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  #1  
Old 03-02-2014, 12:53 AM
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Default Wearing hearing protection issue

When rehearsing, my experience so far is that a lot of guitarists/bass players and singers tend to rehearse without hearing protection.
When I join them as a drummer and put my hearing protection in I get the feeling that I play too loud and I also have trouble to hear the vocals.
I also usually get some looks so I take the hearing protection out and instead my hearing suffers...
This happened in the beginning and now I don't even put them in when audition etc...

How do you guys cope with this situation in a normal rehearsal studio? I guess on a gig you can get monitors and there are good solutions.


So far I thought about a few solutions:
1.Different type of sticks that make it easier to play at a low volume that doesn't hurt my ears.
2.Tell everyone that they need hearing protection for rehearsals.(not gonna happen)
3.Get some kind of monitoring for myself while rehearsing, so I can hear myself with earplugs even when I play very soft and the vocals, any suggestions???


Btw I got the Ear Plugs Etymotic ER20 ETY and I'm very happy with them but maybe a better of ear plugs with monitoring possibilities would help.
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2014, 05:15 AM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

With the exception of some rock groups in the 1960's, I have never played in bands that
are so loud to the musicians (maybe it's loud in front of the PA, but not onstage....just
comfortable for us to hear each other) that anyone wore any hearing protection. I always
take hearing protection to concerts just in case. Basically, I haven't worn any hearing
protection while playing music in 50 years give or take and my hearing is still very good.
I always wear hearing protection when at pistol/rifle ranges, using loud machine tools etc.
Wear it when you need it.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:53 PM
drum4fun27302 drum4fun27302 is offline
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I cannot play drums without wearing ear protection. Be it jazz, metal rock and the list goes on ,they remove the high frequencies that bother me . They basically make then sound like the records
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:07 PM
Snorbuckle Snorbuckle is offline
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I always wear hearing protection. I can't be in the same room with just someone playing a snare drum without wincing from the hard hits, so my ER20s serve me very well indeed. If you get funny looks, so what? I'd rather know my hearing's going to be safe than try to look "cooler" to people who think earplugs aren't rock 'n' roll.
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I have tinnitus from not wearing hearing protection for 20 years. Trust me, a few looks from people too dumb to take care of themselves is preferable to a lifetime of hearing damage.

What you need to do is have a real sit down conversation with the band. Ask them if you are playing too loudly. Don't "think" or "feel" that you are to loud, be upfront and ask them. If you are too loud, and they are against turning up the volume on their gear (which, by the way, they can do), then you just need to learn how to play more dynamically.

Getting a monitor for the vocals isn't a bad idea if that is another issue you are having.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:36 PM
shredfreak shredfreak is offline
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

i use vic firth sh1 to play along with my backing tracks.

For rehearsals i'm lucky enough to have 4 mics in the room so i put a sm57 in front of the guitar cab & i got guitar + vocals.
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2014, 05:13 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I tend to wear my triple-flange plugs in most situations where I don't have in-ear monitoring. The band I'm in now has gone all in-ears, which is a marvelous way to control volume and preserve hearing. Any time I have the option to use in-ears, I sign on immediately.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2014, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I use ear protection but the other musicians usually don't. For the record: I just play amateur bands for a hobby.

IMO, I think everyone should wear those ear plugs (they are not expensive). One issue is that it sounds strange to singers and while talking. Try talking with and without and you'll know what I mean.

Playing too soft doesn't work for me, takes me out of my comfort zone.
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2014, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipseownzu View Post
I have tinnitus from not wearing hearing protection for 20 years. Trust me, a few looks from people too dumb to take care of themselves is preferable to a lifetime of hearing damage.
I have tinnitus as well. Just love the constant ringing in my ears, especially when it acts up and gets really loud for extended periods of time. I wish I had discovered ear plugs earlier than I did. Now my TV has to be loud, the car stereo has to be loud, everything has to be loud for me to hear it clearly. And I am 100% positive my wife loves it when I have her repeat herself multiple times because I can't understand what she is saying.

