Hearing Loss & Band Members "Noodling"

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DeaconK, Jan 20, 2014.


  1. DeaconK

    DeaconK

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Not sure if this is a "rant" or a cry for help. I have a pretty significant hearing loss, constant tinnitus (ever since I can remember, even as a child). Growing up shooting weapons, several years working around jet aircraft, loud rock and roll and yeah, I'm old (62). I'm finding that rehearsals are becoming extremely irritating for me, especially when we're still getting ready to rehearse. Lots of "noodling" going on, the drummer loosening up, the other guitars playings bits and pieces of songs, etc. My hearing loss is significant enough that when I'm in a crowd, I can't distinguish individual voices, conversations, etc. You can imagine how all of this before-rehearsal activity is beginning to affect me. I'm finding that I get EXTREMELY "edgy". Once we all start rehearsing a specific song, I'm fine, but until that point, I'm close to losing it. We aren't a loud bunch, but this is really getting to me. Does anyone else have this problem or am I just being a grumpy old fart? :bawl:
  2. The_Janitor

    The_Janitor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Madison, Wi
    I can relate somewhat with the hearing loss and annoyance at pre-practice noodling. My band mates like to start in (at full volume) every time i try to tweak pedal or amp settings. I always do this at a low volume level, so i can hear what everything sounds like without ear plugs. Without fail, about 10 seconds after I start changing settings i get LOUD CYMBALS, LOUD SNARE DRUM and LOUD GUITAR, which sends me scrambling to get the ear plugs in. Tone tweaking time is over.

    I don't know what advice i can offer, people need to warm up. Just take a deep breath or two, remember that it's supposed to be fun and try to move past it.
    It's not worth it to me too bring it up, its my problem that I'm annoyed or caught off guard without hearing protection. I just wish they'd let me get my tone sorted first.
  3. superfunk47

    superfunk47

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    Noodling is one of the most common and most annoying habits musicians tend to carry. It's annoying when you're trying to think, go over a chart, or tune, but especially while people are talking (or trying to), it's flat out rude.
  4. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    Media:
    13
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Lacey, WA
    Whoa, you guys wouldn't have liked being in a band with me. "Noodling" as you call it was my favorite thing to do.

    -Mike
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  6. Broadstbully22

    Broadstbully22

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Noodling at practice is one thing. Live at a show is unacceptable and unprofessional.
  7. Metalbasspro

    Metalbasspro

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    There is always at least one noodle in every band.
  8. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Edinburgh & Dundee, Scotland
    Just out of curiosity, have you been to see a doctor regarding your hearing?

    My uncle, in his mid 60's, recently had a grommet inserted in his ear, what was assumed to be age related hearing loss was actually a closing up of the ear canal. Granted, it seems pretty rare for someone of that age to be getting a grommet (it's a procedure much more regularly used on young children with issues in the development of the ear canal) but it might be worth checking out?
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Seweracuse, NY
    We have a player right now with guitarist tourettes. He can't seem to not play if its in his hands, and not necessarily in a structured way, just a "I can't stop making noises" kind of way. Drives the rest of the band kind of nuts. We'll bet talking about important stuff (gigs, schedules, arrangements) and he's stuck playing some 3 note thing with his delay on.

    I don't know exactly, but I chalk it up to what appears to be some chemical damage in his past, because I don't even think he knows what he's doing. You can see that he's 'tuned out', blank look in his eyes and I swear he could start drooling momentarily. I've taken to saying "Hey Spaceman...you need to pay attention" and stuff like that.
  10. MaGrass

    MaGrass

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Location:
    London, UK
    Get yourself ear plugs asap. That's the only thing that may help you against all that noise and further damage!
    it's scary to think that you can lose your hearing like that and all the things you enjoy to do like playing with others can become so frustrating. I began to take extra care of my ears few years ago when, not for any particular reason apart the picture of yourself doing the same thing for the years to come. That's gonna be a lot of loudness overtime. And I think as a bassist, you just need to stand next to the drummer to get all of that abuse. For the 80% of the live shows I wear ear plugs at least in one ear if not Both. In rehearsals, no way I'm gonna play without ear plugs, no matter what genre
  11. Flashback Bass

    Flashback Bass

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Location:
    Hangin' at the Jersey Shore!
  12. Gaolee

    Gaolee The Fat Violin Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    It is an issue. I play with a guitarist who is both loud and constantly noodling on some song that has nothing to do with what we play. His sense of rhythm is suspect, too, so it's a trifecta. I like the guy, and he's been part of the band for all five years it has existed. It isn't going to change, so the solution is to quit or deal with it. The band is fun and I do this for fun, so I deal with it. If it were a professional band, I wouldn't.
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Seweracuse, NY
    Ours has started to slip that crap into some songs, and its not going over well. Open string harmonics randomly played with effects in straightforward 2 chord numbers and such. At first I looked over because I thought he was tuning and forgot to mute.
  14. Mushroo

    Mushroo

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Tinnitus is no fun, I feel your pain!

    What I often do at rehearsals is, show up early/on time, set up my gear (I am the fastest one, takes me less than 10 minutes) and then step outside until everyone else is ready to actually start rehearsing.

    If you record your practices (which everyone should do, it is a great tool) then the playback could be eye-opening for your guitarist who may not be aware of how obnoxious he's being?
  15. mellowinman

    mellowinman Guaranteed to break the Ice at Naughty Parties Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
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    Albums:
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    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    My wife gets very annoyed by noodling. That said, sometimes my guitar player just starts playing a song I like, and I will jam along, and the drummer will jam along, and my wife will say, "if you are all going to just make a bunch of noise, I'll just take a cig break," and I always say, "take it outside."

    Noodling can annoy me, but some of my favorites on the setlist ended up there because of Arthur's noodling.

    I made a deal with him a long time ago. I won't be offended by your noodling, if you won't be offended if I tell you to CAN IT when it needs canned.

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