1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Hearing Loss and Ear Plugs

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Boplicity, Jul 28, 2000.

  1. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
  2. I was in a couple of bands at high school. One of them was very professional, even back then. We rehearsed weekly, did a lot of gigs, all light pop rock cover songs, and always at a moderate level. The other band was was more creative, rehearsed in a room at school (after school) two or three night s aweek, giiged when we could, doing mostly originals with a few covers, but always pretty loud. And I went to see a lot of live shows. All the local bands, and any half decent international act that came to town. I remember a few shows back then - Lou Reed and Cheap Trick in particular come to mind, where my ears were ringing for hours after the show.

    But the tinnitus wasn't solely music-related. My first job when I left school was shift work, and two of the three shifts involved very high noise levels. This was the late 70s and early 80s and health and safety wasn't a big deal yet, so nobody wore ear protection. And I was into scuba diving, which adds pressure to the ear drums. Not too bad, but taken into account with the music and the work I'm sure it didn't help.

    So I've had tinnitus for 20-odd years. It's pretty bad. It's a permanent ringing in my ears which is exactly the same frequency as our local species of cicada. In summer my wife often asks if I can hear the cicadas and I can't, unless we're out in the bush and it's really hot and there are enough of them that the sheer volume overpowers my disability. Sometimes when it's really quiet, like in the middle of the night, the tinnitus drives me crazy. Literally to tears. During the day it's not so bad because there's almost always some background noise. When it's quiet, I often put on some music at really low volume. David Sylvian and Holger Czukay's "Plight & Premonition" and "Flux + Mutability", and some of Sylvian's other ambient stuff works relly well for me.

    I've worn ear plugs when playing for a while now. I also wear them when I go to live shows. I wear foam ear plugs with ear muffs over the top if I'm working around the house with noisy equipment like a lawn mower, leaf blower or power washer. There are other factors that make it worse. If I don't get enough sleep, or drink too much alcohol or coffee, I notice the difference. But I wish I'd known all this 40 years ago.

    Whether you're starting off, or you've already been paying a while, if you're not using ear protection yet, get some. Instead of that next bass, or effect pedal, invest in yourself. It won't make you sound any better. But it'll make every other sound better.
  3. baileyboy


    Aug 12, 2010
    Unfortunately, those generic earplugs that cost $20 in music stores are not going to cut it for high volumes. Go to an audiologist, spend a couple hundred on eartones that are modeled for your ears. This is one of the best investments I've made. Meanwhile, these boneheads I play with that need to "hear" the highs and lows are slowly going deaf.
    BlacksHole likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.