In no way I ‘m gonna imply here that I know technique. What I ‘ll do is describe how I feel about technique.
First of all, let’s admit it’s a big taboo issue among musicians. Some of us don’t wanna talk about it ever, others talk about it too much and there’s the middle ground of confused people that are trying to find themselves a sense of belonging in between.
Personaly I spent a lot of time fighting my insecurities regarding the subject. Until I started talking with local heroes of the drumming scene. People with different backgrounds, different sense of musicianship, different levels of expertise that for some reason seemed to respect each other genuinely regardless of all these differences. What binds them all together is a simple fact: they all have something specific to say with their instrument.
You see, to me music is like language. When you play a certain genre/type/song/whatever, you speak its language, you tell the story from your point of view, you ‘re a narrator.
Now, technique is actually the glue between the things you have in your head and the things you do with your body. The best word to describe is vocabulary.
In the non-music related world you have to communicate with different people. Each one of them uses his method of saying what he wants. One could be an academic with words using intricate and complex phrasing while another can be more poetic by utilising romantic words of big value. Same goes with street talk, rural idioms, inside jokes etc. These are all methods of saying something.
Back to drums now. If you can match the scenarios to any musical situation you can get a type of player that should be respected in his own field. The academic could be a clinician or a drummer who tours the world with his fusion trio. The poet could be a devoted old school jazz player. The street talker could be the world’s favourite rock n’ roll/punk rock drummer. Good session players speak the language in an understandable (for the majority) way while being able to incorporate samples of academics, poetry, idioms, street talk etc whenever they ‘re asked to.
Each and every one of them uses the words he needs to get his meaning across. For me that’s technique. The more types of people you can communicate well to the bigger your vocabulary gets. It’ s all a matter of acknowledging the things you want to express each time.
ps. in no way I ‘m gonna imply here that I know technique…