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Learn CW Morse Code – Lesson Set 1
This article on Learn CW Morse Code – Lesson Set 1 is the first in our series of lesson sets for beginners and perhaps others too, to learn Morse code on the journey to becoming a proficient CW Radiotelegraphy operator. Throughout these several sets of lessons that I present on this website, I will walk you through a scientific process for learning Morse code most efficiently. Unlike other methods that are often advocated, this set of lessons will not only allow you to attain proficiency in copying Morse code by the ear like a professional but will also allow you to copy it without hitting a speed barrier. After you train yourself by following the tutorial sequence, you will discover that Morse code is rather easy, charming, and quite musical… It is like any other regular language but with a very small vocabulary thus making it pretty simple. Of course, initially, you might find the Morse code character sounds a bit alien, however, once you cross the initial barrier, it will turn out to be easier than you thought.

CW Morse code lesson keyOur training method relies on treating each character (alphabet, numeral, etc.) as a distinctive sound pattern and not as a code. I advise you not to memorize the dit-dah character sequences from any chart or table. Such an exercise is counter-productive and might hamper your learning process.. Just listen to the audio training lessons that I have presented here. We want your brain to gradually register each sound pattern as a whole. As the sounds seep in and get etched in your brain, you begin to learn CW… This is a natural and native process that the brain uses to learn any language. When you learn a new language, you listen to a specific word and learn its sound while associating it with its meaning. You don’t learn to understand a spoken language by initially memorizing the spellings of words. Similarly, Morse code, which is also a language in its rights needs to be learned as you hear it and not by memorizing the dit-dah sequence.

The human brain is a complex organ. It has the processing speed and hence the ability to decipher words and sounds into syllables. The same would happen if you listen to the Morse code. Inadvertently, the brain might try to break up the whole sound pattern of a character into its dit-dah sequence if you give it enough time between transmission of characters… We don’t want that to happen because while we are copying Morse code, our objective is not to discover its dit-dah sequence but to directly associate it to the alphabet or character. We do not want the brain to form the undesired habit of listening to the sound, then converting it to a dit-dah sequence before associating it with a character. We want to do away with the man-in-the-middle. We want to go directly from the sound to the character… This is the fundamental upside of our training method.

Therefore our training method makes you learn Morse code at a higher speed of transmission than what people do quite often. We do not want to give the brain enough time in between to break the sound pattern into a dit-dah sequence. We want it to directly translate the sound into character… Most traditional Morse code teaching techniques that use low-speed transmission sequences make this mistake. Although, while learning Mose code at low speed one might initially feel more comfortable for a few days but the person falls into a trap from where there is no redemption. People who learn Morse code at slow speed would eventually hit a speed barrier that they might never be able to overcome. That is because their way of copying CW involves an extra step of breaking the audible sound pattern to dit-dah sequence before forming the character. This is highly inefficient and time-consuming.

CW Morse Code Alphabets – Let’s Learn
Now, let us get started with the Morse code lessons… This Lesson Set -1 is the starting point for all those who want to learn Morse code from the scratch or for those who can copy at slow or moderate transmission speeds up to 10-12 WPM but have difficulty in copying code at faster speeds… However, before we begin, here is a quick checklist of points to keep in mind. Please adhere to the protocol cited below. Do not try to jump the gun or skip lesson modules…

CW Morse Code lesson alphabets

This is the sequence in which we will learn to copy Morse code as we progress through our lesson set. As you may note, we add 2 new alphabets to each new lesson as we progress.

