Aphantasiacs Unite

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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Touche :rofl: :joy:
Didn’t I tell you “several people (ladies)”? …too late, my own fault…I’m crawling away :confounded:

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I am also finding this topic fascinating; I had never heard of it before either. I’m guessing I don’t have it as I can picture all those apples with no problems, and oddly I am now imagining a whole bowl of apples singing with cartoon lips…

I remember in grade school, age 10-12 or so? Being given a battery of tests. (they loved those things in the 70s), to test our aptitude for various subjects. I scored high in things like art and foreign languages but low in math, and yet I became an engineer even though I really hate math…

I remember one type of test was in spatial relations, they’d show a bunch of line connected dots in different orientations and you’d have to match them to a particular image. Apparently, I was very good at this though it was “supposed” to be a thing only guys were good at.

Now you’d think that would help me with visualizing the fret board when it comes to translating TAB to finger positions. But no, I’m still confused by why the TAB seems to be upside down to me, low E on the bottom, high E on the top. My brain just doesn’t want to switch it around.

Okay, I have no idea how this relates to the subject, it’s just what popped into my head while reading this thread.

HEY, maybe TAB is why Jimi played his guitar upside down? :rofl: