Introduction to top row keys – Learn basic typing skills
Many people spend a good amount of their work time in front of a keyboard, and quite a few of them also depend on excellent typing skills in order to make a living. Typing is communication, and due to the fact we type a lot, it has many benefits to be efficient and fast at typing.
There are various rows on a keyboard with the home, bottom and top row the most significant ones. If you are a beginner and haven’t taken any lessons yet, consider to practice on the home row first, and then move on to the bottom and top row keys.
What are the Top Row Keys?
The top row sits just above the home row and consists of ten letter keys. It is also known as the QWERTY row which refer to the five top row keys on the left hand side of the keyboard.
The left hand controls the QWERT letters, the right hand serves the Y, U, I, O and P keys. There are also symbol keys that depend on the language and layout of your keyboard, the TAB key on the left, and bracket keys and the Enter key on the right.
Learning to type on the top row can be challenging for some as it involves a different type of hand positioning as compared to the home row.
The home row is your base and right under the tip of your fingers. However, to get to the top row keys, one has to stretch their hands a bit more. Every row on the keyboard is equally important to be able to write all the words as quick as possible. Mastering the upper row keys is therefore essential to become a fast typist.
Dvorak layout – Again, the Dvorak keyboard looks very different and contains different top row keys. The keys that will be served from the left hand are ?, <, >, P and Y, while the ones for the right hand include the letters F, G, C, R and L.
Top Row Typing – The Technique
For top row typing, you will need to focus on how you move your hands and where you position your fingers to improve speed and efficiency. These are the basic positions:
- The left index finger will be responsible for controlling the lettersRT
- The right index finger will be responsible for controlling letterYU
- The left middle finger will control the keyE
- The right middle finger will be in control of the keyI
- The left ring finger will serve the keyW
- The right ring finger looks after the keyO
- The left pinky finger will control the keyQ
- Your right pinky finger controlsP
The top row or the QWERTY row is somehow the most celebrated, yet the most difficult to learn of all rows. It contains a total of four vowels including E, I, O, U.
Exercises – The most basic exercise to practice the top row keys is to type blocks of letter combinations such as iii, eee or eii. You will then include the middle row typing blocks such as aia, did or gig. After that, it gets slightly more exciting in order to fine tune finger movements with blocks such as rake, sake, lake, usage or shares. Once you have done this, there is nothing holding you back to create challenging lessons using your own material.
Note – There are some things to keep in mind when practicing on the top row. First, the middle row emphasizes more on hand placement, the upper row is much more about finger positions. Therefore, the correct finger placement will help you quickly improve here. Remember to always come back to the middle row after hitting a top row key.
Tips for Improved Learning
Posture – Apart from smooth finger placement, keeping a good posture is also important to improve your typing style. Make sure you are sitting straight while typing, your shoulders and neck feel relaxed, and your feet are placed flat on the floor. The elbows should be placed very closely to your body whereas your wrists should be straight. Furthermore, ensure that your forearms are leveled.
Whisper keys – Another effective tip to master the top row keys, and any other ones, is to whisper the name of the key when you hit it. Furthermore, don’t be disappointed if you make mistakes. Learning to type takes time and decent practicing.
Tutor – Whatever you set as your typing goal, we recommend a typing tutor that can offer you a comprehensive training program and will help you achieving it. Look for features such as detailed step-by step guides, scientifically proven exercises, videos, games and professional advice to find the right one.
Muscle memory – Developing finger muscle memory is crucial to type quickly. This will come by practice, and doing drill exercises. One tip I found useful is to not break words down into a sequence of letters in your mind. Your brain will be able to respond more quickly if you process a word undivided and send only one signal to type all the letters rather than sending a command for each letter separately.
Words to Type with Top Row Keys
While there is no English word you can type on the bottom, and just a few ones on the middle one, the top row keys offer more variation here. Using just that row you can type words such as:
Top Row Keys Games
Gem Miner is a simple game suitable for first to fifth graders. A birdie will collect gems you win when typing the correct key. Keys will appear on the screen and you just have to hit it while trying not to look at the keyboard, of course.
Typesy (read review) offers effective games and drills to practice each row separately. You will also find videos that explain the essentials to master the top row keys before you get started.
Top Row Typing – Summary
The QWERTY row of the keyboard is fairly easy to master though it has its challenges. However, by following the correct typing techniques on hand positioning and finger placement, accompanied by practicing, you should be able to quickly learn and master it in a few weeks time. Your typing speed and efficiency will also improve drastically once you handle the top row keys smoothly.
How to type the T letter key?
You can ask simple questions to try memorizing which hand and fingers will serve which key. You may even cover the whole row or keyboard and play a brief question and answer game to help develop your finger muscle memory. The letter T will be served by the left index finger.
Image credit: Photo by rawpixel, Unsplash.