I’ve been on a technique kick lately.
A couple years ago I started learning drums. I got a cheap kit, some lessons… It turns out I love to play drums, and at a certain point I noticed that once you have the fundamentals down, the more you get into it the better you play. A positive-feedback loop sets off: you’re enjoying it—you get into the groove—your body locks into the rhythm—playing becomes more effortless and expressive—you start really sinking your teeth into it—your exuberance channels into your playing, into the snap of your wrist, the bounce of your foot on the kick-drum…
While I’d had similar experiences with the guitar, they were always tempered by missed pickstrokes, tense fingers, etc., so the positive-feedback loop was, if not broken, at least hampered. Rhythm, dynamics, and creativity soared, while accuracy suffered and dragged the rest down with it.
I started wondering if I could reach that level of enjoyment—of everything clicking—on the guitar. Maybe if I retooled my technique I could whittle away at the technical obstacles hampering my playing.
I’ve since come across a lot of good teaching material aimed at cultivating that kind of effortless proficiency, especially among classical guitarists. Pepe Romero summed it up nicely: “It’s very easy to play the guitar well. It’s very difficult to play the guitar poorly.”
That’s why I’m on a technique kick lately.