Do you have tinnitus or other hearing loss?


This is something I don’t know much about, so it would be cool for me as a teacher/musician to hear about it from people experiencing issues in this area. How do you feel it affects your playing / overall experience of listening to music? Any coping strategies or things that help minimize symptoms?


I have mild tinnitus from playing in bands for a good few years. Kind of annoying as it makes me fearful to go to too many gigs. Luckily mine isn’t too severe and sometimes months go by and don’t notice it…

  • If I’m stressed and/or not getting enough sleep my tinnitus hits me with a vengeance. I guess it’s a useful feedback tool to tell me to chill.

  • I’ve found magnesium reduces the symptoms. Perhaps because it’s a mineral that relaxes the body or maybe something else, I dunno. Specifically, magnesium oil like this (it can be hard increasing magnesium levels with supplements for various reasons no such problem with oil)…

  • Biggest bit of advice, use some form of earplugs when playing in loud environments. There are some great options out there that work great.

  • At this stage it doesn’t affect my experience with music but I imagine music would sound that much sweeter if I had a full range of hearing!

Would love to hear other people’s experiences


Chris - Thanks for the tips. I have occasional ringing in the ears… nothing diagnosed or that I call tinnitus yet, but I’m sure it’s there.
Earplugs - yes.

One thing that blows me away is - sound engineers. I’ve never seen a professional sound engineer put in earplugs, and they listen to more loud music than any of us. Every night. And THEIR job is to dial in the sound for optimal listening. What is life like for those folks??


I have serious hearing loss. Part loud music but mostly from the Marine Corps. I wear hearing aids. When I play I just turn the hear aids off and they serve as an ear plug. I also have a pair of custom ear pugs that I bought at a motorcycle rally that work great. Protect your hearing everyone, it’s important!


Interesting! Maybe the sound of tinnitus should be called “The Chill-Out Song.” :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes! I should talk more about how much I love custom molded earplugs sometime. Total game changer for me.

Right? Seems like the best thing to do as a live sound engineer would be to learn your craft using custom molded plugs, so that putting in plugs doesn’t “mess up your ear.” Because getting ear damage over time WILL mess up your ear. Like a story I heard about mixing/mastering in the 80’s being heavily affected by the widespread use of cocaine among engineers (and musicians of course) and how that affected their perception of the high end and stuff - does anyone know more about that? I’m remembering this from like half a story I heard once in a studio.