Two Higher and Lower



Now that you’ve gotten the hang of the anchor, higher, and lower, you’re ready to add the notes “two higher” and “two lower.”

This means the notes you’ve been calling “higher” and “lower” will become “one higher” and “one lower,” like this:


This can feel quite a bit more challenging at first, but it’s the same technique. You want to place yourself at the anchor, then listen to each note and work your way from that note back to the anchor to hear how many steps higher or lower it is than the anchor, like this:

[demo “hum, okay so it’s higher, and it was two higher”]

Remember to keep yourself oriented at the anchor, and really feel each new note in your body as a tension that wants to pull back to the anchor. Eventually, you want to be able to recognize these tensions without having to hum them.

Like before, the first note you hear will always be the anchor, and that’s to help you get oriented. If you lose the anchor, you can always just listen and wait until you hear the anchor again, then orient yourself back to it.

[stop tonescape]

The biggest challenge when you add new notes is staying oriented to the anchor. This is different from trying to remember the anchor. Even if you can remember the anchor, or hear what note it is, you still want to create the feeling of being at the anchor. That you’ve placed yourself there and the other notes are stretched away from you, wanting to pull back to you. This is a experience that’s not inherent in the notes themselves, but in their relationship to one another.

You can also listen and find the anchor in the tonescape, because it’s the lowest [hum], highest [hum], and middle note [hum]. So it’s framing the sound, and it’s also slightly louder, since there are three of the anchor and only two of all the other notes.

But you really do have to create the feeling of the anchor more actively in a tonescape, whereas in most music, the anchor is emphasized by events moving in the song.

[tonescape ends]

When the tonescape ends, each of the notes disappear one by one, like they’re being vacuumed up into silence. It sounds cool, and it shows you all the notes that are in the tonescape. The very last note you hear will also orient you to the anchor.

So practice this at least once every day, but not for more than 15 minutes at a time. What’s most important is that you listen regularly. Remember that it’s like building a muscle, so you don’t want to overdo it. Try to find a time during the day when your focus is right for this kind of listening, and be sensitive to when you start to get tired.

Then, once you feel confident naming each note you hear, that’s when you’re ready to come back for more.

Tonescape Exercises

Anchor, Two Higher, Two Lower