Technique exercise don’t necessarily place very highly on anyone’s to-do list, but in order of importance, there’s not much that outrank them! If your looking for some motivation to get out those technique books and start working through some scales and arpeggios again, here are five reasons why you want to become a technique pro:
Chords, scales, articulations, etc–technique works all the building blocks of all music. When you have a thorough understanding of these music basics, learning your pieces becomes much easier. Rather than having to read through each note in a scale passage, you instead recognize it as a G major scale and easily fly through the section. An in-depth and easily used resource for piano technique, the Browns Book of Scales is an excellent book to keep on hand as you incorporate technique into your regular practice.
More than just technical mastery, you want to be physically aware of yourself as well as you practice. Are you experiencing any tension in any part of your body? Are your wrists remaining relaxed and fluid? Is your back or shoulders tight at all? Being aware of yourself physically will greatly aid you as you seek to become a great proficient in your instrument. Work with your teacher to specifically address any areas of concern.
Take a minute to evaluate your typical performance. Is your playing marked by clarity or is your performance filled with mistakes, sounding muddied and sloppy? Unfortunately, much of what’s heard exemplifies anything but clarity and without a solid background in technique, your playing will never move beyond this average level of playing. If you’re seeking to move beyond the majority of performers, you must put a greater emphasis on learning and developing a strong mastery of technique.
Learning technique doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, with a few simple alterations, you can easily transform your technique practice into something enjoyable. Keep the following ideas in mind as you sit down to work on technique:
- Articulations: Change the articulations–play through legato, staccato, combination of both, etc.
- Dynamics: Use a variety of dynamic levels, including crescendos and decrescendos.
- Order: Have a list compiled of all of the different technical exercise you have to work on–scales, chords, arpeggios, etc. Begin every practice sessions starting with something different. One time start with major scales another time start with minor arpeggios and so on…
Obviously, if you haven’t practiced your piece/s you won’t be able to play with confidence. However, if you combine extensive practice with a strong base of technique you can face any performance, no matter how daunting with a greater sense of confidence in your playing ability.