Aphantasiacs Unite

we re all built differently
there are different types of memory and we’re not all using the same memory
some people use the photographic memory , others , the " ear " memory , others will be smells and the re must be a memory linked to the touch too etc etc

what works for some people might not work for others because we do not use the same memory !
someone with an " ear " memory or photographic memory shouldn t try to use the " color " technic because their brain won t understand it

This thread has really caught my attention. So most people can actually see objects or events in their minds, even with their eyes closed or open?! I had no clue that was possible. I’ve never heard of it. I evidently have Aphantasia then, since I don’t see things like that.

Only, as I have aged, some nights, between being asleep and awake, I see what I first thought were spiders in my bed. Or I see large, dark, floating
blobs. But that’s different. I can’t see visuals in my mind. I do dream and can recall some of what I saw in the dreams. I can imagine. I can follow the story in a book and imagine the story, but I can’t see it. I guess that’s why I love movies. The visual is right there.

I’ve always wondered why some people can memorize and retain so much and so easily where I can’t. Is it because they can see it in their minds? Probably not. I know Justin has good memory skills.

But either way, I’m still plugging along with my guitar. Slowly but surely.


I can remember it in my mind but can’t see it like I can see a dream.

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I caught that and was so fascinated by it.

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This was one of the reasons that I enjoy video games. It is a way for my brain to focus on something than going over and over the day at work.

Now I have found guitar, that does the same, overloading my brain with focus on playing stops other thoughts.

I think it is just a different way of memorizing. I think I depend on a lot of repetition, writing it down does help to get things into memory…

I have great recall for some things, numbers and work details, and much less so for trips I have been on or things I did as a kid. So it’s like my brain prioritizes some things over others. With appropriate prompts I can begin rebuilding memories of holidays or things that happened as a child.

So this thread is working like therapy for me, and I am going to change something about my guitar learning as a consequence. If I write things down, that helps me remember, but for the most part I am not diligent in writing out guitar things. I do have a book, but other than music theory I rarely use it. However I am going to try writing out chord diagrams etc. If I do things on a computer that doesn’t aid the memory.

I have written out the lyrics to songs and that has helped me memorize them. This is something that I am going to start doing more. I have been trying to use songbook pro, but I think I need to use that as a memory jogger and writing out the lyrics as part of the learning process.
In fact writing out @LievenDV 's song overview sheet is something that I am going to work on doing to see if the physical transferring of information to paper through my own hand may help. I’m off to find the templates.


Same here, writing stuff down has always worked for me. My main method of revision for school exams was basically writing my notes out again. I lose focus/interest if I just read and typing isn’t the same. I can get away with drawing on the screen of my iPad with Apple Pencil thingy which is my preferred way at the moment as I don’t have loads of notebooks lying around and there’s not loads of things crossed out :joy:
Last year I re-taught myself to solve a Rubik’s cube (I’ve since forgotten again as I didn’t keep it up). Some people can probably visualise where the pieces are going but I just memorised some series of moves by repetition (eg front, left, front anti, right etc)

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not for me … i don t have a photographic memory and writing is just a pain in the ***
Listening was enough for me

what works for some do not work for others …

Same here. I always take notes pen and paper style if I want to learn something new. Makes it much easier to commit information to the brain. I’ll need a new tablet at some point this year, going for one coming with a pen sounds like an interesting idea.

This is something that works very well for me, although I use a simplified version at the moment since I’m still mainly strumming only. It helps a lot recognizing repeating patterns etc.
Once I have written down the structure of a song, I don’t need to look at a lot anymore what I’ve written down anymore… because I can “see” a picture of this map in my mind.

That’s what I would love being able to say. I would want to tell people that I’m an auditory learner. Trouble is, it’s not true. I have listened to many audiobooks for example, but weeks later I won’t remember much of the content anymore

It works well with music, but not as well (yet) as I would want to, though I suppose recognizing chords and notes in songs just by listening can be improved with discipline and hard work.

As soon as I am supposed to learn lyrics for example (and strangely I don’t write down lyrics) I need associated images I “see” in my mind. Once lyrics are learned, I can “see” them written down on a lyrics sheet in my mind…


so you have a photographic memory

I can learn lyrics after only hearing a song once or twice
The new Gossip song is already an ear worm :rofl:

No, no, no. I surely don’t. That would be … I don’t know … great or disturbing?! It’s just relatively easy to recall a - more or less correct - “image” of what I have written down :slightly_smiling_face:

So question for the aphantasiacs (completely unrelated to music, but something I was thinking about when mentally ‘chewing’ on this)…is doodling not really a thing for you?

Sitting in class as a kid (or even in conferences as an adult), I’d doodle all over the margins of my paper - mostly animals when I was a kid, often imagined geometric designs these days, but really flowers, plants, whatever comes to mind. If you were to do the same, would it have to be drawings of objects/people in the room that you can see?

My doodles were always just a mixture of random squiggles and shapes. If they did include things like trees then they’d be cartoon type trees rather than an actual tree.
I always found I could copy a 2d image from a book cover quite well but wasn’t so good at 3d objects and people although I couldn’t say whether aphantasia has anything to do with that. I certainly couldn’t draw a person from memory and even something like a picture of the front of my house that I see every day would be basic because I know where the doors and windows are

There s nothing wrong with cartoon trees :open_mouth:



I still draw like Picasso in kindergarten…unlike my wife who also sees black when she closes her eyes… She paints quite a lot…but not from out the imagination her head…

If I were to start doing this, even tracing paper wouldn’t help me

so so true :grin:

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picasso in kindergarten would still worth millions :rofl:

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Squares and cubes for me we the occasional tringle on top (houses)

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Very catchy vibe… and what I get out of it in lyrics is nice and catchy :sunglasses:… but are you now calling my thick-glazed, glasses-wearing girl a blind person? ooo I used to get punished for that … :roll_eyes:

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Well, someone told you you were a sharp-looking dude! :rofl: :sunglasses:

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