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Typing on cellphones with 2 thumbs is like the 5-finger scales.

Mizue Murakami

typing with 2 thumbs on cellphones

I'm an older generation who types (or texts) on my smartphones with only ONE  index (pointer) finger. That's how most older people do. On the other hand, younger generations hold their smartphones with two hands and use both of their thumbs to type. You all know that. All of my young students (high schoolers, college students, & millennial-adults) do it that way. 

I had been comfortable with my old-generation way. So, I never thought about changing my style of typing. But recently, I thought, "Wait... Why not trying how younger people do? Just for an experiment?" So, I did. What I discovered was amazing! It's much easier to do the way younger people do. It's because your hands are always placed on the same spot on the cell phone. So, you have a reference point. All you need to do is move and extend your thumbs slightly differently to get to a specific letter always with the same distance that you familiarized with. On the other hand, when you use only an index finger, you have to land on the specific letter from way up high. What if your left hand that is holding the cell moves slightly. Then, you are in trouble! 

The importance & effectiveness of the way young people type on their cell phones is the same as the importance and effectiveness of learning the 5-finger scales (also known as Penta scales, or hand position) on the piano. Once you have your hand position on the certain place, (let's say C Position), you know that your right-hand thumb is on C, index finger on D, middle finger on E, ring finger on F, & pinky on G. You also feel the interval of 5th from your thumb to pinky. From there, if you need to extend the interval to 6th, 7th, and so on, it's very easy to do without looking at the piano keys because you have the reference point. 

If you are already typing with your two thumbs on your cell phone, I'm sorry that this blog is very boring. However, if you are learning piano right now as a beginner, please remember, just like how you type on your cell phone, the 5-finger scales are extremely important to master. 

If you are a piano teacher teaching young people who type with their two thumbs on their cell phones, please encourage them to learn the 5-finger scales by making them remember that it's the same concept as the way they type on their cell phones. Once I tell my young students that, they immediately click with the concept and enjoy learning the 5-finger scales. 

If you are an older generation like me, I encourage you to experiment and use your smartphone as young people do. It's actually a lot faster & less stressful. And you don't have to TARGET ONE letter from far away with ONE index finger every single time. I was actually laughing at myself how I had been typing. You may say, "But our thumbs are fat. I'm afraid that I may hit multiple letters at once." Well, don't worry. The accuracy increases ten times more when you type like young people than older people do. And only a small part of your thumb will be hitting a letter, even though it may not look like that. It's really about increasing the accuracy by having a reference point. 

Oh, there is a funny story I would like to share. I was in a metro-bus in Seattle. I was using my phone with the old way as usual. The bus ride was shaking my left hand that was holding my cell phone because the bus was moving. Because my left hand was shaking a little, I was never able to target correctly on the specific letter with my right-hand index finger. I just said to myself, "Forget it!" and stopped typing on the bus. But when I looked around the young people in the bus, they were smiling, reading, and typing continuously. I didn't know the reason at that time why they can do that but I couldn't. I just said to myself, "hmmm.....?" But now I know :-) 

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