While you can run and run and run - you need to do other things to help you get ready to complete the marathon! Technique is very much like that. Our pieces often have elements that are lifted right from the technical exercises that we practice to warm up. But we can’t just jump into a practice “cold”; we need to warm our fingers up so they can learn their task well. Technique is that warm up.

Technique also helps us analyze our music. As I said, music tends to have technical elements right in the piece. Learning those elements can help us recognize them in our music and then utilize the exercise to better play and understand the music. It’s all linked.

Learning technique can also teach us how to solve a specific problem. If I am having difficulty with a bass accompaniment I can often find that same technical exercise and practice it without the melody - this makes it easier on me when I put them hands together. It also makes for a more musical performance.

So technique is important- it’s good to warm up, it can help us understand our music and can help us solve problems when we are learning our pieces.