...and couldn't stand them! Here's some background: Maybe I'm getting old, but recently I've started to feel very annoyed with on stage monitors cranked at singers' request (mostly). Last week I started yelling to the sound guy to turn the monitor by my side down. This has made me feel concerned about my hearing, so I went to a doctor asking about earplugs. She took a mold of my ear channels and the result was a pair of orange-colored earplugs which had an approximate cost of US$13 (at the current exchange rate) including the visit to the doctor and a little bag for carrying them. I've just got home after a gig and found the opportunity of trying them. Mixed feelings during the whole afternoon. Here are the pros and the cons: PROS: - I felt really good because I'm protecting my hearing for the first time after 19 years of gigging. - Singing background vocals feels cool because I can hear "inside" and that gives me even more pitch control and accuracy. - I didn't feel "bad" because not listening to the band the way I've been used to (that's why I got the earplugs, huh?). CONS: Basically not band-related but about MY PLAYING -> - After all of these years in the quest for the "perfect" tone to me it turns that I can't hear it because all I get is a muffled bass sound through the earplugs. That pissed me off. - Felt so insecure about my intonation on my electric upright. Also insecure when making big shifts on my Bongo without looking (an exercise that I normally do). I also tried just wearing one and it didn't help. I badly appreciate your input on this. I'd definitely like to wear the earplugs, but never thought it would feel like this. Is this normal? Should I take this as an exercise on self-discipline? Just a matter of time to get used to them? Or there's definitely something wrong with me and better don't wear them anymore? I feel troubled because of this. Thank you in advance!