When it comes to things like playing an instrument or typing on the keyboard, everyone has his/her own unique way of doing it and depending on the hands physiology and the keyboard arrangement, people style of playing/typing differentiates greatly.
There is however a “correct” approach that ensures maximum efficiency while minimizing the chance of mistakes/errors and it is called fingering. It basically has to do with a set of rules or guidelines if you like on how to position your hands and most importantly your fingers on the keyboard/fretboard, and exactly what finger to use when a particular letter/note is called for. Most people are self-taught and have become good with the keyboard through practicing, but as with self-taught musicians, you may have adopted and got accustomed to the wrong way of doing things that causes you to struggle more to eventually get less.
This is where Klavaro comes to help keyboard newbies find their way around it and start typing faster and more efficiently, and professionals to perfect their technique saving time and energy.
There are 4 types of practicing in Klavaro. The first is an introduction of how to position your hand correctly and what finger to use for every key. The basic course is an approach to make you get used to correct fingering by repetition of the pressing of nearby keys. Then you get the adaptability practice where you can improve your memorization of key positions through typing nonsense sentences. Then you can practice your speed by typing words and see how accurate you were, and finally you can take the forth stage where you practice with complete texts that make sense.
Now, what is cool about Klavaro besides the fact that it is free software is the fact that it can serve almost anyone in the world no matter the language, keyboard layout and type you may have to deal with.
Klavaro offers a simple to use main menu that gives the users the ability to configure their layout for 29 different sets and languages, while also supporting qwerty, qwerty-2, alphagrip-5, colemak, dvorak and workman keyboard types.
At this point I would like to say a few things about Dvorak. Dvorak is a keyboard layout specifically designed for the English language, placing the most commonly used letters in more comfortable positions allowing people to type more efficiently (at least for the English language).
The original QWERTY keyboard suffers from many problems that Dvorak himself identified:
- Many common letter combinations require awkward finger motions.
- Many common letter combinations require a finger to jump over the home row.
- Many common letter combinations are typed with one hand. (e.g. was, were)
- Most typing is done with the left hand, which for most people is not the dominant hand.
- About 16% of typing is done on the lower row, 52% on the top row and only 32% on the home row.
Dvorak studied letter frequencies and the physiology of people’s hands and created a layout to alleviate the problems he identified with the QWERTY layout. The layout he created adheres to these principles:
- Letters should be typed by alternating between hands (which makes typing more rhythmic, increases speed, reduces error, and reduces fatigue). On the Dvorak, vowels are all on the left home row, the most used symbols are on the left, while the most used consonants are on the right.
- For maximum speed and efficiency, the most common letters and digraphs should be the easiest to type. This means that they should be on the home row, which is where the fingers rest, and under the strongest fingers (Thus, about 70% of keyboard strokes on the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard are done on the home row and only 22% and 8% on the top and bottom rows respectively).
- The least common letters should be on the bottom row which is the hardest row to reach.
- The right hand should do more of the typing because most people are right-handed.
Dvorak is really hard to learn as you will have to overcome muscle memory, avoid using other people’s computers, it needs a lot of patience as you will initially type very slowly and it needs time (at least a month), but studies show significant speed improvement in typing on Dvorak vs Qwerty.
If you have some time and energy to sacrifice (or invest if you like), then install the latest Klavaro and start your Dvorak training now!