6 January 2010

Touch Type Your Way to Better Guitar?


Do you have an office job with a keyboard? Maybe you could use it to help develop finger control and independence that will help you to play better guitar.

I don't have any scientific proof for this idea, but many years ago I learned to touch type for my job as a computer programmer. I am pretty sure that the finger skills I learned and developed through this activity are a benefit for playing guitar.

Touch Typing

Touch typing is a technique that develops individual control of your fingers. Touch typing first came to recognition when Frank Edward McGurrin won a typing speed contest in Cincinatti on 25 July 1888. It is "typing without using the sense of sight to find the keys. Specifically, a touch typist will know their location through muscle memory." Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch_typing

Benefits for Playing Guitar

Apart from making you more efficient at work, how could touch typing benefit your guitar playing?

Well, that muscle memory you develop and the ability to move each finger independently sounds like it should come in very handy. The skills should also help your fingers to be more relaxed.

Learn to Touch Type

I learned to touch type using a software program that provided exercises to train fingers one at a time. It takes only two or three weeks to learn the basics, and after that you will gradually get better and faster as you type. A search on the Internet will show you many choices of touch typing tutor software.

What Do You Think?

So, what do you think? Can touch typing make you a better guitarist? Could your time at the office become a useful practice ally? Share your experience in a comment by clicking the link below.

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Photo by isabel bloedwater.

4 comments:

crazy_diamond said...

this is so true...although i learned it the reverse way...having played guitar for a while, (i still consider myself a beginner, n always will :P) i got to the point where i don't have to look at the fretboard all the time. when i'm really "listening" to what i'm playing, the fingers just happen to move more fluidly...or at the very least, i can close my eyes n build a mental image of the fretboard, n fingers move according to my imagination...
so one day, while typing, i realised that if i just concentrate on what i'm typing on the screen, my fingers actually hit the right keys!
i still have a long way to go in terms of both guitar playing as well as touch-typing, mostly because of lack of dedicated practice, but i do believe that the two skills are more related than people might imagine...
P.S. this comment was touch-typed :)

Dave Jacoby said...

I learned to touch type before I learned to play guitar, so I don't know. I suppose I should get to touch-chording and touch-scaling one of these days.....

faitswulff said...

I've actually come across this same idea. I'm pretty sure it helped, but I have no idea what to compare it to, since I've been touch typing since middle school.

Gary Fletcher said...

Thanks to you all for your comments. I like the idea of touch-chording or touch-scaling.

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