|Graham Mackenzie - Oboist||
Pace Sturdevant changed how I look at technique many years ago, when I was one of the members of l'Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne. I can't remember the exact wording, but basically he said that it is important to distinguish between technique and speed. Technique is a method, or tool, that you use to do something - make a certain tone, to adjust the pitch of a note, to get between two notes smoothly, etc. Speed is how quickly you can put the techniques together.
I think this is important! We usually think of somebody with "good technique" as being able to play fast passages quickly and cleanly. This is an important part of good technique, but someone with what I would call good technique is a person who has total control over all aspects of the instrument - the technique of making every note come out reliably, in tune, at any dynamic, for example. The technique of how to breathe in quickly and quietly. The technique of how to best align your body when you stand or sit. These are all techniques that are critical to how well you can control your instrument!
Become curious about your technique. What areas of your technique are lacking? With some creative exploration, can you figure out techniques to eliminate any roadblocks to uninhibited expression through your instrument?