Practicing with ear plugs in ears???

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by study888, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. study888

    study888 Mezzo Forte User

    Age:
    67
    929
    54
    Aug 22, 2005
    Darlington S.C.
    Practicing with ear plugs in ears??

    Well Ladies and Gentlemen. I knew I had read this. I first read this on Curry's mouthpiece internet site. It is at the bottom of info. in the CUSTOM MOUTHPIECE section of advertisement. From reading these various articles. I realized one thing. Practicing in to small of a area with strong horns like this Conn and Olds is wreaking what little hearing I have. The ear that is ringing I have put in a ear plug. It is not hindering my playing. In fact I found what m. p.'s are really working the best. As I can hear the buzz from inside out. I will put it to a good test tomorrow. Will let my wife listen to a few pages of exercises played with and without the plugs. Some of us maybe damaging our hearing and not realizing it. Of course I will have to insist that my wife not use her ear plugs while I play. :-)
     
  2. study888

    study888 Mezzo Forte User

    Age:
    67
    929
    54
    Aug 22, 2005
    Darlington S.C.
    Practicing with ear plugs in ears??

    Well I am calling it a night. I have practiced through a whole begginer band book tonight on a 3B Bach with this fat boy Conn. Told you all I am back to rookie mode. I play the third trumpet parts. I have a young fellow that runs with the lead. I can say I am not tired and my lips and mouth are not give out and my poor left ear is not ringing. I believe as a fellow master player said. you do find youself playing a whole lot more relaxed and am using my air better. I figure if your buzzes sound good in your head and coming out the mouthpiece. Your trumpet is just a amplifier. If sounds good at the buzz it should good out the end of horn. Will know tomorrow some time. Hey maybe we can start some Bach and GR and Curry and Warburton ear plug safari's along with the mouthpiece ones. :-) G Day mates :grouphug:
     
  3. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

    386
    0
    Nov 22, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    I agree with Manny. How could not hearing yourself improve your playing? :-? That is like saying that being deaf improves your abillity to speak properly. Most deaf people have to go for years of speech therapy in order to learn to speak properly, so again I say why wear ear plugs :shock:

    Rick AKA Trumpet Man
     
  4. john daniel

    john daniel New Friend

    30
    1
    Sep 20, 2005
    appleton, WI
    For many of us, there is no choice. It's ear plugs for certain playing situations or risk further hearing loss. I used to direct jazz bands on a daily basis and that was the beginning of the tinnitus. I hate using them if I'm in a high pressure situation with players I don't know well. It's easy to miss subtle dynamic changes etc. However, for big band and commercial playing where the bass and drums are playing at a very predictable volume level, they make it much easier to play, not harder.. It's easy and common to over play in order to hear ourselves better, which invites our neighbors to do the same. With one or both ears partially or fully plugged, you can "mix" the inner sound with the outer sound until you are comfortable. While you don't hear your sound in the room as well, you do hear pitch and articulation much better. With the ears fully plugged you can hear yourself breathe, like with a stethoscope, which can be very useful information.
     
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    5,915
    10
    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Okay, so, let's go back to the wording in the ORIGINAL post:

    The question had to do with PRACTICING with earplugs, not protective action on the job.

    So, I'll express my question once again:

    How would practicing with earplugs make you a better musician? Don't we practice in order to become better musicians. That encompasses many things, I'm aware, like technique, flexibility, articulation... the things you need to express your musicianship.

    Practicing with earplugs seems so antithetical to producing a superior sound on a trumpet. It only makes you are of physical things and not musical concerns. You hear yourself breathe and you hear the physical action of the tongue. Great. I'm sure there would be advantages to practicing with one hand tied behind my back or lying down on a water bed. Would the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? I don't believe so except for a limited time therapeutic value to "cure" some odd habit or position fault.

    ML
     
  6. BobList

    BobList New Friend

    48
    0
    Nov 10, 2003
    Baltimore, Md.
    I find that occasionally using earplugs to practice will REALLY dial in your tonguing.....every little nuance is exagerrated in your head. Dee, Tee, Kee type tonguing is very pronounced, one can hear how "clean" it is. For me, it helps to synchronize my air and tongue. You can actually hear the airstream and note in relation to the TAAAAA of the attack. Are they together as one?....or not?

