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First rehearsal with ear plugs

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by NJXT, Feb 2, 2001.


  1. NJXT

    NJXT

    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    Last night, I had my first rehearsal with ear plugs.
    I was a little anxious about it (not about the "good looking/attitude thing" because I don't give a dam' about that) but about my overall hability to play with ear plugs.
    The drummer and I bought some plugs and put them on. The guitarist/singer tried it but wasn't feeling comfortable (escially for singing) with them and quickly drop them, though we explained the risks. Well, next time perhaps...
    As for the playing with ear plugs, I was really surprised. In fact, it's great. The drummer and I were more relaxed, not stressed at all by the volume. We could hear each instrument better, and we played better, paying mre attention to every single note, not fearing to be stuned by a "snare drum attack" or a "guitar bombing".
    I surely recommand the use of ear plugs to every musician I know, for now.
     
  2. Of course you could just turn down to a more comfortable volume. But yes it will help to preserve your irreplacable hearing to use good plugs, I've got a LOUD R&R gig and I will be wearing the plugs and playing my new 'old' bass.
     
  3. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    I disagree.You see,you can turn the volume down with the amps,but not with the drums...What you will get is a bad overall sound,with the drums heard much more than the other instruments-and anyway drums alone can damage your hearing.With ear plugs you can still have good balance among the instruments...at least that's what I think,I haven't used plugs yet:D but I definetely intend to...it's just that now we don't do rehearsals because of the exams at the university.As soon as we play again,I'll follow NJXT's example.
     
  4. You see, here is where nobody is totally right and nobody is totally wrong. You are correct that it is hard to turn down the drums but on the other hand most practice rooms aren't the best place to work on your "sound". I just had the same type experience with my new band. First rehearsal (ever) VERY LOUD, probably due to nerves and unfamiliar territory. After I mentioned the need to be able to hear all of the parts for learning purposes the second rehearsal was toned way down and it went very, very well. In fact everybody was glad to have the breathing room to hear, not only each part, but how it worked with the others. We balanced the volume by starting with the bass and drums, then added the vocals and then guitars. By building our practice volume this way we all realized how much was being missed at the higher volumes. Later, when we can turn the amps away from each other, we'll work on a stage sound. But there is plenty to learn before that.
     
  5. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I've worn earplugs for 95% of my playing lifetime. It's funny now because the guitarists I work with on a regular basis kid me about the fact that they can barely turn up and it hurts my ears. They laugh at me, but they told me that they wish they'd done what I did and started wearing earplugs very early on. The better and more sensitive your hearing is, the more subtleties you can hear in the music. And, contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to hear everything going on when you're playing while wearing earplugs. I give earplugs a big thumbs up!
     
  6. gweimer

    gweimer

    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I've never done the earplugs at rehearsal, but I did do it live for a long time. We try to keep rehearsal volume down to a reasonable level. In the years when I played out a lot, I took to using a Norton Sonic II in my left ear (I stood at the far right of the stage), mainly to help with vocals, but it also helped shield me from the singer/guitarist who had to crank his amp full out every night. There is a real temptation to "sound like a concert" whenever you practice, but this is the wrong approach, in my opinion. You all need to hear each other - this is the time to work out structure, dynamics, cues, etc. that will make the live performance a joyous occasion. A good drummer will be able to use some dynamics to bring down his volume a little.
    (Hambone, you and I think alike....uh,oh, it's getting scary again......[​IMG] )
     
  7. NJXT

    NJXT

    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    That's obvious, it's easier and healthier to turn down volumes. I agree.
    But, since we (my band) are not those great musicians, the drummer can play softly but not all the time.
    We play some kind of rock (but with a large variety of influences), and sometimes, when the "chemistry" is there between us, the feeling is good, I can understand that the drummer wishes to "let it go" a little (well, hum ... more than a little sometimes). I guess you can name that the "heavy rock call of the wild" ;)
    Of course, that's a lack of technique and self control to not be able to play at low volume, with real dynamic. But that's the way it is for now.
    Honestly, the singer/guitar player likes it loud also, but doesn't feel comfortable with ear plugs yet. I hope, for his own safety, that he will someday.
     
  8. Since we seem to be coming back to the drummer and his dynamics, there might be a solution.

    The drum teacher at a local shop/studio and I were talking about a variety of things when he told be that he had nearly completed making the conversion to sythesized drums. This sort of surprised me, since this guy was an old road dog and I wouldn't have anticipated him to be accepting of such a technical advancement. He went on to explain that because of the variety of enviroments that he was required to play in that the synth system was perfect. He had invested in quality hardware and electronics and he found that he could always get his sound, at any volume level, while still playing as hard as required to make the groove work. I'm sure that we've all heard the line from a drummer like "I can't play soft and fast at the same time" or something similiar. This guy made a good argument for the sythesized approach. Play as hard as you want, just turn down the knobs to match the situation. Sounds like a perfect solution.

