Things That Suck About Playing in a Band: Hearing Damage

When I first started playing music I remember going to shows and noticing how much LOUDER some of the older bands were playing than us.  I assumed they probably just couldn’t tell.

I’ve had tinnitus since I was in high school.  I’d been playing for around a year in my house with my brother, who played drums while I played guitar and sang.  My ears always rang after playing music and then one day they just kept ringing.

Since then I’ve tried to be more careful.  I don’t want to end up like the Nuge, wearing hearing aids.  I always wear ear plugs in practice, and wear them at most shows that I attend, though usually not while we’re playing.  I figure we usually play for 25 minutes at best, and only every few months, so my ears can probably take that.  I also don’t like wearing headphones- I suspect a lot of people are killing their ears this way.

People sometimes ask me- do musicians think it’s rude to wear earplugs at shows?  I don’t.  In fact, if you come see my band, short of loudly heckling us, I don’t care what you do, I’m just glad you’re there.  You will, oddly enough, hear more of our defects with earplugs in- all that extra noise does mask a lot of mistakes.

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