Learning CW Progress (Update 1)

So today i finally started to learn morse.
I have downloaded a couple of audio files and i started off with K7QO’s Code Course. The K7QO Code Course teaches the the alphabet from A to Z in sets of two letters and then a test of the letters learned so far.

I don’t know if this is the best way to learn the code, but a s a first attempt, this is what i do:
I listen to the audio files and try to repeat what i hear using my paddles.
The audio  files i listen on my Macbook, the radio produces the morse audio i create with my paddles. Like this i not only learn the code, but also learn how to handle the paddles.
The good thing is that the radio doesn’t transmit as long as it is set to USB. When i set the radio to CW, the radio transmits what i send with my paddles, but for the next 4 months or so, this is not needed yet… So you can think of it that USB mode is my “learning mode”.

Today i have done a-b, the a-b test, c-d, the a-d test, e-f and the a-f test. The audio files vary between 12 and 20WPM and i have set my radio to 20WPM.
About two hours of practice and i can tell you that the last test, the a-f one, was not easy.
I hear two code sequences, the one from my Macbook and the one from my radio, both with a different pitch. And while i’m sending my code i have to listen to the next sequence i have to repeat. This, when the speed goes up, needs some practice, i can promise you that!

Also the handling of the paddles is not easy. As well as learning an audio “rhythm” for each character, i also have to learn a paddle “rhythm” to actually send the letters.
Maybe 20WPM is too fast to begin with. Not for recognizing the letters, but for sending them. I very often send an extra dit or dah because i don’t handle the paddles well. Also if i would spend some time on the squeezing technique (see below), maybe this would make my life easier, don’t know.

Anyway, this is my first progress report. I guess this will be my longest article ever. If now, with 6 characters, i already get confused, how could i ever learn 26 characters, 10 digits and a bunch of signs and special codes?
How? I don’t know yet, but i definitely keep you informed.