Take a note of the following before you begin...
  • Do NOT try your hand at sending Morse code until you attain proficiency in receiving Morse code by the ear. Otherwise, you might end up developing a bad fist (sending accent) which may be difficult to correct later.
  • You must never try to listen and copy regular on-air Morse code transmissions while you are learning Morse code. Our CW lessons are scientifically structured and we introduce you to various characters progressively in a controlled manner. This allows your brain to learn Morse code logically without creating garbage of other character sounds that might confuse your brain.
  • You must start with the first lesson module and do not attempt to go to the next lesson until you achieve a thorough comfort level copying the characters in that lesson.
  • Do not try to rush to the next lesson without acquiring complete command on the alphabets in the current lesson. Even if one alphabet in a lesson is causing difficulties, stay on that lesson till your brain sorts it out and trains itself..
  • Let the brain associate the unique sound pattern of each alphabet (as a whole) with a visual impression of that alphabet to be formed in your mind..
  • At this stage of the learning process, don't attempt to write down what you copy on paper. Let the brain register and associate the pictorial image of the alphabets to the character sounds.
  • Each lesson is a random character sequence of a set of alphabets. The total duration of each lesson file is approximately 5 minutes each... Do not over-strain your mind by repeating the lessons continuously again and again.
  • It's a good idea to play the lesson once and then give it a break for at least 30-50 minutes (preferably more) before playing it again. This process is similar to high-intensity interval training that people do in gyms.
  • While you are letting your mind rest after a 5-minute training session, do not think about Morse code at that time... Do other normal things and allow your mind to relax. After a suitable time gap, play the same lesson again. Continue this process of interval training as many times or as many days needed till you attain proficiency with that lesson module before moving to the next lesson.
  • Make sure to achieve equal fluency while copying each character in the lesson before moving to the next lesson. Do not let any character remain as a weak-link in this learning sequence. Or else, these weak-links will come back to bite you later when we try to copy regular transmissions of sentences and full message sequences by making you miss several subsequent characters or words in the continuous transmission environment.
  • Each lesson adds two new characters to the previous lesson. Therefore, we have 13 lessons in this lesson set to cover all 26 alphabets. The character sound patterns are played at 20 WPM while the inter-character spacing has been increased to render an overall transmission rate of 12 WPM. This method is called the Farnsworth Timing Method. This is done to facilitate the learning process, yet your brain hears each character sound at 20 WPM.
  • The last lesson (#14) in this lesson set is an additional yet important practice module. Here all the 26 alphabets are played in a random sequence at 20 WPM character speed as before but the Farnsworth timing delay is reduced to achieve a 17 WPM effective transmission rate. This brings you very close to the real thing... Please practice it till you attain good fluency before going to the next Lesson Set where we will introduce numerals and other characters.

Your journey to learn Morse Code begins now... Get, Set, Go!

Alphabet Lesson – 03
Characters: W B H M T A

Alphabet Lesson – 04
Characters: W B H M T A J S

Alphabet Lesson – 05
Characters: W B H M T A J S I N

Alphabet Lesson – 06
Characters: W B H M T A J S I N D O

Alphabet Lesson – 07
Characters: W B H M T A J S I N D O E L

Alphabet Lesson – 08
Characters: W B H M T A J S I N D O E L Z K

Alphabet Lesson – 09
Characters: W B H M T A J S I N D O E L Z K C G

Alphabet Lesson – 10
Characters: W B H M T A J S I N D O E L Z K C G Q U

Alphabet Lesson – 11
Characters: W B H M T A J S I N D O E L Z K C G Q U V R

Alphabet Lesson – 12
Characters: W B H M T A J S I N D O E L Z K C G Q U V R P F

Alphabet Lesson – 13
Characters: W B H M T A J S I N D O E L Z K C G Q U V R P F X Y

Practice Lesson – 14
All 26 alphabets A-Z @ 17 WPM Farnsworth Timing for more practice.

If you have meticulously progressed through all the lessons in this set, you should be fairly proficient in copying all 26 Morse code alphabets by now. If you believe that your fluency in copying all characters from the Practice lesson #14 has been satisfactory, then it is time for you to step up to the next lesson set - 2... Hope you enjoyed learning Morse code so far...

Learn CW Morse Code - Lesson Set 1 1

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