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Hearing is extremely important when it comes to the music industry you want to hear and enjoy the music as a listener and follower of a band and as a band member or musician you want to know that what you are playing is good enough to play in front of an audience.
Musicians who suffer from tinnitus:
• Barbra Streisand
• Chris Martin
• Plan B
• Jeff Beck
• Ozzy Osbourne
• Phil Collins
With constant exposure to extreme sounds your hearing can quickly degenerate, so it is increasingly important to get your ears checked by a doctor once a year and to have the right protection. Noises should never be over 85 decibels as this can have an effect on your hearing if exposed for too long on a regular basis.
A band practise can average between 110-120 decibels, whilst shows and concerts can average between 120-130 decibels. It is advisable when in these circumstances to wear protective ear plugs for musicians.
This has been the message that H.E.A.R has been sending for over 20 years. It is an association set up in San Francisco, America, which is known worldwidefor creating awareness of hearing loss to professional musicians and general rockers. Set up by bass player, Kathy Peck of The Contradictions and physician Flash Gordon M.D in 1988, the idea came after Kathy went to an extremely loud gig.
“H.E.A.R.'s message has gone all over the world and has been recognised and supported by many great artists such as, Pete Townshend of the WHO, Lars Ulrich from Metallica, as well as, many music industry companies over the years like MTV, NAMM, AES, Future Sonics, Westone, Shure, Mix Foundation, Mix, Drum!, Music Player and others. The word spread about H.E.A.R. even all the way to Russia's music community. A rock star heavy metal artist, Maxim Samosvat from Moscow drove up one day in his limo while on tour in the US. He wanted to be fitted with in ear monitors at H.E.A.R. He was very nice and really fun.” Kathy Peck (interview with Punk Globe).
Kathy suffered from hearing problems in 1984, which brought a stop to her career, but pushed her into getting H.E.A.R set up and running. The organisation has come on leaps and bounds and through the support of various respected names such as MTV, Lars Ulrich of Metallica and Pete Townshend of The Who, along with many others it has become a globally recognised name in itself.
Facts about Tinnitus
• Stress and depression are the second most common cause of tinnitus
• Causes of tinnitus aren't completely known
• Tinnitus can be caused by; heart disease, high blood pressure, exposure to loud noises, blows to the head, dental problems or objects lodged in the ear canal
The best protection for musician’s ears is the Mack’s High Fidelity Hear Plugs, which uses a filter technology allowing sounds to become clear and non-muffled, but at a more reasonable and safer volume, reducing the sound by 12 decibels. They are easy to use, comfortable to wear and are more importantly washable and reusable.