    Bob List, Bawlmer
     
  7. john daniel

    john daniel New Friend

    30
    1
    Sep 20, 2005
    appleton, WI
    Manny,
    I would have to agree with your last post for the most part. The exceptions for me (when practicing) are fortissimo passages in any room besides a concert hall. When you have the kind of hearing loss I have to endure, you just can't mess around with it. I have plenty of trouble understanding normal conversation with soft spoken folks. When I hear students blasting away on excerpts in small practice rooms I cringe and I'm a bit jealous. If I did that, the high C# concert would be 10 times louder in both ears for the rest of the day.

    So I agree that I wouldn't recommend practicing with ear plugs for musical reasons, but to save one's hearing it is imperative quite often, even in the practice room.

    Do you ever have to play directly into plexiglass on the job? That to me is the worst and dumbest situation ever.

    The point I want to make is that hearing loss is permanent and that the use of ear plugs should be embraced, not avoided.

    Jack DeJohnette is famous for his use of very dark and dry cymbals. He started doing this strictly to avoid further hearing loss, and he learned to make music with a different setup as a necessity.
    With headphones, earphones, cellphones, roadnoise, airplane noise etc. hearing protection is part of the gig.
     
  8. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    609
    1
    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona
    Early last year I had a terrible ear infection and I literally couldn’t hear anything out my left side. This lasted for several weeks and it was like I had a permanent ear plug in for this entire time. I wrote about my experiences during this time in a post called Mixed Blessings at the Trumpet Herald site.

    When I was playing loud, low parts (a danger zone of playing for me), I discovered that I had an acute awareness of when I was loud enough (given this plugged up ear), and I never cross the line to a dynamic that would lead to "spread" chops.

    I had heard of spread chops and knew that I probably suffered from this problem (especially when I was playing in an ensemble where I had to blow a little louder to really hear myself). The "plug" allowed me to experience where this "line" was with great clarity. Coupling this with my knowledge that resonant sounds project, and “loud†sounds (especially from behind the bell) are notoriously deceptive to the player, I made the necessary adjustments to my playing when in larger ensembles.

    I can understand everything that has been written in this post. I hate to play with anything plugging my ears, but for that 2-week period when I didn’t have a choice, I did find a real benefit that has made a difference in my sound production when playing low and loud. For that reason, I can see at least one tangible benefit. As far as protection, you have to do what you have to do!

    Good topic!
     
  9. study888

    study888 Mezzo Forte User

    Age:
    67
    929
    54
    Aug 22, 2005
    Darlington S.C.
    Practicing with Ear plugs in Ears??

    Thanks everyone for your input. I did not want everyone to think that I would do all my practicing with ear plugs all the time. During day when I am in my large den room are outside I can practice in normal manner. But the late practice are in a small room. I am going to have to protect that left ear and maybe the right also. And I am finding out it is a good form of exercise to correct and better some of my intonation problems. I am going to along with my long tones and Caruso use the ear plugs for awhile and see what sort of results I get. I do not find it uncomfortable at all. Will be like adding the buzzing mouthpiece exercises but stiil using your air and embrochure and pushing against the resistance of the horn. Hey Caruso did not care how you sounded on his exercises. And I am thinking this maybe a similar tool. But you can tell if air is not right and if your buzzing on a note is not just right and it is easy to lip it up are down. Did not get my wife to listen to my playing today. But at a later date will give some feed back on how it all turned out. We all know that their is more than one way to skin a cat :-)
     
  10. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

    212
    1
    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    One of the best times to use ear plugs is when we are not playing the trumpet. When mowing the lawn etc. you should always use hearing protection. Immediately after a loud gig complete silence will help the ears recover. Always have protection with you when attending concerts. Noise cancelling headphones are a must for airline travel. Switching to a clip on mic has helped me a lot as I am able to move around a bit on stage to avoid hot spots.
     

Share This Page