Musicians rock. Their shows bring us so much enjoyment. But music is so much more powerful when it’s loud, and that can be a hearing hazard. Since musicians expose themselves to loud music on a daily basis, their hearing is at greater risk of being harmed.
As you grow older, you’ll still want to be capable of enjoying your favorite songs whether you’re a musician or not. The key to having an extended successful career, for musicians, is protecting their ears. Ear protection is also key to a lifetime of musical enjoyment for everyone.
Music is surprisingly loud
If you ask the majority of individuals if a jet engine is loud, they’ll likely say yes.
But what about music? If you ask someone whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is loud, they may not reply right away. Usually, when they hear the answer, they’re pretty surprised: that music is indeed loud! Your ears can even be harmed by classical music which can get to relatively high volumes.
A violin, for example, can produce sounds well over 90 dB. That’s about as loud as a leaf blower. In Europe, for example, they have regulations that require ear protection for anyone who works in a work environment where there is noise louder than 85 dB.
And your hearing can be seriously compromised over time if you’re working with music every day, especially if you don’t wear hearing protection.
How can you protect your hearing?
Okay, now you’re aware that musicians need to protect their hearing (especially if they want to go on rocking out for many years). So what can musicians do to protect their ears and still take pleasure in the music they love so much?
Here are a couple of strategies:
- Take breaks: Much like any part of your body, your ears can become tired and may need to get a little rest. So take frequent breaks from the noise. By doing this, noises won’t overpower and damage your ears. With regard to hearing, how long you’re exposed is nearly as significant as how loud it is. The difference between the ideal amount of stimulation and too much can come down to taking frequent breaks.
- Track your volume: Everyone knows the old saying “knowledge is power”. So knowing volume levels of sounds around you will help you protect your hearing. Tracking the volume on amps and PA systems is part of it. But you can also monitor day-to-day volume levels of external noises using a decibel meter app that you can download on your cellphone. You will need to make some changes if the meter regularly reads above 85 dB.
hearing protection is important
Using ear protection is the number one most effective way to protect your hearing. A lot of musicians are concerned that ear protection will muffle the sound and effects its overall sound quality. That isn’t always the case, depending on which type of ear protection you use.
- Ear plugs made primarily for musicians: Most individuals are probably acquainted with disposable ear plugs. They don’t always fit comfortably, but they do reliably stop a lot of sound. They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to throw away. And they aren’t best suited for musicians. However, by spending just a little more money, you can purchase high-quality earplugs made specifically for musicians. These earplugs use fancy manufacturing processes (mostly they’re made out of very specific materials and are designed to conform nicely to the ear) to preserve audio clarity while diminishing the noise you hear by something like 20dB. This solution is perfect for musicians who require a light to moderate amount of protection (and who don’t have a ton of money to invest in earplugs, or are likely to misplace them).
- Electronic earplugs: The same general functionality found in non-electronic earplugs can also be found in electronic earplugs. The earplug itself will block most of the sound. What you hear will instead be routed in by the earplug itself. For individuals who work in really loud environments and need better control of the volume, these earplugs are perfect.
- In-ear monitors: Electronics are a major part of modern music. An in-ear monitor takes those electronic signals and sends them directly to a device placed inside of your ear (called an in-ear monitor). The majority of monitors are little speakers that fit tightly and block out the majority of sound while playing sounds you want to hear at less harmful volumes. So you regulate the volume level and can hear sound accurately and clearly. For musicians who electronically amplify their instruments these in-ear-monitors are the ideal solution.
Protect your career by protecting your hearing
It’s best to begin protecting your hearing early, before any substantial harm occurs. Everybody can protect their hearing and future with hearing protection solutions for every budget. Keep in mind, hearing protection for a musician is an investment in your career. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy creating music for as long as you want to.
Contact us so we can help you get started.