Greg Cohoon (drmellow) wrote,
Greg Cohoon

How Mandolin Practiced Ruined My Typing Skills

OK, my typing skills aren't ruined, but practicing the mandolin has worsened them. At least temporarily. So everyone who voted for "worsened" in my previous poll gets a point for the correct answer. In addition to a point, yarbiedoll gets a bonus point for pretty much explaining why.

It seems that the callouses I'm developing on my left hand -- specifically the three middle fingers on my left hand -- are really playing havoc with my ability to know when I'm hitting a key when I type. I've been a touch-typer since before high school. It's only in the past couple of weeks that I've noticed how much my sense of touch is actually used while typing -- I hadn't thought about it much before, but I would have assumed that touch typing was more about finger position than sense of touch, which seems not to be the case for me. When I type now, I'm hitting the keys with my left had before I seem to register that I'm hitting the keys. I've noticed more instances of being "off by one" and hitting multiple keys at a time since I've been practicing my mandolin.

I fully expect this trend to reverse once I get more used to my newly-formed callouses. I expect that mandolin playing will improve my typing much like piano playing improved my typing when I used to play a lot of piano, for the same reason meep mentioned -- my fingers are becoming more limber and strong. Once I get used to the sensitivity issue, I fully expect my left hand to fly across the keyboard as I type.

Anyway, I've got my fourth mandolin lesson this afternoon. I'm still loving it. So far, I've been learning basic treatments of traditional tunes: The Girl I Left Behind, Liberty, and Soldier's Joy. Last week, Jeff even added a double-stop for a couple of the notes in Soldier's Joy to dress it up a little bit. He also mentioned that we'll be going back to some of the tunes that we're learning now and making them fancier as I get better. All in all, it's loads of fun. I'm finally at the point where I know a handful of chords and can transition between them well enough to provide reasonable accompaniment, which is nice. I'm looking forward to getting together with some friends and jamming a bit. Mrs. Mellow and I already do a bit of that -- mandolin and flute sound pretty cool together, as does mandolin and piano.

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