SQUEEZE - EM - OUT
If you're just getting into Morse Code and have an electronic keyer with paddles, this may be a feature that you may not have taken full advantage of.
Holding both paddles in will produce alternating dits and dahs with accurate spacing, so just barely touch both starting with the thumb (left) and you've made "R", hold them about twice as long and you've made a period. This squeezable feature eliminates a lot of arm/wrist movement and the need of touching the paddles from side-to-side for these characters:
C F K L Q R Y . AR KN SK
Of course this takes practice, and from a individual standpoint, everybody may not do well with all the squeeze-characters. Some may need to send some of the characters using side-to-side motions or what every gets the job done for them. Overall, it's faster, cuts keystrokes, but the added speed can also interject some major mistakes in your sending.
Good luck with these technique instructions:
C and K lead with the forefinger (right) and just take a squeeze, the trick is knowing when to let go. It will come with practice.
R, AR, "." lead with the thumb and just take a squeeze of correct length (AR is used at the end of an initial call to a specific station, but before the contact is made).
Y, Q, L and F are insertion characters. For Y, while holding forefinger (right) pressure, insert a single dit (quick touch with thumb) immediately after the first dah. For Q, a dit comes after the second dah.
For L, while holding thumb (left) pressure, insert a single dah (quick touch with forefinger) immediately after the first dit.
For F, a dah comes after the second dit. KN (only the station called is to respond) is the odd-ball. To avoid a very long explanation, make a Y then slap on a dit.
SK (your last transmission of a contact) is not completely a squeeze character, but a left for 3 dits, short squeeze - by also pressing and holding the right, then quickly releasing the left, and then the right.
To learn each character, start off with the speed control set on slow, and then gradually increase it as your ability improves. It's very easy to over send or under send by one dit or dah by using this automatic feature. One thing that will help is to actually listen for the last sound of that character and then let go of the paddle. In addition you can "Lean Into It", by leaning your hand to the left or right with a little more pressure than usual to get that last dit or dah out, as may be needed when sending a L or Y.
For example, for L at the end, lean your hand off to the right with
a little more pressure to get that last dit out.
A phrase I came up with to help easily remember the squeeze-characters is
" L U C K Y F R E Q . " , and add your favorite prosigns at the end.
Good Luck with the Code & 73 AA4UK