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I had a terrible thought: My Sax playing may never get better than my typing. I've been slowly pecking with two fingers on a computer keyboard at my job for many years and not getting any faster/better. Is there a correlation? Is it a good indication of natural ability?
 

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Hey maybe there's something in this- if a computer keyboard generated a tone for each key pressed then maybe it would improve your typing speed. You would know what AND sounded like then play music when typing. We could make words like war, murder, rape, famine etc sound really ugly and use then less, and words like peace, love, share etc sound beautiful so people used them more often.

I wonder if supercalifrajalisticexpialidoshus might sound a bit Coltraneish at high tempo:D

Anyway leaving flippancy aside- i suppose if one took typing lessions and practiced typing as much as the sax, in one's own free time, and spent time on the typersontheweb.forum (i'm sure there must be one) one's typing skills would come on a treat.

I think digit dexterity must have limits in different people but i think it's more down to interest in playing, rather than typing, practice time and the aural link.
 

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I don't think there's a correlation. I'm guessing that you've never tried to systematically learn to type properly, whereas you are probably taking at least a somewhat systematical (is that a word?) approach to learning saxophone technique.

As for typing, give Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing a try. It's a software program that runs you through typing exercises that start extremely simple and get progressively more challenging. I think just about anyone can learn to touch type by spending ten minutes a day on this program for about a month.
 

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Typing seems more like piano playing than sax playing to me. With sax, six fingers always stay on the same keys.
 

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Keys on the keyboard are all alike beyond just position. Saxophone keys feel different, and most importantly, sound different. There are much more means of feedback that you have the right keys pressed.

Also, keys TEND to be logically laid out on the saxophone: more keys = lower sound.

Don't worry, keep practicing. I bet you could improve your typing also, if you forced yourself never to look at your keyboard and always type the letter with the right finger. Just takes time doing it properly. I bet you're an expert 2 finger typist, compared to someone who's just seen a keyboard for the first time. :p
 

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Mope said:
I've been slowly pecking with two fingers on a computer keyboard at my job for many years and not getting any faster/better. Is there a correlation? Is it a good indication of natural ability?
Well, imagine pecking at your sax with only two fingers! Actually there is not much correlation with the sax, where embouchure & "voicing" is where it's really at. Maybe with a piano, but even there you could never get away with only using your two index fingers.

By the way, the one and only time I went to summer school as a kid (early in high school, I think), I took a typing class. At the time, it seemed like a waste; this was WAY before the home computer age. Turned out to be one of the most useful classes I ever took!
 

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Waste of time for me when I was in a typing class. I typed 110 WPM from week one and at the end of the year I typed maybe 115...:(
 

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CountSpatula said:
Waste of time for me when I was in a typing class. I typed 110 WPM from week one and at the end of the year I typed maybe 115...:(
But how did you learn in the first place, to type 110 WPM! Did you do that with only 2 fingers?! Or did someone show you which fingers to use for which keys? That's what I learned in the class--where to put my fingers on the keyboard. At the time I had NO CLUE whatsoever about typing. NO ONE under 18 in 1967 had a typewriter, let alone a computer (we were outside raising hell and playing ball, not on computers). At that time, the computational power you have under your fingers right now would have required a huge warehouse full of equipment, probably worth several million dollars!
 

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I took a class back in 3rd grade that kinda shows you where your hands go lol. After that just talking to friends on the computer I guess...I'm a teenager :D Talking on AOL and such for many years I guess pays off haha. (Along with other internet stuff I guess)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I DO think there is a correlation. We all have different levels of abilities in different areas. Typing is a dexterity, coordination, speed thing. I just don't have that. I think I have an ear and am smart enough but move slower and kinda clumbsy.

Are there any fast sax players that are slow typists? I bet not.
 

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JL said:
But how did you learn in the first place, to type 110 WPM! Did you do that with only 2 fingers?! Or did someone show you which fingers to use for which keys? That's what I learned in the class--where to put my fingers on the keyboard. At the time I had NO CLUE whatsoever about typing. NO ONE under 18 in 1967 had a typewriter, let alone a computer (we were outside raising hell and playing ball, not on computers). At that time, the computational power you have under your fingers right now would have required a huge warehouse full of equipment, probably worth several million dollars!

It's nice to know my Cell phone has more computational power than the computers that went to the moon.
 

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CountSpatula said:
I took a class back in 3rd grade that kinda shows you where your hands go lol. After that just talking to friends on the computer I guess...I'm a teenager :D Talking on AOL and such for many years I guess pays off haha. (Along with other internet stuff I guess)
I taught a typing class once a week to third graders when I ran a computer lab. The 'smart ' kid in the class was typing 30-35 wpm by the end of the semester. One special ed kid was typing 25 wpm, despite the fact that he could not read the words.

No need to type with two fingers. Google 'typing tutor', or use the program here: http://www.typingtutor.org/

I don't think there is a correlation between typing and sax playing, but both are critical skills for SOTW.:D
 

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Grumps said:
Years of wasting my time online ended up costing a secretary her job.
I'm assuming that you just no longer needed a typist?..?!

That's why secretaries have morphed into 'administrative assistants', i.e. instead of taking dictation and typing it up, they arrange schedules, make phone calls, and remind their bosses about dealines.
 

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JL said:
By the way, the one and only time I went to summer school as a kid (early in high school, I think), I took a typing class. At the time, it seemed like a waste; this was WAY before the home computer age. Turned out to be one of the most useful classes I ever took!
Me too, I took one summer school typing class. But I thought it was a useful skill to learn.
 

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CountSpatula said:
I took a class back in 3rd grade that kinda shows you where your hands go lol. After that just talking to friends on the computer I guess...I'm a teenager :D Talking on AOL and such for many years I guess pays off haha. (Along with other internet stuff I guess)
Sounds like the 3rd grade class did pay off, though! And you make my point here. I wonder if teenagers today can even conceive of a world without computers, or cell phones?!

Regarding the possible correlation with sax playing, of course finger dexterity enters into both typing and sax playing, but they are totally different in all other respects. And it's not the same "finger motions," so yes I do believe a superior sax player could be a very poor typist, and vice versa. Oh wait, there is possibly one other point of correlation. Practice will pay off for either activity. As it will for almost every skill imaginable.
 

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I think there is almost certainly a correlation between typing and saxophone finger technique (obviously typing wouldn't help you with embouchure, voicing, etc.). I'm a fairly fast typer (avg. ~90 wpm., max. ~130 wpm.). I can also play fairly fast on saxophone, although I struggle with voicing, altissimo, overtones, etc.

Both activities involve a very important process that is widely known (even among sax players) called muscle memory. This means that when typing, when you see/think a letter, your finger automatically goes to the right key without having to think about it. Then, you come to a point (I'd say ~40-50 wpm) where you have to start being able to recognize whole words, so your vocabulary comes into play. Rather than seeing individual letters, I type a word at a time. Larger, less used words are therefore slower to type (not considering words with repeated letters).

In my mind, typing can be a metaphor for fingering technique. Letters are notes. Words are phrases/scales. Harder/less used vocabulary is a harder/less used key. I don't see how one could deny that they are related. Of course, I have no proof, this is all based simply on my own logic and experience. I would agree with Mope that there are likely few to no fast typists with slow technique (assuming a fair amount of experience).
 

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CountSpatula said:
Lets race who can play a D scale fastest.
How many octaves? What articulation?;)
 
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