We take your hearing seriously and aim to educate you about the dangers and how to avoid them.
Loud music can damage your ears. Gig-A-Bull Ltd takes reasonable steps to ensure the students safety. Ultimately the biggest responsibility lies with the student for their own personal safety. Risks can be minimised but never removed entirely.
As volume increases, the inner ear contracts to protect itself from damage, this has the affect off making the volume sound less and so the user turns up the volume more, thus entering a dangerous cycle. Being aware of this will help the student understand the dangers surrounding volume.
Hearing Damage. Many professional musicians have suffered lasting hearing damage most famously:
Pete Townsend, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Jeff Beck.
Many of these musicians grew up playing at a time when 'loud music sends you deaf’ was seen as something of a joke. The range of information and products available today coupled with a more sensible approach means that you can enjoy your music and keep your hearing safe.
Some Gig-A-Bull sessions use headphones, this isolates the volume of each student from one another and mixes it as required. This makes overall levels much more controllable and potentially safer. However care needs to be taken as the sound is directed into the ear and damage can occur:
Before putting headphones on, check the levels by holding the speakers away from the ears and gradually moving them closer.
Remove headphones immediately if you experience an uncomfortably loud sound, then alter the levels or ask your teacher to do so.
Do not aim to drown out all exterior sounds, you will lose perspective of how loud the music is and this is almost certainly too loud for safety.
If you cannot hear the teacher/ band leader speak, turn your volume down or ask the teacher to turn down other levels in the mix, or play softer. This is one of the most important gig-able skills you will ever learn and is true of stage, studio, rehearsal and lesson. Your future in music depends on this.
Teamwork for safety
Remember that an increase in volume for you is usually an increase in volume for everyone else. Work as a team!
It is usually better to get others to play more quietly than to turn yourself up.
Volume and aural perception.
Hearing a part in a mix is more often an issue of ‘aural perception’ rather than volume. All musicians benefit from training their ‘aural perception’. Ninety percent of beginners have very poor aural perception. Improving your this will make for a safer musical environment. When volume becomes too loud, accurate aural perception becomes impossible as you inner ear contracts.
Turn mobile phones off. Cell phones create audible clicks across the headphones and speakers. These can range in volume from annoying to dangerous. Please turn off your cell phone at the start of the session, rehearsal or gig.
Patches /Sounds/Amp Models. When changing from one sound or ‘patch’ to another first ensure that any change in volume between one sound and the next is acceptable. It is recommended that beginners do not change patches or sounds until they have mastered the relative levels and their teacher is happy with the ‘patch’ change.
Avoid connection 'clunks':
Plugging in: 1. Connect lead to instrument 2. Then connect lead to Amp or Sound Module.
Disconnecting: 1. Disconnect lead from Amp or Sound Module. 2. Disconnect lead from instrument.
Ear plugs. It is recommended that you buy ear plugs and wear them at concerts, gigs and rehearsals. Always keep them with you. We recommend buying a pair with at least -19db attenuation for rehearsals, rock concerts and gigs (The Director uses -25db plugs). There are many types on the market today:
Foam Earplugs are cheap and very effective at reducing volume, but do not reduce all frequencies equally. These are good for most situations where you need to protect your hearing and hi-fidelity is not an issue, or when the person is still growing. Available from Chemists and on-line. We recomend earplugshop.com
Generic Latex Ear Plugs. These usually cut out less overall volume than foam ear plugs, are better at keeping the music sounding as it should but still allow you to hear people talk. They are more comfortable than foam plugs and are washable. We recommend the ‘ACS Pacato’ which retails around £12.99 and give a good level of protection at -19db.
Custom made latex ear plugs. These are by far the best but they are not cheap. (around £130-£200). Custom plugs are the most comfortable; they cut frequencies equally so that music sounds the same, just quieter. Many have interchangeable acoustic filters ranging from -10b to -25db to suit different environments. They could turn out to be the best investment that you ever make.
To get custom plugs, you need to visit a specialist centre (like a hearing aid shop) to have an injection mould of your ear taken. This sometimes involves having your ears syringed fist. The moulds are sent away and you get your earplugs a week or two later. Highly recommended are ACS custom fit plugs and the Cambridge Hearing Centre on Chesterton High Street.
In signing this document the student/parent/guardian accepts these risks and confirms that they have read and understood the guidelines and recommendations above.