Hearing protection is a must. Don't worry about how you look with them in. Your hearing is priceless, and once it goes away you can't get it back.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2014, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzlez View Post

So far I thought about a few solutions:
1.Different type of sticks that make it easier to play at a low volume that doesn't hurt my ears.
2.Tell everyone that they need hearing protection for rehearsals.(not gonna happen)
3.Get some kind of monitoring for myself while rehearsing, so I can hear myself with earplugs even when I play very soft and the vocals, any suggestions???
You forgot option 4.

Everybody turn down.
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2014, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I have band members who often don't bother with ear plugs. I always try to remind them, and I always have mine in. Anything else is stupid, and it's not my job to protect their ears. I remind them because I'm their friend and I don't want them to ruin their sensory perception of the music they love so much.

On the same note, I always carry a small bag of new cheapo foam plugs with me when I play music. Those are for loaning out to anyone who may need them, including band members. "I don't have any plugs" is not an excuse around me.
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  #12  
Old 03-03-2014, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I always wear hearing protection too. With the exception of our jazz gigs. The volume there is usually about normal conversation levels.

However, with the blues band I wear ear plugs. The band leader is the only other one that wears protection there; the guitarist and bass player are always playing without protection. I don't know how they do it as we can get pretty loud.

At church I use IEMs which helps a lot since I play behind the ubiquitous plexigass shield.

What really bugs me there is that when I come back after a week off or something the volume is absolutely cranked. The other drummer (pastor's kid) evidently loves his volume. I've tried several time to tell them that there is no need for his personal volume to be that loud and that he is going to wreck his hearing but they have just dismissed it as a difference in headphones or something. That's just ridiculous.

Plus his preferred mix apparently is a lot of drums and very little band. You can't hear anyone else at all.

Anyway, a little hearing protection and learning dynamics can go a long way in protecting your ears.
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  #13  
Old 03-03-2014, 02:46 AM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I got special audiologist molded plugs and won't play without them ever again....no matter the volume levels. High frequencies in cymbals kill me now, and the ringing in my ears is really unacceptable.

Just use 'em...I promise you will get used to it in time. As was mentioned before it is like a built in EQ. No amount of money is worth hearing loss or damage.
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  #14  
Old 03-03-2014, 04:47 AM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzlez View Post
When rehearsing, my experience so far is that a lot of guitarists/bass players and singers tend to rehearse without hearing protection.
When I join them as a drummer and put my hearing protection in I get the feeling that I play too loud and I also have trouble to hear the vocals.
I also usually get some looks so I take the hearing protection out and instead my hearing suffers...
Daz, in my experience, if I can't properly hear bass and vocals then I'm playing too loud. (Of course, this doesn't include live playing with uneven monitoring). Not once have I had a complaint or request to play harder.

I'd suggest you practice playing at lower volumes at home so you can groove and add energy at a range of dynamics. Apart from adding confidence that you can play in low volume situations it means that if you don't wear hearing protection, for whatever reason, it's less of an issue.

I've heard that Paul McCartney is very big on playing at a comfortable volume for the venue, whereas many bands just crank up, no matter what's happening. I like the Paul approach personally.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:32 AM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Being able to play quietly takes real skill. I've recently had an epiphany about how much skill. I sat in at a friends jazz gig and totally locked up as I was completely unable to play as quietly as he does on that gig. And he wails jazz and gospel chops on that gig. I did another gig playing guitar a couple of weeks ago with some church folks up in Oakland and it was really quiet. The drummer on that gig played at a whisper. On a full size kit with normal hickory 5As. And nothing was missing, groove, fills, a solo, he killed all of it.

Okay, now that I've learned I need to be able to play at a talking volume, the gigs that aren't, hearing protection. Although my Sensaphonics ER9 plugs are pretty neutral, not having them in makes everything sound crashingly shrill. It just sounds like noise. I do have tinnitus but although I still have pretty discriminating ears listening to recordings and such, I think there is some other damage that kicks in when things get loud and just turns it into a garbled mess.

