Got internal auditory imagery? Great! (If not, keep revisiting the previous sections of this chapter!)
The next step is working on the flexibility of your internal auditory imagery. For example, maybe you can imagine a saxophonist arpeggiating up a major triad. But can you imagine it loud? Quiet? Played by a theremin?
Flexibility of auditory imagery is helpful for imagining new sounds and transferring the skill to different contexts. But it can also be a useful challenge for people whose imagery is strong but inflexible.
Goal: Develop internal auditory imagery flexibility and control.
Before you start: You’ll need to be able to hear a melody. This could be played by a friend or from a recording, or even recalled from your memory.
- Listen to a melody.
- Hear that melody internally as vividly as possible. If you have difficulty, listen to it again.
- Choose something to change about the melody: dynamics, instrument or timbre, articulation, rhythm, or pitch.
- Having mentally made the changes, hear the resulting new melody internally as vividly as possible. If you have difficulty, you may wish to hum softly to give your “internal ear” some external reinforcement.