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Lesson #9: Technical Proficiency

by Tyler de Witt posted on 1999-10-17
Topic: Technique Subtopic: General
Level: Beginner Number of Readers: 73439

Technical Proficiency

Many people tend to shun this topic. Some people make excuses for it, saying that creativity plays a much more important role. Whether or not creativity play a more important role, creativity won't mean a thing if you aren't able to play your creations with some level of technical ability.

On the other end, some people regard technical proficiency as the most important aspect of their playing. Many of these players like the idea of 'playing really fast'. There's nothing wrong with this, just don't let it control you.

This leads to the question of why we must develop our technical ability. We must develop our technical ability, so that we are physically able to play a song written down on a piece of paper, a song on the radio, or some musical idea in one's head. If the musical idea is very fast, but we are not able to play very fast, isn't it a shame that we can hear this, understand it, want to play it, but not be able to? But at the same time, just because we are able to play very fast, it doesn't mean that we have to take a musical idea, and then add all sorts of fancy stuff, and play it at a break neck speed.

Technical ability doesn't just mean being able to play really fast, although playing fast is an element of technical ability. It is everything that you must physically learn to do, from strumming, to two hand tapping, to changing chords, to legato runs, to playing with your teeth if you want to take it that far. And it is also how well you strum, or how well, you two hand tap, or how well you change chords, or how well you play with your teeth.

In general, technical ability should be used as a tool, through which we express the music that is in one's mind or from an external source, such as a written notation of a song. You can think of it as a machine, who's sole purpose is to make heard the music that you wish to make heard. After all, that's all a musical instrument is.

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