Thanks to this forum, I recently discovered Hearasers. I bought a pair as a back up to my fitted plugs. They are the next best thing. And even more unobtrusive than the fitted ones. With them, there's absolutely no excuse from a sound quality, appearance, or cost perspective. $40 is a few pairs a sticks or a cowbell. You only get one pair of ears. And if you can't get others to bring it down, at least protect yourself.
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  #16  
Old 03-03-2014, 07:07 AM
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dazzlez dazzlez is offline
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

The problem isn't that I can't play on a low volume.

But playing with a rock/poprock/indie band that have amps etc... If I play so low that my ears won't take any damage it would be too low for the rest of the band that is not standing right next to the cymbals, at least if I'm gonna crash at all in the song or if I play with open hi-hats...

Anyway I'm sure it will be fine in the future when I finally join a band and can explain the situation to the members. It's just something I've thought of that happened to me a lot when I was auditioning for several bands.

A more expensive set of ear plugs would help I guess. Gonna try that when I can afford it ;>
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2014, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
Daz, in my experience, if I can't properly hear bass and vocals then I'm playing too loud. (Of course, this doesn't include live playing with uneven monitoring). Not once have I had a complaint or request to play harder.

I'd suggest you practice playing at lower volumes at home so you can groove and add energy at a range of dynamics. Apart from adding confidence that you can play in low volume situations it means that if you don't wear hearing protection, for whatever reason, it's less of an issue.

I've heard that Paul McCartney is very big on playing at a comfortable volume for the venue, whereas many bands just crank up, no matter what's happening. I like the Paul approach personally.
Yeah I probably do play too loud when I'm the only one that have the hearing protection in my ears, maybe I just need to get used with not hearing my drums much at all when playing with hearing protection in. Totally kills the feel and experience of playing drums though :(
Gonna get some super-duper stuff from an audiologist in the future and see if it makes a difference.

Vic Firth SIH 1 Looked interesting as well!
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  #18  
Old 03-03-2014, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzlez View Post
maybe I just need to get used with not hearing my drums much at all when playing with hearing protection in. Totally kills the feel and experience of playing drums though :(
No no no, a thousand times, no! :) You absolutely want to hear the drums. My point is you want to hear everything if you can and, if you can't hear everyone fairly well in a rehearsal studio then someone's too loud IMO. It's not always the drummer, that's for sure.

Sometimes live the foldback sucks so I guess not hearing yourself at practice is useful training but I don't see the point of playing if you can't ever get a chance to hear the music properly while playing.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Hearing protection is something that most drummers, and your doctor, would recommend for you. Don't feel pressured by others' bad decisions.
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  #20  
Old 03-03-2014, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I wish I'd been told about hearing protection when I was a dumb young teen, many years ago when I started drumming. We'd practice in an empty room at the back of my house - I was in a grunge band. Amps were cranked to the max in this tiny room, I'd be hitting so hard I'd bust heads all the time (terrible technique - scratch that - NO technique). I have permanent hearing damage and tinnitus from those days.

Don't skimp on your ear protection. I always play with it now that I'm older and wiser, to prevent any further damage to my already-screwed up hearing.
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  #21  
Old 03-03-2014, 12:03 PM
DarkwingDrum DarkwingDrum is offline
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I've been using ear plugs with filters for a couple of years now and I would definitely recommend some kind of hearing protection. It took a few practices to get used to it but now I can't play or go to gigs without putting them in.
Mine are fairly discreet once they are in but I've had some funny looks and comments from friends and my response is always the same, my dad is deaf in one ear from gigs and playing when he was younger and he moans about it constantly. I'm enough like my dad already without deliberately following in his footsteps.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

On rare occasions I'll forget my "ear plugs" at home, and have no choice by to play without them. In all honesty, I don't do it to protect my hearing, as much as I do to hear the music's true sound. When I'm wearing ear plugs I hear the drums, and every other instrument much better. I've advised everyone else to do this, but no one seems to listen.
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  #23  
Old 03-03-2014, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I've used hearing protection forever. I never cared what others thought. Let THEM lose, or put up with bad ringing in their ears.

