Morse Code Bootcamp

For a while now I’ve been fascinated by Morse code. As a professional technologist and an avid fan of the analog, I find it to be right in the intersection of my two loves, with a good dose of nostalgia thrown in: my father used to be a sailor, and I still remember, when I was little, he taught me how to spell my name in Morse.

What he taught me back then are now long forgotten, of course. The fond memory did, however, resonate one day years ago when I heard Morse code mentioned, enough that I decided to learn it again. What followed turned out to be a series of abortive attempts, none yielding any discernible progress. None of the resources I found online fit my learning style very well, so I’ve made my own tutorial. Here it is shared, hope others might find it useful too.

The Problem

Most of the existing resources on Morse code practice consist of simply recordings at increasing speeds. This requires the listener to do a few things simultaneously:

  1. hear the dits and dahs
  2. piece them together and recall the correct letter
  3. piece the letters together to words
  4. put the words together into sentences

Countless times I’ve strained to finally decipher a letter, only to realize I’ve forgotten where and in which word I was. If you look at the list above, only the first two steps are the ones we want to train for. The latter two steps should be easy once the first ones are mastered, but before you do, they only serve as distractions.

My Approach

The format of each lesson follows the same template. First, an English letter or word is spoken. Then the Morse equivalent is played four times. First two times are at a comfortable speed, then another two at slightly faster speeds. The spoken word ahead of the Morse code eliminates steps 3 and 4 above. The comfortable speed trains your recall (step 2), while the faster speed accustoms your ears and brain (step 1).

Sounds good? Let’s go then.

The Curriculum

The entire course can be found in podcast form.

TODO: Add explanation of lesson progression?

A Favor

This is very much still a work in progress. If you decide to give the course a try, I’d love to hear from you. What did you like? What don’t you like? I’m especially interested in knowing how you feel the pacing of the lessons are. Perhaps some sections are too fast or slow? Where could you have used more practice sessions before moving on to new letters? Send your thoughts to