The form of the fist with key

Even though I might mention on this topic in the past, I would repeat it here. Regarding how to handle a paddle or a bug key.

Our hand/fingers should be as if it were grasping something fragile like an egg. The finger joints as well as hand joint should be relaxed in half flexion position. It is in order to have the fist respond promptly to any required movements. If the fist is in tension with extended joints, it won't respond to any requirement quick enough.

This form of fist is the same as that holding a string instrument bow. We need to have the hand and arm move quickly as well as flexibly in string instrument performance. The same form is quite necessary for that purpose.

If you find it difficult to control especially dots, consider of the form of the fist holding a paddle or a bug key. Is it ready to respond to required movements?

Just for an information.


  1. I like your description of how to approach the key or paddle with your fist, Shin. When keying CW with paddles, my entire hand and wrist is relaxed and my thumb and finger don't touch the paddles themselves until I wish to form a character. Then the fingers and hand respond with the necessary speed and control.

    You and I have met on the air from time to time for more than 30 years now, and each time I hear your very clean and rhythmic CW I feel that I have found an old friend.

    73 to you and yours,


    1. Wayne,

      I am pleased to know you are doing with keys in the same way as I do. In the clips on Facebook, I sometimes see the operators giving some tension on the fist for keying. The finger joints are in extension in that case. Thinking of that, I have written this short article.

      This morning, 20m has been wide open to NA. I have had calls from stations in NA in a row. Sure it brought me back to old days. I am afraid, however, this is quite exceptional these days. I still feel we are living the era CW is fading out as a mode of communication, even if it remains to be a game symbol system conveying meaningless numbers etc. See you again soon.