I've used Peltor ear muffs. They work very well, and things sound great.
If you don't want to have "'phones" on your head, for about the last year (since May) I've used the Earasers earplugs.

I really like these a lot. They bring the total volume down a lot, but everything is clear.

http://www.hayneedle.com/product/ear...ping_hayneedle

If you aren't hearing vocals after you lay back a little, then the band is too loud for the PA. Nothing but them turning down will correct that.
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  #24  
Old 03-04-2014, 09:09 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Gotta supply your own monitoring when the group as a whole does not use it.

Consider placing a mic above and just behind your head and running it to a small mixer with some limiting to keep your ears from popping when someone plays with your mixer while you are playing.

...can move your own monitoring mic around as you might need to suit the situation.

The world really opens up when you take resposibility for your own monitoring/listening environment.


I run relativly cheap ear buds under 'over-the-ear' type hearing protectors..in a set-up like described above...works great in all situations I have run into where the group didnt use common monitoring (didnt use limiter through most of my history...but wish I would have).
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I can only echo what has been said already by others here - your hearing is vulnerable and once it's gone it's gone.

Funny looks or not, I ALWAYS wear hearing protection. Drums, gigs, power tools, clubs, bars, the list goes on.

Yes, my friends have in the past looked at me strangely, but as tinnitus has afflicted most of them by now they have started on the ear plugs too.

If a band I'm auditioning for was to question my hearing protection I'd question why they don't wear it themselves.
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  #26  
Old 03-04-2014, 11:40 PM
Bretton Bretton is offline
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

ALWAYS wear hearing protection. acoustic drums by themselves can damage your ears.

you can't turn up and down, guitarists/bassists/vocalists can. They need to match your comfortable volume, it is very unreasonable to expect a drummer to play everything as a ghost note just so everyone can avoid putting foam in their ears.

tell them they should wear hearing protection. buy a bulk pack of earplugs and let them use some. If they choose not to, you've done all you can.
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  #27  
Old 03-05-2014, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Even foam ear plugs (the -33dB type) will help. Who cares what people think about the way they look?
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  #28  
Old 03-07-2014, 07:07 PM
Tomshalev01 Tomshalev01 is offline
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I got myself musician earplugs and i'll never go back.
When i moved to an acoustic drum kit, band practice became extremely loud, and the basic earplugs/headphones tended to distort all sounds which caused me to fall out of sync, lose beat and lose timing.
musician earplugs basically just lowers everything down equally, so there's no distortion to sounds. Now my entire band is getting them, but for the money it costs - it's completely worth it! and for those that care about aesthetics, They're transparent and can only be noticed if you're looking really closely!
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  #29  
Old 07-02-2014, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Always wear ear protection. I also use a Rolls personal monitor with headphones. I take the monitor feed in and my own vocal mic in and pass it thru to the main PA. In pracitce I do miss some of the lead guitarists sound since his amp is not pointing at any of the vocals but I'll take that any day. Even at low volumnes acoustic drums are loud. I don't know how my bass player and rythem /singer handle my crashes in rehearsal since they are standing right in front of them. Nobody else wears protection. Concerns me but they are responsible for their hearing, not me.
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zickos View Post
You forgot option 4.

Everybody turn down.
Turn down for what?



Forgive me :( couldnt resist
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  #31  
Old 07-02-2014, 11:14 PM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

Wear ear protection. You sit right next to the cymbals if it's a small room that's worse. What you really want to do is think abou how it will sound where ever you plan on gigging and plan accordingly. For example if you plan on small restaurant gigs like a piano trio, use brushes leave the ear plugs at home. If you plan on a large auditorium or outside, use ear protection it will imitate the sound attenuation, and more closely simulate what the audience will hear twenty or thirty feet away.
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  #32  
Old 07-03-2014, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: Wearing hearing protection issue

I got the flesh-colored Hearos foam earplugs. 20 pair for $5 or $6. People can't tell you're wearing them unless they're standing right next to you.
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