Musical technique is the ability of instrumental and vocal musicians to exert optimal control of their instruments or vocal cords in order to produce the precise musical effects they desire. Improving one's technique generally entails practicing exercises that improve one's muscular sensitivity and agility. Technique is independent of musicality.
To improve their technique, musicians often practice fundamental patterns of notes such as the natural, minor, major, and chromatic scales, minor and major triads, dominant and diminished sevenths, formula patterns and arpeggios. For example, triads and sevenths teach how to play chords with accuracy and speed. Scales teach how to move quickly and gracefully from one note to another (usually by step). Arpeggios teach how to play broken chords over larger intervals. Many of these components of music are found in difficult compositions, for example, a large tuple chromatic scale is a very common element to classical and romantic era compositions as part of the end of a phrase.
Works known as études (meaning "study") are also frequently used for the improvement of technique.
See also 
- Kivy, Peter (1993). The Fine Art of Repetition: Essays in the Philosophy of Music, p. 327. ISBN 978-0-521-43598-7.