“Technique” is a word that seems to be inextricably connected with learning the guitar. Inevitably, every student asks about technique in one shape or form. The term “technique” means many things to many students. However, the most obvious one comes in the form of a question. “How can I get my technique better?” Translation, “How can I play faster.” So, we will skim the tip of this mighty iceberg and see what we find.
I myself used to ask that same question and at the time I was asking it, I found no good answers. In fact, not one of my teachers in my early years of music school were able to direct me in a way that yielded any results. Playing fast was always something “that guy” could do and it was never something that I was even able to approach. “He has great technique,” was the common expression that was so often used.
Since then, I have gone through a myriad of picking techniques. I have changed picks many times. I have done exercises for my right and left hands. I have watched countless videos and tutorials and FINALLY, I have figured out the right questions to ask and the best way to diagnose what a learner needs in order to figure out which is the best way to pick…for THEM! One size does not fit all!
I think back to my early days and wish that I had a teacher who could have looked at my right hand and help me figure out what I needed. Instead, I have become “that guy!” Not just “that guy” who can play with good technique, but more importantly I have become “that guy” who can diagnose what is going on with a learner’s right and left hands and teach a learnable method.
Building technique takes patience, time, discipline, and courage. The brilliant thing about this journey is that “it” has been figured out. There are 10s of thousands of guitarists that can play fast and literally, anyone can develop good technique. Though the question is,”how bad to you want it?”