Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by N2EY, Oct 7, 2019.

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  1. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    But not just practice. It has to be the right kind of practice.
    W9RAC, WA7PRC, AJ6KZ and 1 other person like this.
  2. W7TCT

    W7TCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    [QUOTE="N2EY, post: 5218657, member: 247825"

    But not just practice. It has to be the right kind of practice.[/QUOTE]

    An old saying is, there are three ways to get better at something; practice, practice, practice.

    And boy, do I need more practice?
  3. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    An old saying is, there are three ways to get better at something; practice, practice, practice.

    And boy, do I need more practice?[/QUOTE]

    But it has to be the right kind of practice.

    For example, suppose someone is pretty solid at 10 wpm, getting most of it at 13 wpm, but the wheels start to come off at 15-18 wpm.

    And suppose the goal is to increase speed.

    Practicing at 10 wpm won't do much to increase speed. 13 wpm is better, 15-18 even better. In most cases, the best approach is to start at 20 and work downwards a few WPM ever several minutes.

    Of course such practice isn't easy! But that's beside the point.
    W9RAC, W7TCT and K7MH like this.
  4. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nothing Worthwhile Is Ever Easy...

    Learn Morse.
    Do CW.
    AJ6KZ, W0JBR and K8AI like this.
  5. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    IMHO, There is no best approach. There is only the way that works for you.

    The way I increased my speed, during practice sessions, was, when ever I started to get comfortable with my current speed (copying 90%), I increased the speed by 2 WPM. That doesn't seem like much, but it is. I did that until I was copying 90% at 25 WPM. Then I went for, and passed, the 20 WPM code test.
    M6GYU likes this.
  6. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nonetheless, there IS such a thing as talent or aptitude in many if not all skills.

    And for the vast majority of people no amount of practice will ever give them the skills of Mozart, Einstein, Picasso or Ted McElroy!!!

    Finally over a century and a half of scientific study of learning, shows that overall, the ability to learn new ideas and mechanical skills declines and slows with increasing age; significantly by the age of 45.
    KS2G likes this.
  7. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is a truth, but in fact there is talent as well. Talent will take you from point A to point B, with the right kind of practice, in a fraction of the time of someone without Talent.
    As pointed out, Talent will also take you to a level higher than those without such talent, no matter the amount of practice.

    As to practice, I find that many (if not most) people do not know what real practice is. There is practicing the right way, and there is the intense *time* involved in practice. In the area of music, I picked up playing resonator guitar (lapstyle, aka "dobro") years ago and sort of leveled off in my playing skills. But got together with a good teacher, musician, someone at the Grand Ol Opry level... and 10 minutes with him, got me further along than many hours by myself with teaching videos. Just some relatively simple tips and feedback gave me a few "aha" moments and changed my approach to practice. The equivalent of some of the excellent recommendations here about listening to words as a whole, the sound of the word, not letters and certainly not translating written dots and dashes. Those sort of things. Practice the right way will get you closer to *your* level of talent, faster, with more enjoyment, than just plodding along doing the wrong thing, over and over and over.

    Then there is the time involved. My wife was going crazy listening to me play a certain phrase (on the dobro) over and over and over. But I explained that by programing my muscle memory, I could get past a section, at a higher speed, than by trying to play (or mis-play) the passage over and over, at any speed. It really works.

    I've run into folks who think sitting down at anything for 10 minutes is "practice"... but not so. Both the right way, and an intense amount of time ...hours and hours and ... makes a huge difference.
    KN4OK and EA5IUY like this.
  8. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    About three years ago, I wanted to participate in NTS at the Area net level, as a measure of proficiency. Got a couple iPhone code apps that sent machine code at in my case 16 wpm or so. Built an excel sheet to measure progress and went to work for 15 minutes or so every day. Mixed letters, 5 letter groups, and when I got to 95% accuracy written on paper and legible, I moved up a notch.

    Never got my old lineman hands to record at that level over 20 wpm. Head copy much faster. There is such a thing as fast muscle, slow muscle fiber ratio, old brain, young brain, high and low sugar levels, that all figure into the final result. BUT, you never know until you practice, practice, practice. That's always good advice.
    AJ6KZ, K8AI, N8AFT and 1 other person like this.
  9. K8AI

    K8AI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep. I knew a no-code ham who really wanted to learn code in order to upgrade (in the early 90's) and the only thing he did was to listen to code practice tapes in his car on the way to work. I tried telling him that doesn't work (since he barely knew some of the letters and a few numbers) and that he needs to sit down at home and first learn a couple letters and numbers at a time. This went on for at least a couple years. He never did learn code.
    WB5YUZ, M6GYU and N2EY like this.
  10. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Folks learn different ways. My experience was somewhat different. I really could not learn Morse a bit at a time. Every time I added a new character it seemed to mess with the ones I thought I'd previously learned. The only way was to go at it with A-Z, 0-9, and the necessary punctuation all in one hit, pretty much the same way I learned letters and numbers when I was small. Of course it took me quite a while plugging away at the one-at-a-time method before I realised I was going about it all wrong for me, and changed tack. Critical to my realisation was tracking my progress. Until I analysed that I couldn't see how well I was (or rather, wasn't) doing...
    W9RAC likes this.

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