Touch Typing Lesson 1: The Home Row

The first principle of touch typing is to always return your fingers to the home row when you are not typing. The home row will be the reference point from which you will learn the positions of all the other keys. Most keyboards have small bumps on the f and j keys to help you find the home row without looking at the keys.

As you begin these typing lessons, remember to focus on accuracy. Aim for 100% accuracy and speed will come with practice.

The Right Hand

The home row keys for the right hand are: j k l ;

Position your right hand so that your index finger is placed on j, your middle finger is on k, your ring finger is on l and your pinky is on ;

Your hand should be raised above the keyboard with your fingers curving down to point directly on the keys. This will make it easier for you to move your fingers without moving your hands. Take a moment to properly position your right hand before continuing. It is very important to develop good habits early in your typing practice.

Our first touch typing lesson introduces 2 home row keys for the right hand: j k

jjj jjj jjj jjj kkk kkk kkk kkk jjj kkk jjj kkk jjj kkk jkj jkj jkj jkj kjk kjk kjk kjk jjj jjj jjj kkk kkk kkk jk jk jk kj kj kj jj kk jk kj kj jk jj jk kk kj j j j j k k k k j k k j j k k j jkj jjk kjj kkj jkk kkk jjj kjk

Now let's learn the other two keys: l ;

lll lll lll lll ;;; ;;; ;;; ;;; lll ;;; lll ;;; lll ;;; l;l l;l l;l l;l ;l; ;l; ;l; ;l; lll lll lll ;;; ;;; ;;; l; l; l; ;l ;l ;l ll ;; l; ;l ;l l; ll l; ;; ;l l l l l ; ; ; ; l ; ; l l ; ; l l;l ll; ;ll ;;l l;; ;;; lll ;l;

Great, let's put all four keys together: j k l ;

jjj jjj kkk kkk jjj kkk lll lll ;;; ;;; lll ;;; jjj lll kkk ;;; kkk ;;; lll jjj ;;; lll kkk jjj jkj jkj kjk kjk l;l l;l ;l; ;l; j k l ; j k l ; jkl; jkl; j;kl j;kl jjj kkk lll ;;; jkj jlj j;j kjk klk k;k ljl lkl l;l jj jk jl j; kj kk kl k; lj lk ll l; ;j ;k ;l ;;

The Left Hand

The home row keys for the left hand are: f d s a

Position your left hand so that your index finger is on f, your middle finger is on d, your ring finger is on s and your pinky is on a

Check that your left hand is raised and your fingers are curved and pointed down at the keys.

We will begin with the first 2 left hand keys: f d

fff fff fff fff ddd ddd ddd ddd fff ddd fff ddd fff ddd fdf fdf fdf fdf dfd dfd dfd dfd fff fff fff ddd ddd ddd fd fd fd df df df ff dd fd df df fd ff fd dd df f f f f d d d d f d d f f d d f fdf ffd dff ddf fdd ddd fff dfd

Now for the final 2 left hand keys: s a

sss sss sss sss aaa aaa aaa aaa sss aaa sss aaa sss aaa sas sas sas sas asa asa asa asa sss sss sss aaa aaa aaa sa sa sa as as as ss aa sa as as sa ss sa aa as s s s s a a a a s a a s s a a s sas ssa aas saa aaa sss asa

And all four left hand keys together: f d s a

fff fff ddd ddd fff ddd sss sss aaa aaa sss aaa fff sss ddd aaa ddd aaa sss fff aaa sss ddd fff fdf fdf dfd dfd sas sas asa asa f d s a f d s a fdsa fdsa fads fads fff ddd sss aaa fdf fsf faf dfd dsd dad sfs sds sas ff fd fs fa df dd ds da sf sd ss sa af ad as aa

Both Hands

The following typing exercise combines all the keys we have learned so far: j k l ; f d s a

jjj fff jjj fff jjj fff kkk ddd kkk ddd kkk ddd lll sss lll sss lll sss ;;; aaa ;;; aaa ;;; aaa jkl; jkl; jkl; fdsa fdsa fdsa jjj kkk lll ;;; fff ddd sss aaa jfj jfj jfj jkj jkj jkj kdk kdk kdk kjk kjk kjk l;l l;l l;l ;l; ;l; ;l; fdf fdf fdf dfd dfd dfd sas sas sas asa asa asa

H and G

The keys we have covered so far can all be typed without moving your fingers from the home row position. Now it is time to learn how to move your fingers off the home row to reach the h and g keys. To reach these new keys, you will need to move your index fingers to the sides. Practice extending your right index finger to the left to hit the h key. Then try reaching to the right with your left index finger for the g key. Afterwards, always remember to return your fingers to the home keys.

hhh hhh hhh hhh ggg ggg ggg ggg hhh ggg hhh ggg hhh ggg hgh hgh hgh hgh ghg ghg ghg ghg hhh hhh hhh ggg ggg ggg hg hg hg gh gh gh hh gg hg gh gh hg hh hg gg gh h h h h g g g g h g g h h g g h hgh hhg ghh ggh hgg ggg hhh ghg

Now all four index finger keys: j f h g

hhh hhh ggg ggg hhh ggg jjj jjj fff fff jjj fff hhh jjj ggg fff ggg fff jjj hhh fff jjj ggg hhh hgh hgh ghg ghg jfj jfj fjf fjf h g j f h g j f hgjf hgjf hfgj hfgj hhh ggg jjj fff hgh hjh hfh ghg gjg gfg jhj jgj jfj hh hg hj hf gh gg gj gf jh jg jj jf fh fg fj ff

All Together

Congratulations! You have learned to type the home row and covered more than a third of the alphabet! Let's put everything together to solidify your new typing skills.

aaa aaa aaa ;;; ;;; ;;; sss sss sss lll lll lll ddd ddd ddd kkk kkk kkk fff fff fff jjj jjj jjj ggg ggg ggg hhh hhh hhh ggg hhh fff jjj ddd kkk sss lll aaa ;;; asdfghjkl; asdfghjkl; asdfghjkl; a;sldkfjgh a;sldkfjgh a;sldkfjgh ghfjdksla; ghfjdksla; ghfjdksla; asa asa ada ada afa afa aga aga aha aha aja aja aka aka ala ala a;a a;a ;l; ;l; ;k; ;k; ;j; ;j; ;h; ;h; ;g; ;g; ;f; ;f; ;d; ;d; ;s; ;s; ;a; ;a; sas sas sds sds sfs sfs sgs sgs shs shs sjs sjs sks sks sls sls s;s s;s l;l l;l lkl lkl ljl ljl lhl lhl lgl lgl lfl lfl ldl ldl lsl lsl lal lal dad dad dsd dsd dfd dfd dgd dgd dhd dhd dkd dkd dld dld d;d d;d k;k k;k klk klk kjk kjk khk khk kgk kgk kfk kfk kdk kdk ksk ksk kak kak faf faf fsf fsf fdf fdf fgf fgf fhf fhf fjf fjf fkf fkf flf flf f;f f;f j;j j;j jlj jkj jkj jhj jhj jgj jgj jfj jfj jdj jdj jsj jsj jaj jaj gag gag gsg gsg gdg gdg gfg gfg ghg ghg gkg gkg glg glg g;g g;g h;h h;h hlh hlh hkh hkh hjh hjh hgh hgh hfh hfh hdh hdh hsh hsh hah hah a l s j d h g ; f k l f s ; j g k h a d

Feel free to repeat any of the exercises in this typing lesson. When you can complete them with nearly 100% accuracy you are ready to move on to the next lesson!

Next Lesson: The Top Row