Musicians are cool! Their songs bring us so much happiness. The downside is that music is almost always loud, in fact, many individuals like it better that way. The musicians themselves are at an even greater danger of hearing damage since they are subjected to loud music just about every day.
As you get older, you’ll still want to be capable of enjoying your favorite songs whether you’re a musician or not. For musicians, safeguarding their hearing is the key to a lengthy and successful career. Ear protection is also key to a lifetime of musical fulfillment for everybody.
Oftentimes it can be surprising how loud music can be
Most people would say that a jet engine is really loud.
But what about music? People may not be so quick to answer that question if you ask them if a violin or acoustic guitar is loud. Usually, when they hear the answer, they’re pretty surprised: that music is certainly loud! Your ears can even be damaged by classical music which can reach fairly loud volumes.
A violin, for example, can produce sounds in excess of 90 dB. A leaf blower is about this noisy. To put that into context, the European Union laws dictate that any work environment louder than 85 dB requires the use of ear protection.
And your hearing can be significantly compromised over time if you’re working with music every day, especially if you don’t wear hearing protection.
Can you safeguard your ears from noise damage?
Okay, now you know that musicians need to safeguard their hearing (particularly if they want to go on rocking out for years to come). So what can musicians do to protect their hearing and still take pleasure in the music they love so much?
Here are a couple of tips:
- Take breaks: Your ears are the same as any other part of your body: they can be overworked and will often benefit from a break. So give yourself “hearing breaks” frequently. In this way, noises won’t overpower and damage your ears. Regarding hearing, how long you’re exposed is nearly as important as how high the volume is. The difference between the ideal amount of stimulation and too much can come down to taking frequent breaks.
- Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So being aware of volume levels of noises around you will help you safeguard your hearing. Usually, this is as simple as keeping track of your volume settings on amps and receivers. But you can also monitor day-to-day volume levels of environmental noises using a decibel meter app that you can download on your cellphone. You will want to make a few changes if the meter regularly detects volumes above 85 dB.
Use ear protection
Of course, the single most beneficial thing you can do to safeguard your ears is simple: using ear protection of some kind. A lot of musicians are worried that ear protection will mute the sound and effects its overall sound quality. But depending on what type of hearing protection you use, that may not always be accurate.
- Ear plugs made primarily for musicians: Disposable earplugs are something that’s probably very well known to most people. They don’t always fit perfectly, but they do reliably block a lot of sound. They’re cheap, easy to get, and easy to dispose of. For musicians, they aren’t a great solution. But earplugs made just for musicians are also available for a little more money. These earplugs use fancy manufacturing processes (mostly they’re made out of very specific materials and are designed to fit comfortably in the ear) to preserve audio clarity while decreasing the noise you hear by around 20dB. This option 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 lose them).
- Electronic earplugs: Electronic earplugs work in basically the same way as high-quality, non-electronic earplugs. The earplug itself will block the majority of the sound. What you hear will instead be routed in by the earplug itself. For people who work in really loud settings and need better control of the volume, these earplugs are ideal.
- In-ear monitors: The majority of music is electronic now, or at least amplified by electronics. A device, known as an in-ear-monitor, is put in your ear and passes signals in electronically. The majority of monitors are little speakers that fit snugly and block out most sound while playing sounds you want to hear at less harmful volumes. This means you can hear exactly how you sound, at a volume you control. In-ear monitors are beneficial for people who work primarily with electronically amplified instruments.
Safeguard your career by protecting your ears
It’s better to begin protecting your hearing early, before any significant damage occurs. With options available at just about every price point, there are easy ways for everyone to protect their hearing and their future. Keep in mind, ear protection for a musician is an investment in your career. It’s one way to make sure you’ll be making incredible music for years (maybe even decades) to come!
Don’t quite know where to start? Call us today, we can help!