Hearing loss can kill a musician’s career and cause daily pain for those who suffer from tinnitus. Musical groups, like The Who have had to put performances on hold and change touring dates: “The Who’s spring touring schedule was canceled in 2010 due to this problem but Townshend performed using the ear monitor device at one final concert in London just to ascertain if he could continue performing with the group.” There are many famous celebrities whose lives have been significantly impacted by hearing loss and tinnitus, but what can musicians do to save their ears before it’s too late? This article will help provide some tips and tricks and can be used as a guide for those looking for proper earplugs for musicians and other hearing protection to save their hearing—but not detract from that live sound.
When your job is performing music, you should endeavor to listen to music and loud noises in the same way that an average American does. Listen to your recorded music at regular and safe sound levels and protect your ears at concerts. It’s much more important for the musician to interact with sound waves in this way, as overexposure to high volumes can cause problems in future work and hinder the ability to create.
Using and Choosing Ear Plugs
Whether you’re a professional musician or just starting out, one of the best things to do is to get into the habit of wearing basic earplugs while you perform and practice. Hearing protection for musicians is imperative and practicing with earplugs will help you to get into the habit of wearing them and ensure that your performances go off without a hitch once you’re used to wearing the earplugs.
Some earplugs are made to block out different types and levels of noises. On the box of earplugs, you may see a number, which will tell you what decibel level of sound that the hearing aids will block. The higher the number, the more protection the hearing aids will provide.
While it can be difficult to get used to muffled sounds that typical hearing aids can create, practicing with typical earplugs can be good practice, because they’re easily found and may need to be used in a pinch when you don’t have access to any other earplugs. High-quality earplugs can be purchased at the grocery or drug store, but they will be the ones that create a more muffled sound, due to the way they blog sound waves.
There are earplugs designed specifically for musicians. These work by blocking volume but allowing you to still hear the music you’re creating. These are sometimes preferred by musicians who do not have hearing damage and are looking for a preventative solution. If you are already suffering from tinnitus symptoms, it’s probably best to find the highest level of decibel blocking earplugs available and ones that you can customize to your particular ear shape.
Getting the Right Fit
When choosing your earplugs it’s very important that you find earplugs that fit you properly and you spend time learning how to properly insert your earplugs. If your earplugs aren’t put into your ear correctly they won’t work and won’t seal out the loud noise. Earplugs should be inserted by pulling your ear up slightly and ensuring that you push them in straight instead of off to one side. If you push your earplugs in incorrectly, you’ll end up being annoyed and distracted that they don’t feel right and aren’t blocking sound. This can also cause a potential for hearing damage so make sure that you learn how to insert them and create a good seal.
There are earplugs that you can heat up in boiling water and then once they’ve cooled insert into your ears and they have a molded earplug that won’t allow any soundwaves to cause damage to your ears. A popular option is the Decibullz Custom Earplugs, while these don’t allow for you to hear sounds that are being played on stage, they work very effectively at protecting your ears and are a great option for those who are currently suffering from tinnitus.
In-ear monitors help musicians to hear what music is played in live performances. They also reduce the volume of the sound and help to block unnecessary noises which could be harmful to the ears. One good option for the professional musician is the LD Systems MEI 1 Wireless In-Ear System. This is a high-quality system that performs extremely well and gives musicians room to move about the stage. There are a great many options available to today’s musicians. The reason why in-ear monitors are so important for musicians is that allows them to better understand and be aware of what music others are hearing. This can help them to adjust to other members of the band or ensure that their music is sounding the way that they want it to.
Although in-ear monitor systems are a great way to hear what is really going on, they aren’t the very best protection available. They still allow in some loud noises that could harm the ears. It more important for the musician to become able to perform with plugs that reduce all potential for harm. In order to do this, musicians can use a mix of in-ear monitors during practice sessions and earplugs during recording sessions to better understand how their music will sound during an excessively live performance.
Although it is recommended that musicians regularly wear earplugs and in-ear monitors, some musicians won’t find it possible to do this at all events. It’s important to follow other important aspects of good self-care for ears like getting a decent amount of sleep and endeavoring to reduce stress. Reducing alcohol intake can also have a significant effect on the health of the ear. Overtime reduced sleep combined with excessive drinking can cause the ear to be more susceptible to damage. Musicians should always insist on getting proper sleep, reducing stress and reducing alcohol prior to loud performances.