Should You Wear Earplugs While Drumming?

Should You Wear Earplugs While Drumming?


I have been wearing ear plugs since I started drumming and playing with bands. I’m glad I did as I currently don’t have any problems with my hearing (as far as I can tell). I get no pains from listening to music and I can fully enjoy all aspects of music including playing, listing to the radio and going to gigs.

I do know plenty of musicians that haven’t worn earplugs. Either because they don’t think it’s important or they’re from an era where they didn’t exist and they suffer for it. Nowadays everyone knows how important it is to look after your hearing. It’s the most important thing you have as a musician yet sometimes people still don’t. I do gigs with people who don’t wear them regularly and it scares me to think what must be happening to them with the volumes we play at. They must be driving home with ringing ears. Just in case you didn’t know the ringing is a sign that you have lost some of your hearing. In really bad cases you can damage your hearing so much that the hearing doesn’t go away.

 Can you imagine always having ringing ears? It has driven people to suicide. It’s a horrible thought but I can understand why. At the very least it could take the enjoyment out of listening to music and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

There have been famous cases of musicians damaging their hearing, please don’t be one of them. Here’s just a few;

Phil Collins has retired from touring as a direct result of hearing damage. If you’re a younger reader then the song the gorilla on the Cadbury advert drummed to is one of his. says that one of the reasons he creates music at all hours of the day is because otherwise he is plagued by constant ringing this isn’t an ideal solution. It’s much better to get a good nights sleep and not have ringing ears.

 Lars Ulrich the drummer for Metalica didn’t wear ear protection on stage for years and now suffers serious hearing problems.

Hopefully I’ve scared you enough to get out there and play and practise drums while wearing the correct protection. It doesn’t have to be expensive custom moulded ear plugs. Though they are great if you can get them. A cheap set of ear plugs like these under £10 are more than enough to take the edge off of the extreme volumes that drumming and playing with a band can produce.

I hope you don’t ever have problems and keep looking after your hearing. Leave a comment below with your thoughts on the subject. Has ringing in your ears ever been a problem?


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