Fundamentals Matter in the End

I am an experience junkie and a lifelong learner. I love trying new things and learning a variety of topics, so I have a very broad knowledge base. My self-taught methods are extremely effective in learning ~75% of a topic, however, I’ve now seen the value of fundamentals.

Typing. I’m an above average (100 WPM) typist. On the command line I can fly; with chats I’m fast. However, whenever I have to type random words (like on a typing test), my speed decreases to ~80WPM. My difficulty is that I learned to type by chatting and playing computer games when I was an early teenager. I went from hunt-and-peck to touch-typing, getting up to a workable ~60 WPM. But I avoided using my pinkies, I crossed the center line (r, t, y, u, d, f, g, h, j, c, v, b, and n were pressed by either hand), and did not use my thumb on the space bar.

Guitar. I was above average. At my best I could play virtually anything: Eruption, tons of Metallica, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn, classical pieces, and I was on my way to learning Dream Theater. However, as I got into extremely fast pieces my poor picking technique became a limiting factor. When I held my pick, my thumb pointed up instead of down. This made it slightly slower to transition between strings and create harmonics. I also could not transition between strings as quickly as was necessary in the fastest of pieces.

There are other examples, tennis for example, that helped teach me this lesson. I don’t play guitar anymore, but my typing has improved dramatically over the years. Since finding that fundamentals matter, I have worked to correct my methods, and I try to start properly. The web is a wonderful place to find information! Videos on YouTube and tutorials on various sites are helping me to right the wrongs and make it all the way to grandmaster in my pursuits :)