The Secret to ‘Perfect’ Technique

Right and wrong

There are so many versions of correct. What is correct technique? Economy of movement, classical discipline, the easiest to do?

There are many different schools of technique and methodology and it is easy to get overwhelmed in ‘I should do this’ or ‘I shouldn’t do that’.

Whilst there are many shared ideas from different genres, everybody is unique in style, physically and emotionally and so technique is an individual thing. What may work for some, may not work for others. The technique of Bob Dylan or Jimi Hendrix is certainly very different from Segovia but one could not deny the musical brilliance of all three.


First we must understand purpose. What are we trying to achieve? What are our goals? And when we have this we can lay out a practical plan to integrate this into our playing. Once truly integrated, everything we have learnt becomes instinctive and it is possible to creatively engage with the music without the burden of intellect – much like when we speak our mother tongue.

For a new student with no experience, choosing the path and method is not an easy undertaking and musical guidance is definitely helpful. Methodology is defined by the individual’s needs and carefully finding the point between what the student can do unaided and what is out of their reach is key.

There is little point floundering in the unknown or indeed going round and round something already mastered. Locating this area of growth is crucial to motivation and there is no ‘one size fits all’.

Ch ch changes

As individuals, we change and therefore it is not wrong for our technique and methodology to adapt also. There are many ideas shared in lessons and lessons are not just a one-way knowledge session.

Teachers can also learn constantly and each session provides feedback that can improve what is taught. This continuous improvement is both invigorating and inspiring. It keeps the subject matter alive and no two sessions are ever the same.

Correct technique can be an exciting evolution of ideas and practical awareness in the moment rather than some Herculean task.

So how to have perfect technique?

There is no denying that structure and technique are central to mastery of an instrument and there are many ways to do this dependent on the individual. As a starter here is a simple way to move forward:

  1. Know what you are aiming for
  2. Know how to practically do it
  3. Know how to measure whether you are achieving it and finally and very importantly
  4. DO IT!

Of course there is much, much more to discuss around the area of mastery of an instrument and we will be exploring many different ideas over the coming months with posts from MusicMaps Guides and Mentors. Watch this space!