Musicians rock. Their performances bring us so much happiness. The drawback is that music is nearly always loud, in fact, many individuals prefer it that way. The musicians themselves are at an increased risk of hearing damage since they are exposed to loud music just about every day.
As you get older, you’ll still want to be capable of enjoying your favorite music whether you’re a musician or not. The key to having an extended successful career, for musicians, is protecting their hearing. Hearing protection is also key to a lifetime of musical fulfillment for everybody.
Music is surprisingly loud
Most people would say that a jet engine is really loud.
Is music really that loud? If you ask someone whether an acoustic guitar or a lone violin is noisy, they might not reply right away. 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 get to fairly high volumes.
A violin, for instance, can produce sounds in excess of 90 dB. A leaf blower is about this loud. In Europe, for instance, they have regulations that require hearing protection for anyone who works in a work environment where there is noise above 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 ear protection.
How can you safeguard your hearing?
Okay, now you’re aware that musicians need to protect their hearing (particularly if they want to go on rocking out for many years). So what can musicians do to protect their hearing and still take pleasure in the music they enjoy so much?
Well, here are a couple of easy things musicians can do:
- Take breaks: Your ears are like any other part of your body: they can become exhausted and will often benefit from rest. So give yourself “hearing breaks” regularly. In this way, noises won’t overwhelm and damage your ears. Duration is almost as relevant as volume when it comes to hearing health. Taking breaks can be the difference between just enough stimulation and too much!
- Track your volume: Knowledge is power, right? So knowing volume levels of sounds around you will help you safeguard your hearing. Sometimes, this is as simple as tracking your volume settings on amps and receivers. But you can also purchase a decibel meter app for your smartphone to make it convenient to track the real-world volume levels your ears are experiencing day in and day out. If the meter reads above 85dB regularly, you’ll have to address this.
Ear protection is important
Needless to say, the single most beneficial thing you can do to safeguard your hearing is simple: using ear protection of some kind. Many musicians are unwilling to wear ear protection because they’re worried it will effect the clarity of sound they hear, as well as muting the volume. That isn’t always the case, depending on which kind of ear protection you choose.
- Ear plugs made primarily for musicians: Most people are most likely familiar with disposable ear plugs. They don’t always fit well, but they do reliably block a lot of sound. They’re cheap, easy to come by, and easy to throw away. And they aren’t best suited for musicians. However, by paying a little more, you can purchase high-quality earplugs designed chiefly for musicians. A special material and modern engineering are used to help these earplugs fit snuggly in the ear and minimize external noise by around 20% while maintaining the audio fidelity. This option is perfect for musicians who require a light to moderate level 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 basic functionality found in non-electronic earplugs can 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. This solution is perfect for individuals who work in particularly loud settings, and who are looking for more options when it comes to controlling volume.
- In-ear monitors: The majority of music is electronic these days, or at least amplified by electronics. An in-ear monitor takes those electronic signals and sends them directly to a device placed in your ear (called an in-ear monitor). The majority of monitors are little speakers that fit snugly and block out most sound while playing sounds you want to hear at safe volumes. So you control the volume level and are able to hear sound accurately and clearly. In-ear monitors are beneficial for individuals who work mainly with electronically amplified instruments.
Safeguard your ears, and protect your career
It’s never too late to take measures to safeguard your hearing, but it’s definitely a good plan to start sooner rather than later. Everybody can safeguard their hearing and future with hearing protection options for every budget. Remember that you’re investing in your career by utilizing hearing protection for musicians. It’s one way to be certain you’ll be making incredible music for years (maybe even decades) to come!
Don’t quite know where to start? Give us a call today, we can help!