Flashy Music Techniques – Build a Solid Playing Technique Foundation First


in Music Technique

Flashy Music Techniques can mask or hide poor music performance. It might look good when you are visually doing something well, but the underlying performance may not be up to snuff. Quickest way to find out:

Close your eyes and listen; you may quickly find out that the flashy music technique is nothing more than a cover for poor musical performance. Ever watch American idol judges, notice from time to time they close there eyes as to not be distracted by the performer.

I’ve been talking lately about ideas that have been brought to my attention by Victor Wooten and his book “The Music Lesson”.


Misdirection of Poor Music Technique

This idea of showmanship is a misdirection. The dancing, the movements, and the funny facial looks are, intended or not, to distract from the underlying music. These performances can hide and mask poor music technique.

I’ve found myself trying to gloss over a passage or series of notes, grace notes, and accidentals due to an inadequately learned playing technique. It’s a direct result of having to concentrate on something that should have been more second nature than on the music expression.

Discover If You’re Technique Needs Improvement

One issue that you may come across is thinking you are doing really well at playing when in fact you are convincing yourself that you are doing well, but really are not.

Others will be too nice to tell you the truth. They’ll encourage you onward and give you praise.

Here are simple steps to check it out.

  1. Play your piece of music and use a recording device, iPhone, smart phone, tape recorder, or any other recording device.
  2. Don’t worry about making it perfect just play as if you were in a practice session. Even do it after you’ve warmed up a few times. NO PRESSURE!
  3. Now listen to what you have played, close your eyes so you full focus is on what you played.
  4. Identify the places where you need improvement.

This simple process is not used by many people, but it can be a great way to find the areas where you are struggling to master a technique or just learn certain note changes, rhythm, or connecting chord changes.

You may find that your study mode shows that moving from one measure to another is where you should focus your efforts.

Adding Flashy Music Technique

flashy music techniquesOnce you have established a solid foundation in your performance techniques then you can add the flashy stuff, it will naturally flow from that solid foundation.

You build various playing techniques into solid second nature tools. You pull them out on a moment’s notice to play your music. This allows you to concentrate on the feel and expression of music flow and not concentrate on the method of playing.

The showmanship is then an accent to the solid performance that enhances the connection to the audience.

The root of this idea is that you learn a technique well enough to use it, then when you play and feel the music the technique will fall into place.

There’s a period of concentration to learn a music technique, then a time needed to gain endurance and move into the groove. Once your grooving then you can turn your attention to expressing the music.

This is the idea of getting it down cold.

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