    Yeah, Gary we really need to meet sometime. I can see it now...no matter how much we think alike, we would probably screw up the date/time/place arrangements and never rendevous!:)
     

  9. I used to get ribbed for being the only one to wear ear plugs. "Oh man you're a wimp" then we had a really loud gig to go to. The next day at rehearsal they all turned up with ear plugs. very funny. I just stood there shaking my head... "Shut-up dude, don't say I told you so" lol

    Merls
     
  10. ... and I thought that I was the only one that could hear my bass better with ear plugs. The vocals seem to stand out better also.
     
  11. NJXT

    NJXT

    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    In facts, I tried two different pairs of ear plugs :
    - the first one was standards pharamcist ear plugs : it cuts the high frequencies a lot, I could hear the bass better, but I didn't heard the "real" sound of the band.
    - Musician ears plugs (made of plastic I think) : it seems to cut all the frequencies identicaly. I think I heard the real sound of the band with them but I missed this big badass bass sound I had with the other plugs ;)
     
  12. I've been using ear plugs for years and it has saved my hearing.The other night(Friday) I went to see my friend's band "Real By Design" at a sports bar.The PA was cranking so I decided to pop in my plugs( I think they're called Hearos.)Anyways as soon as I put them in I could hear and feel a difference.When the bassist went to talk with me I could hear everything he was saying and I didn't have to yell to make sure I was heard.Now I don't go anywhere without them.Who knows when I'll run into a situation that might destroy my hearing.The only famous deaf musicians I know of is Jeff Beck,Pete Townsend,and Ted Nugent.I don't want to end up like that.
     
  13. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    DC
    I have a pair of reusable Hearos ear plugs that work great. If I remember correctly I think they cut 27 decibels or something like that. I have the bright orange ones that can be spotted from a mile away but they are also made in "skin" color to blend in better. The only earplugs I know of that are better than Hearos are ones that would be custom fitted to your ears.
     
  14. ... the ear plugs I wear are the "shooter" style with the chord so they can hang around your neck when you take them out. They are made of soft rubber. I bought mine in the sporting goods section at Wal-Mart.
     
  15. This is a good topic. My drummer plays very sharp and a very heavy hitter. There seems to be no cure for this. I begged him to turn down, and only got $#!+. After 3 years of wearing cotton (Plugs were cutting too much), I finally went to an audiologist and got Musicians Ear Plugs. They are molded to my ears, are soft plastic, and you can replace the elements. The elements I got are ER9 (-9db) they have ER15 and ER25 too. you can get them mixed for more attenuation to one side if you like. These make a BIG DIFFERENCE in the way I hear now. All the frequencies come through in their natural proportions, just quieter. The whole band sounds better because is doesn't overload my ears and I can hear everything.My vocals are even better cause you can hear yourself better both pitch and mix. They cost me $125.00, the best $125. I ever spent.
     
  16. NJXT

    NJXT

    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    ROCKBOBMEL : how much did the Musician Ear Plugs cost you (including the audiologist) ?
    DId you have the 3 elements or do you have to choose one ?
     
  17. See Above. They cost $125.00 That cost covered everything. You have to choose the elements you want. The ER9 (-9db) ones are plenty of attenuation, and my band is LOUD. See the site H.E.A.R.com
     
  18. NJXT

    NJXT

    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    Thx ROCK.
    I thought it was the cost without the audiologist.
    I don't think I will have a hard time convincing my wife it's a necessary expense, this time ;)
     
  19. Nathanael: Protect your ears. I have tinitis (ringing constantly) and high end freq. loss. This is IRREVERSIBLE!!, and now I have to live with it. It is very painful sometimes (like when someone talks loud in your ear at a noisy concert). See the site called: H.E.A.R. Good luck,

    P.S. Tell us how you made out.
     
  20. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Due, in part, that my wife is an audiologist, I was able to set up a dealership arrangement with Etymotic Research, makers of the ER 15, etc. ear plugs.

    I am selling, at my site, www.michaeldimin.com the ER-20 which is a non-custom fitting ear plug withthe same technology as the other ER products. What is really nice is the price $10.00 plus a reasonable shipping cost.

    If you are interested, please follow the link on my home page

    Mike Dimin
    www.michaeldimin.com