Have you ever gone to bed at night after playing your drums, or after drumline rehearsal, and had an incessant ringing in your ears? If you have, that is your body telling you that you’ve done some damage to your hearing. Please know that hearing loss is irreversible, so you need to start protecting your ears NOW! How, you ask? There are a few surefire ways to do so.
- Earplugs/Filters – The most obvious solution, but one that definitely takes some getting used to. I started playing drums when I was 14, but didn’t start wearing plugs until I was in my 30’s. I wish someone would have told me how important hearing protection was when I was first starting out. Do yourself a favor and start using earplugs now. Tell yourself that ear protection is just as essential as the sticks you use to play.
- Drum Mutes – Not only do drum mutes help the player, but they also help the people around you. Have you ever heard “That’s enough of that noise” from a parent or sibling? If so, drum mutes may be the answer to your prayers (and theirs). The best part about drum mutes? You can pull them off of your drums and go crazy at full-volume when nobody is around (just make sure you have some earplugs in when you do). They can also increase your practice time since you’re less annoying to the non-drummers in your house.
- Headphones – Not so great if you’re trying to make a fashion statement while drumming, but hearing is way more important than looking cool! There are many different kinds of headphones out there, and some even plug into your computer or MP3 player. That means you can plug in and play along to your favorite songs without doing damage to your ears.
Not sure where to start with hearing protection? Start in the same place you’d buy your sticks!
You only get one good set of ears in your life, so take care of them!