Please look after your ears

I know, I know. It may not look cool to wear ear plugs to gigs or when you are rehearsing with band mates. It may not be as immersive to you when you aren’t blaring music loudly into your ears through your headphones or amp. I’ve been there myself. I chose to ignore others advice about this. “I’ll be fine…”

But now, I have bad tinnitus. And it is awful! I have two rare medical conditions that generate significant pain, but the tinnitus bothers me more than both of those combined. It’s like Chinese water torture. Just a constant buzz that never goes away. It really is as bad as people make it out to be.

I know many of you will ignore this warning, but I just pray that you don’t suffer from this fate as well. I REALLY wish I could rewind the clock and look after my ears better. Now I’m stuck with this for the rest of my life. I feel like they need to give every music lover or musician a device that makes them simulate tinnitus for a week. Then you would understand.

So, please, please, just look after your ears. You can still enjoy bass and listening to music while doing so. Just don’t abuse your ears in the process. I just felt like I had to at least try to warn others about this. If it stops one other person from this fate then it will be worth me writing this post.


Can verify. Tinnitus really, really, really, really sucks.


I go to see a ton of live music and was starting to notice a ringing in my ears. I didn’t like the idea of earplugs at first… why would I want to block out the sound I just payed a bunch of money to come hear right? Luckily one of my friends turned me on to High Fidelity earplugs. I love them, and protecting my ears is only one reason. In a super loud concert room/club/arena you tend to get sound bouncing back of the walls and overtones that can often make the live mix sound muddled to your ears. You can also often hear the conversation of the drunk behind you better than the music. The earplugs fix all these things. The music sounds really crisp and clear, and conversations and other distractions get blocked out. It really enhances my enjoyment of the show and makes it easier to lock in on the music. Highly recommended.

I generally only play bass in my house and not at that kind of decibel level, but if I ever started playing with a band I would definitively try them out there too.

I have tinnitus, but not really bad yet. Trying to be smart about not letting it get worse.


Good to hear that you are trying to stop this before it gets worse. I should invest in the higher end custom ear plugs. I just use some 3M musician ones, but they do the job.

I can also tell you that in playing in a band, my experience is that the bassist tends to be hanging around the drummer. And with no ear protection in a small rehearsal room, those drums are punching your ear drums in the face. Being in a small rehearsal room doesn’t do any favours either as the sound can’t escape.


after years playing in bands, giging and going to see concerts all the time, it’s finaly not a bad thing to do studio stuff at a more reasonnable level.


I’m 34. I don’t have problems with my ears yet, but I’ve already started to take measures to protect them.

Shooting firearms for example, I wear ear protection even when shooting a .22 caliber rifle.

With playing music, I usually don’t play loud enough to even need it, lol. Noise cancellation headsets, block out a lot of ambient noise, so I don’t really crank it up.


I have tinnitus from military, but luckily it’s a come and go kind, rarely lasts for more than a minute when it comes on, but I can confirm it is disorienting and uncomfortable.

Hearos has a plug that partially lets some sound in but blocks out a good portion of it, pretty good for music purposes!


Oh yes,take this seriously!

I have been spared the daily grind of tinnitus, but I have messed up my hearing nevertheless.

See I was on of the “what do you know old timer” kind of kids in my teenage years.
A little turd I’d call myself from the vantage point of today.

As soon as I discovered rock,punk and all that heavy goodness I just had to blare it out turned all the way up.all of the time.
Then when I played in my first band ,we had to share the practice room with this band of rockers…and while they practiced I chilled next to the speaker…cos it’s cool ,right?

Fridays were filled with going to gigs and where would you find me? That’s right ,right by the sound system:"feeling it in my chest ,duuuude "

A healthy decade in heavy machinery enviroment, earplugs missing from my ears,music still aaaaallll the way up maaaan…and now I’m deaf as a post!

If we ever meet, I’ll say:“pardon?,sorry?,what?” more often than anything else. If you ever tell me something and I can’t see your mouth,forget it, I won’t know what you’re saying.
And the “best” thing is all the music that I used to listen to lost a bit of its depth ,because there’s frequencies,both high and low, that I just don’t register anymore.

So, don’t take this lightly . You only have one set of 'em satellites!


Ye iv damaged my hearing but luckily no tinnitus… Loud concerts and years going to outdoor parties dancing infront of speakers stacked like a bungalow… I know second hand how tinnitus can affect you so sorry to hear your struggling with it @JT. I dont really go to too many gigs now but who knows in future might join a band so I will be more mindfull thanks.

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Don’t have tinnitus, but I do remember some occassions when younger, going to a loud gig and being absent-minded, forgot to bring ear plugs, then after gig noticed slight ringing in my ears. And there certainly were more occassions where the music was way too loud for my unprotected ears, even if my ears didn’t ring afterwards. When I started using plugs more regularly, I also realised listening to the gig became more enjoyable.

I don’t know if those occassions caused significant damage to my hearing, but hoping I had been more careful back then. The last occassion I remember was a couple of years back when I went to a band rehearsal for my friend’s band as a back up (this is still the only band rehearsal I’ve been to as a bassist), had not realised to bring plugs with me, and after playing an hour or so in a small space with loud drumming, noticed slight ringing. If I ever get to play a band, I’ll really have to store a pair of plugs in my gig bag so that won’t happen again.

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You really don’t want tinnitus.

My ears ring. Almost all the time. Sometimes worse than others, but at nearly all times. Silence is actually a bit uncomfortable sometimes if the ringing is currently bad; it’s worse when it’s quiet. The only thing that helps is other sound stimulus like music.

It’s not maddening so much as it is just very, very tedious.


Yeah, silence is the worst. Trying to fall asleep can be really hard… People might suggest some white noise or background noise, but that doesn’t help me, because I’m just a very light sleeper. I usually have to wear ear plugs when I sleep or I wake up a lot. But, the ear plugs just intensify the tinnitus as they reduce background noise. So frustrating…


I’ve found that really monotone tv shows in the background help turn off the ringing in my ears but don’t distract me from sleep. So I usually stream “The Universe” or any other space or nature docuseries with a monotone narrator. I never was able to fall asleep because either the ringing would annoy me, or the commercials on the TV would wake me up. Netflix for no commercials helped with that part at least.


i just googled them, there seem to be several brands, including Fender, any particular one you would suggest?

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The brand I have and love are Dubs Acoustic Filters pictured below but I’m not sure if the same ones are still available anywhere. These were there first pair I tried and liked them enough to never bother trying anything else… so honestly I don’t know if they are the best or worst thing on the market, I just know I love them.

Yeah, years of heavy ordinance and very loud jets (even with ear plugs) have resulted in tinnitus. Not trying to play doctor, but the only thing that helped me has been good ol’ vitamin C. A friend of mine got it bad and had success with it. It takes 3 grams in divided doses but it will tamp down the ringing. Might have to work up to that much C but at least you’re safe from scurvy :slight_smile:

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