Ups, downs and ear plugs

rock-n-rollI love music and I make no secret of this.

The only thing I love more than listening to music is playing it. Sunday I had the good fortune to be playing my bass in practice sessions for nearly four and half hours. Fantastic. I just did not want to stop, I could’ve carried on playing for another four hours without any care.

About three hours later, I came down with a bump, fed up at being ‘normal’ again. There’s something very magical about playing music that I really cannot find the words to describe.

Anyway, this ‘drop’ got me thinking, this rise and fall of emotion could possibly explain after gig parties, and how some musicians like Prince finish a gig, then go to a club and play for another three or four hours.

It also goes a long way to explaining why a lot of musicians develop drink and drug problems. The comedown from playing music for a few hours is something quite surprising. I’ve noticed it a few times but Sunday was a real big drop, probably because of playing for so long.

Another thing I noticed was that my ears were ringing when I left practice. And today, they’re still ‘buzzing’ a little, so I’ve invested in some ear plugs. Now ear plugs may seem daft to most people. You could be forgiven for thinking that the purpose of ear plugs is to block out noise, and that you couldn’t play music without hearing it. Well, you’d be right, but you can get other types of ear plugs. These types are designed for musicians. These ones don’t completely cut out the sound, they simply lower the level going into the ear.

These ones are specially made to fit your ear (you actually have to go and have an ear mould taken) and come with one of three types of attenuator giving 9dB, 15dB or 25dB of reduction in volume. But importantly, it’s almost a uniform reduction across the frequency range.

I’ve bought some ‘regular’ ones from eBay to try, which are supposed to have a uniform reduction of around 20dB. This will serve two purposes, firstly to make sure that they help after practice, and secondly so I can gauge if I need more or less reduction when I place my order for the custom fit ones.

My ears and my hearing are very precious to me, yes £165 for ear plugs is expensive, but isn’t a drop in the ocean compared to the stress I’d suffer if I lost my hearing or developed tinnitus.

One Response to “Ups, downs and ear plugs”

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