What's the Purpose of Technique?

You have a musical longing inside. Some emotion, something deep that needs to be expressed. What enables you to express it?


What will enable you to express even better?


The more technique you have, the better equipped you are to express yourself more fully. That’s it. End of story.

If you are feeling an emotion that is best expressed in a flurry of fast notes, but you can’t play notes quickly, then you can not express yourself clearly.

If you are feeling an emotion akin to a crying, wailing bend, but don’t know how to bend a note, then you can not express yourself clearly.

If you are feeling an emotion that requires you to play very quietly, but you can’t play notes quietly, you can not express yourself clearly.

I could go on with tons more examples, but I think you get the point. The more technique you have, the more free you are to express yourself.

If I want to cut a board, and I have a hammer and nails, but no saw. I’m out of luck.

That’s what it’s like to lack technique.

So when you’re investing the time into learning technique, be encouraged that you are making a great investment of time!

We should always be devoting time to learning new techniques to learn on our instrument. And there will ALWAYS and FOREVER be new techniques to learn.

It’s the learning and growing that are part of what make the journey so fun.

May we all gain more and better technique!


Amen, @Luke !! :+1:

I formerly thought that hitting the -3" (or even more difficult the -3’") or cleanly hitting -2" -2’ -2 in sequence were perhaps interesting, but that I really did not need to master that. Wrong! :flushed: And for exactly the reasons you mention!

The same goes for blow bends at the upper register, or any of the overblows: having learned (at least some) of them, I can now express myself so much better in my music. And my motivation to master the ones I still cannot play well has only increased.

Great wisdom from the MAN: @Luke !! :sunglasses:


– Slim

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Thanks for your kind words @Slim! And you provide great examples here.

-2’ and -3" are really helpful in 2nd position because they define the V chord, and add SO MUCH INTEREST to a solo when used in that measure.

They also are nice for little chromatic lines like -2" -2’ -2 and 3 -3" -3’ -3.

And they’re absolutely ESSENTIAL if you want to play 3rd position over a standard blues. Furthermore, for extra style points, swooping from -2" to -2’ and from -3’’’ to -3" sounds so cool in 3rd position.

All this to say, I agree with you 100% with your choice of example.

Now for your overblow example, I must admit I’m a little like a puppy with its tail between its legs. As you know, I have yet to master overblows enough to start utilizing them in ‘real-life’ situations.

So it was humbling to read this example, lol! Thanks for challenging me, @Slim! You’re the MAN. :wink:


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Technique, It’s the journey .

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