Lena Morita
September 02, 2024
7

Your typing sucks: A pianist's approach to the (computer) keyboard

For the countless hours we spend typing on a keyboard, very few of us have consciously honed this skill beyond the touch typing basics we learned way back when. You make the same exact typos all the time and fumble with the symbols row, but typing is such a mindless activity you barely even notice it.

This is the story of an amateur pianist who realized how the principles of piano practice can be applied to the computer keyboard. Through mindful self-diagnosis and an awareness of biomechanics, anybody can transform their typing technique over a weekend.

See video of this talk at https://www.youtube.com/live/xkLxuQBrzC8?t=5429s

Lena Morita

September 02, 2024

Transcript

LENA MORITA

BETTER

6. @mirka PROBLEMS • Location of % ^ & keys not

memorized • Unclear which hand to use for 6 key • Pinky is unstable when hitting - and = keys
7. @mirka % ^ & KEYS NOT MEMORIZED Take some time

to memorize properly (e.g. use mnemonics) 5% 16^n 7&i HEXADECIMAL OFF HOLDINGS
8. @mirka WHICH HAND FOR 6 KEY? Usually taught as right

hand, but no real consensus

11. @mirka 🎹 CONSISTENT FINGERING Ideal f ingering may change depending

on proceeding/following keys But no common enough sequences that the 6/^ key would appear in For now, choose a hand and stick with it
12. @mirka - AND = KEYS UNSTABLE • Far from home

position • Awkward angle • “Weak” f inger
13. @mirka BEFORE - AND = KEYS UNSTABLE • Similar wrist

angle for both keys • Pushing pinky forward for - • Stretching pinky out for =

15. @mirka 🎹 USE LARGER MUSCLES Harder to make accurate movements

with small “ f inger” muscles Focus more on: • Arm rotation • Shoulder movements
16. @mirka AFTER - AND = KEYS UNSTABLE Adjust elbow position

and forearm rotation Arm does the work, not pinky (Also good for RSI prevention!)

19. @mirka PROBLEMS (ROUND 2) • Types \$ instead of %

• Types * instead of # But not vice versa!
20. @mirka \$ INSTEAD OF % I don’t mistype 4 and

5 Why only the symbols above it?
21. @mirka \$ INSTEAD OF % I was using LEFT SHIFT

with every key
22. @mirka \$ INSTEAD OF % Very uncomfortable, but \$ was

slightly easier to reach Only di ff erentiated by pointer f inger angle Pinky has no grip
23. @mirka 🎹 USE FINGER PAD, NOT NAIL Cannot grip key

with f ingernail Angle your hand so f leshy f inger pad can grip the key without slipping Nails should be clipped

25. @mirka * INSTEAD OF # Both middle f inger keys,

am I confusing them? Why do I want to hit * , but not the other way around?
26. @mirka * INSTEAD OF # Same-hand SHIFT again! Pinky has

no grip, f inger stretch uncomfortable Opposite-hand SHIFT solves issue immediately

28. @mirka FINAL CHECK Not perfect, but drastic improvement for a

30-min investment
29. @mirka EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT • Finger length, f ingertip shapes

can vary • Observe what you are doing and notice uncomfortable/unstable movements • Adjust your form (angles, rotation) until it is comfortable/stable

31. @mirka 🎹 CORRECT MISTAKES ASAP Bad habits are reinforced with

every repetition Have mindfulness to notice repetitive mistakes
32. @mirka 🎹 DON’T “WORK UP TO SPEED” Movements required to

play quickly are often drastically di ff erent from what is su ff icient to play slowly First f igure out a movement that works for the speed you want