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I wanted to take typing in high school, but my father, who was really "old school," said I would always have somebody to do that for me.
Well, I did have secretaries for quite a few years, but as computers became more and more common, I decided to teach myself typing using the "Typing Tutor" computer program in the late 1980s. I had a law partner who started at the same time I did. After around 6 months, I was typing comfortably at around 60 words a minute. He could barely scratch out 20. I don't think there's any question that the dexterity I developed playing the piano my entire life had everything to do with my typing speed.
I do all of my own typing now, and I probably type 70-80 words per minute.
I'm not exactly sure what my WPM is, but I think 60 WPM is my regular typing speed (without hurrying). I taught myself proper typing with correct fingering and not looking at the keyboard when I was 10 years old.
Taking up the piano as an adult, I wanted to believe that this typing skill would help me in piano.
...It seems that it did not
For one thing, unless you're forever trapped in five-finger positions, your fingers don't have a specific key assigned to them unlike when typing on a regular keyboard. The keys constantly change. You also don't need to press multiple keys at the same time, except for the 'shift','Alt', or 'Ctrl + Alt + Del' at most. Unless you're still using an antique typewriter, you don't need to place much pressure on your fingers. There are a lot of differences.
Working on: Schumann Album for the Young, Clementi Op 36 No. 1 (all movements), Various Bach, Czerny 599 + CASIO PX-720 and PX-730 +
#1287423 - 10/15/0908:36 AMRe: Keyboard Typing speed and playing piano
Joined: Aug 2006 Posts: 6,163sotto voce
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Typing courses were available in middle school when I was growing up. I was 11 when I learned, and I'd already been playing piano for years.
I had just one semester, reaching 65 wpm on manual typewriters that were old even then. Just one other student did quite so well, and I have no idea if she played piano. (Emily Sorrentino, are you out there?)
I can still type in the 100 wpm range, but computer keyboards aren't optimal for speed, at least for me, because of relatively little tactile feedback. The fastest keyboard I ever experienced was the IBM Mag Card II typewriter, a proto-word processor of the 1970s that was based on the Selectric but felt positively turbocharged when one was typing into the machine's memory.
FWIW, I was always typing a lot during some very lengthy absences from piano (several years at a time). I do think that typing helped me maintain dexterity and control to a significant extent.
I don't know which is the chicken and which is the egg, but my typing speed, when I was a typist (before the computer age) was about 140 wpm, and I've played piano off and on since I was a child. I never won a piano contest, but I won a tv by typing back in the dark ages!
Tell me this..People who type a lot get carpal tunnel don't they? But pianists don't, or do they? I think its knowing how to use the wrists because I was a typist and I had to stop typing but when I play piano my brain gets tired before my hands, etc.
Tell me this..People who type a lot get carpal tunnel don't they?
Not necessarily. I'm sure that of the people who have typed full-time all their lives, only a small percentage have been affected by RSIs.
Originally Posted by CurlyL
But pianists don't, or do they? I think its knowing how to use the wrists because I was a typist and I had to stop typing but when I play piano my brain gets tired before my hands, etc.
I think that an RSI is possible from any activity that's done repetitively, and that "knowing how" to do it correctly is the very thing that goes a long way toward to inoculating one against such dangers.
Part of being a good typist is your internal lexicon and your ability to spell. When you merge that with piano proficiency, then you're going somewhere. Also, having to type 20-page essays in college helps with typing speed.
I took a typing class in high school and I was in the 40 wpm range. Several kids who typed faster all played piano, but not as advanced as I was. I think it's their spelling and verbal skills that got them to that speed. After college, I tested my speed again and it went up to 90 wpm, and over 100 wpm for short sentences.
Like a few others I can type in the 120-140wpm range. Being a software developer I also keep an eye on my coding productivity, which is around 80-85wpm (curse all those funky characters).
I've been typing a lot longer than playing the piano and while I'll venture to say that the limberness and dexterity gained from typing has helped with some speed on the piano, it hasn't necessarily translated to the level of control I need for bigger yet more accurate keystrokes at the piano.
If only they had an inline spell checker for melody or chord mistakes. lol
I wonder if people add numbers to their wpm in the same way that they inflate their measurements. Either speeds around and above 100 wpm are a lot more common than in days of yore, or internet speed is like internet inches.
I was a secretary for years and I touch type a lot faster than 100 WPM. I believe the piano helped my typing a lot, (good posture, fast fingers), but I also feel it hindered my piano playing, (stiff wrists).
Some time we should have a typing race fan ... whenever I burn rubber and reach those fantastic speeds of 60 words a minute (only being one of the masculine gender ... to quote the Godfather) ... strange misspelled words on the page suddenly screech for attention ... fortunately I used Word Perfect which underlines the errors and makes for easy correction.
IBM once dominated the market for office productivity hardware—before CRT monitors were adapted by competitors, before software-based technology made these dedicated dinosaurs obsolete, and long before word processing became a household word. And there was never a faster or more pleasurable medium for keyboarding than this one!
The warning lights on the left side of the typewriter always reminded me of the triple taillight towers on a late-1950s DeSoto:
This topic is quite amusing to me. I took typing in high school and was the fastest in the class. My achievement was somewhat dismissed by my instructor because I played the piano. I was expected to type fast. I don't think it helped my piano playing much.
Steven, no cheating here. I once timed myself on an IBM Selectric and I was typing at about 120 wpm but you subtract for mistakes which brought me down to 103wpm. If I remember correctly, a "word" is 5 key strokes.
For a moment, I thought I made contact with another planet.. What's with the typing fetish? complete with retro pictures and wpm counts!! This place gets weirder by the minute I am almost tempted to wish for another classify-yourfavorite- etudes thread.. To stay on the extra-planetary extracurricular theme, here is a time warp, all the way back to 1902, courtesy of the sixteenth century: Someone unearthed a few (real and unique) recordings of a REAL castrato (taken by loving mom and dad to a barber shop in Napoli to get the deed done and maintain his angelic voice). Alessandro Moreschi was the last castrato to sing in Rome and the only one to have been captured "on tape". The voice is eerie: not that of a man , woman or child.. A boy's larynx resonating in an adult skull and chest.. Beats typing!! Check it out
An average professional typist reaches 50 to 70 wpm, while some positions can require 80 to 95 (usually the minimum required for dispatch positions and other time-sensitive typing jobs), and some advanced typists work at speeds above 120.
Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.