Guitarist PAUL GILBERT (MR. BIG, RACER X), who lives with significant hearing loss, has written a new article for Premier Guitar on to keep your ears in good condition and also how to deal with any hearing loss you may already have. An excerpt is available below:
“For me, it has always been difficult to resist the ‘more is more’ philosophy. When I play quietly I feel sonically naked. My instinct is to beat the audience over the head with volume, power, and speed. If I play quietly, subtly, and slowly, will they throw a tomato at me? I don’t know. I’ve never tried it. At least not until recently. So far, there have been no tomatoes. I should have tried this a long time ago.
At this point, I should mention the headphones that I’ve been wearing onstage for the last few years. What is going on there? Why don’t I wear custom-molded in-ear monitors like everyone else does? All right, here is my explanation. The purpose of my headphones is the same as the more common ear molds: to block out the stage volume while giving me a controlled mix and volume from the monitor desk. I’ve tried the ear molds and I just prefer the headphones. I can easily take them off if I need to talk to someone in the room, listen to the audience, or get away from an accidental volume blast. And the speakers are simply a lot bigger in the headphones, so there is more headroom and better quality sound. It also gives me a good excuse to have messed-up hair, which is pretty much all my hair will do anyway.
Now, let’s turn to damage control. Do you already have constant ringing and high frequency loss? Do you wonder why most people (especially women and children) don’t talk loud enough? Do you wonder why the dialogue in movies is mixed so low? Do you wonder why telephones, alarm clocks, and kitchen timers just aren’t made like they used to be? Do you wonder why your new stereo never sounds as good as the one you had when you were a kid? Do you wonder why concerts are always too loud and sound crappy? I wondered all these things until I realized it’s me! Sorry!
This is the price I paid for listening to all that fantastic loud music and guitar. Was it worth it? In a word, yes. I loved that music so much. I would have had a lot more misery if my rock and roll were taken away from me than from any grief that I have now from living in my treble-free world. But I certainly wish I could go back in time and follow some of my advice. I would definitely trade some head-stuffed-into-the- 4×12-moments in exchange for getting some high-end back into my ears.”
Click here for the complete article.
As previously reported, the daily schedule for Gilbert’s upcoming Great Guitar Escape is now available.
The first annual Paul Gilbert’s Great Guitar Escape will take place July 9th – 13th at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY. Guitar players of all ages, levels and styles are invited to join Paul Gilbert and other expert musicians for this experience focused on the techniques, styles, and life of the modern working musician.
Full details can be viewed at this location.