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About synesthesia...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rtav, Nov 28, 2018.


  1. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Hey All!

    Just a question:

    In another thread synesthesia came up and got me thinking. I don’t really know much about it, but was wondering about something that might be related.

    Anyone else unconsciously and automatically play note patterns on the fingerboard that are also automatically colored (like “coming up is the green-sawtooth pattern” or “one black rectangle”) or associate bass lines with colors and 3D objects (“oh here comes the brown layers of shale” or “that’s the blue steam engine”) riff?

    Now I know what the notes actually are in my conscious mind, but anyone else on here automatically and unconsciously assign bass lines colors, patterns and 3D objects as you are playing, then sort of call them up when playing?

    I suspect a lot of us do, but since I haven’t yet perfected my telepathic powers (or any other mystical powers) I thought I’d ask.

    :)
     
  2. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I have synesthesia, but it's not about lines. It's rather about notes. Like, A is red, B is black with a silvery outline, C is whitish, D is yellow-tan, E is black, F is reddish, G is brown. But there are other things, too, like sharps are kinda orange and flats are kinda green.

    But not only colors. I also see sounds. Hard to describe, though. Words ha textures and colors as well.

    Thought I was nuts until I started reading about other folks having it.
     
    rtav likes this.
  3. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    It sounds like you’re describing what I suppose is true synesthesia, as I’ve seen TV shows where ppl with synesthesia see individual numbers and letters as distinct colors, I haven’t heard of words being subject to distinct colors but it makes sense.

    As a question of curiosity - do the colors of notes affect in any way your original bass lines (“I think there’s too many notes of this color - it needs some of that color”)? I hope it’s not too stupid of a question to ask, again I’m curious.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Nah, doesn't affect my playing at all, as far as I know.

    Days of the week names and month names also have different colors and textures. Oddly, I picture the calendar week backwards in my mind as well, but it's nothing to do with synesthesia.

    Different states of the union have different colors, too. But it might be linked to a puzzle I had as a kid. Countries also, but is probably linked to atlases or globes.
     
  5. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Thank you - that sounds really interesting and amazing.
     
  6. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I'd like to hear more of what others' experiences are here, too.
     
    rtav likes this.
  7. Colors do not enter into my thought process. Offered for what that is worth.
     
    rtav likes this.
  8. rutrho

    rutrho

    Mar 29, 2014
    sf bay area
    Yeeep.
    The biggest way that synesthesia manifests for me is I get bleed through into my vision depending on the sound, pitch, timbre, etc. Human speech tends to be black/grey/yellows/oranges sort of static that bleed into the edges of my vision. My kiddos is a bright yellow and grey for instance, My partner tends to be green and orange. One of my ex boyfriends voice was red and yellow.

    Playing music is way fun tho! Bass tends to be based around black, greens, blues and into orange with a lot of variation in that range but its way more upfront and centered in my vision. There are a lot of textural elements as well but those can get kind of hard to start really uh, explaining. The best way I can sort of explain how it manifests for me is moving, repetitive patterns. Think swirls and waves and fractals and stuff.

    It really makes playing with effect pedals a LOT of fun as I can just mess around at home making cool sonic textures and getting a trippy visual show while doing it.

    Its a lot of fun to work with in a musical sense but with voices I have a really hard time understanding speech a lot of the time and it gets REALLY bad when more than one person is talking or there is a lot of competing sound. Meetings are a special sort of hell for this reason!
     
    rtav, Groove Doctor and Russell L like this.
  9. mrcbass

    mrcbass

    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Never had the color thing while playing, but I definitely think in patterns - squares, els, tees, upside down tees.

    Probably not at all related to what you're talking about though....
     
    rtav and Russell L like this.
  10. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I think it's the same kind of thing. At least related.
     
    rutrho and mrcbass like this.
  11. Slade N

    Slade N Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    portland, or
    i dont see or hear colors but do get visualization of texture
     
    rtav, rutrho and bolophonic like this.
  12. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Anyone else? Maybe it’s not as common as I thought.
     

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