1 year ago 🥁 for day 205, 2020 with 455 words.

All In My Fingers

Days sheltering in place: 2^7+1
Exercise: I wish.
Keyboarding: just a little

It seems learning to play the piano is like learning to touch-type, which is something that I did a long time ago on a mechanical typewriter (yes, I'm old, and I am qualified to use that expression). Twice a week I would practice in a room filled with other 14-17-year-old girls. Being the only boy in a typewriting class had some advantages, not only did I learn to touch type, but I learnt a lot about page layout, and I got special attention from my teachers. I also learnt how to read correction markings. Yes, I still remember what "stet", "^, "[" all mean.

Anyway, I digress. When I learnt to type I was slow (no surprise there). I had to think about which finger on which hand I had to move to where to get the character I needed. Plod, plod, plod. Week in, week out. Then one day I typed a word and hadn't thought about my hands or my fingers just the letters of the word and by magic my brain remembered where they were on a keyboard and typed them. I was stunned. This was very unnerving.

This is what I have come to understand when musicians talk about the music being in their fingers. Do you think Elton John thinks about the notes and chords in all of his songs the way I remember the notes of the West World theme, no-way. He sits at the piano, thinks of the song and by magic it plays itself the same was it has been played thousands and thousands of times before. I'm sure it is the same with Paul McCartney - he could probably play love-me-do while sleeping.

Now, I'm no Elton John, and I don't touch type with all my fingers any more, but I realize that if I practice, and I mean practice a lot the same magic that happened with touch typing all those decades ago could happen again with a keyboard, if I'm very lucky.

BTW: I still touch type. Only with two fingers and a thumb. I don't think about where on the keyboard the keys are or which hand I should use. The keyboard layout is in my fingers, I think of the words and they appear on the page. If you asked me to read the rows of a keyboard I could tell you it goes qwerty and asdf, and there is a bit that goes iop, and m is next to n but after that and whether m is to the left or right of n I couldn't tell you, it's all in my fingers and it's magic.

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By Yorick Phoenix 🥁

Chief WriteTogether Bug Finder & character stringer. Generally, to create computer code, but sometimes actual words and paragraphs. Listens to lots of music, takes lots of photos, & invests in stocks for the long haul.

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