Have Musicians Given Up Playing?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Bobbie7, Mar 12, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Bobbie7
      Wishful

      Bobbie7 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Extreme stress, sinus infection
      I was wondering if the musicians in this support group have stopped playing their instruments and, if not, what do they do to prevent damage to their ears.

      While I am not a musician, a while back my husband bought me a blues harmonica and to my surprise and delight I just picked it up quickly and began playing my own spontaneous tunes and I sounded really good. Many months before my T began I became interested in the Native American flute since I felt it was absolutely enchanting and ethereal. I went ahead and purchased 2 flutes and at the time was too occupied with other things to begin playing. Now again I feel drawn to it and would like to begin to practice BUT I am fearful since the music (noise) might cause me discomfort and further exacerbate the T. I feel saddened by this worry because it is something I really wanted to pursue.

      If there are musicians here, I would be interested to know how you are dealing with this? Have you stopped playing or are you wearing musician's ear plugs and if so, how has that affected your ability to play? Even with ear plugs if one is very close to a musical instrument, it might still have a strong impact upon one's T.

      I would appreciate responses as I am in a quandary about what I should or should not do.

      Thank you.
       
    2. michaelbio

      michaelbio Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Long Island, New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Teenager
      I'm a musician. I used to play live without ear plugs during bigger shows because I couldn't hear myself sing. I don't play live anymore. However, if I do plan on recording in the studio again, I will play music at a lower volume and wear 12 decibel reduction earplugs. Don't stop enjoying something you like, but protect your hearing. There are really good earplugs out there that reduce the volume but keep the clarity and filter out the highs. If you wear those and take breaks in between every half hour or so, you'll be fine. M
       
    3. AlexSongitus

      AlexSongitus Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I haven't been able to since I got T, and not just due to fear of it, but the fact it's destroyed it for me. Had one good day in the past month where I played my guitar and listened to some music, other than that, I can't play, listen or produce. I'm too much of a perfectionist when it comes to music, and this noise layered on top of every song destroys music for me, from every aspect, including the emotional attachment I have for music. So yeah, for the time being, it's indefinitely on hold :( That was what was so great about me having silence this past sunday. I was singing, and listening to music, and enjoying it again. Felt like my old self again.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
    4. Sebastians

      Sebastians Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13/10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Guitars, loud girls and guns
      I quit playing guitar in a rock band. It was the only right decision and will wait it out for at least a year to reconsider playing again in a louder setting.
      I do still enjoy playing the guitar at lower volumes and am practising a lot, such as working on my technique and phrasing, picking up some jazz techniques etc.
      At first i was really discouraged by my T, but getting back to doing the things you live (at safe volumes) is part of getting better in the long run.
       
      • Like Like x 3
    5. Bobbie7
      Wishful

      Bobbie7 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Extreme stress, sinus infection
      Thank you for your responses. It's sad to let go of the activities you most enjoy. I already have good shooter's ear muffs and two (soon to be three) pair of musician's ear plugs and am considering getting the custom-molded musician's ear plugs as well because I do want to begin playing the Native American flute and continue playing the jazz harmonica. I can well understand the fear and hesitance about continuing one's music and I suppose each one of us must find his/her way slowly to determine what is best.

      Here's wishing all of us the continued joy of music.

      Best wishes.
       
    6. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      possibly noise
      I've basically got my T after playing a rehearsal with a loud rock band in a small room, even though I took breaks and wore earplugs. I've given that up, along with going to concerts where there are no volume restrictions.

      Otherwise, I've still a couple played gigs with moderately loud bands. I make sure I get enough sleep, take breaks, wear foam earplugs, and won't be directly next to a drummer.
      I'm playing bass guitar and double bass, however. I'm not sure what I would do if I'd played flute/saxophone/harmonica/violin etc.. I'd probably carefully give it a try, see how it feels and how my ears would react. Earplugs would still help, but these instruments also directly resonate against your body.


      The one thing that really keeps me from playing, is depression. I often don't feel like it, or don't get enjoyment out of it. Also, part of what I liked about playing is practising, trying new things, learning new things and growing as a musician/person. But I never have the energy to really do that any more.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. Bobbie7
      Wishful

      Bobbie7 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Extreme stress, sinus infection
      Have you consulted a psychiatrist and been placed on an antidepressant? If so, is it not attending to your depression?
       
    8. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      it completely ruined me for good. cannot go anywhere near anything at all. used to play first violin in the symphony. lucky for me, is that i don't do that for a living. unlucky is that it still messes me up, can't sleep properly, and constantly interfered with my concentration. and has nothing to do with depression - i'm depressed for a good reason, and nothing will ever fix that.
       
    9. James
      No Mood

      James Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      Pulsing 03/2013
      I just got a couple of Miles Davis CD's from the library. Of course I listen to my T-masking CD's, and I also listen to music. I have a CD collection and old vinyl Lp's too, - Just like the rest of you!

      I'm not giving up my enjoyment of listening to music or playing my guitar, (which is a personal thing for me). I played guitar for many years, (not that I'm any good) it's a hobby to learn things, - I'd like to learn my old rock songs and jazz (if I can learn that), and classical - and that’s good since I can read music, - Just like the rest of you!

      I encourage anyone not to give up things they enjoy in life. It doesn't have to be loud.
      Life is too short.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    10. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      possibly noise
      I was put on medication years ago and it made everything much worse. I quit after six months and haven't tried it again. I'd much rather treat the underlying causes too, than to chemically suppress my feelings.

      One year ago I applied for psychological help again, but since then it's been nothing but intakes, referrals and waiting lists, etc.. but no actual treatments. I'm thinking of stopping to go there. Anyway... we don't have to go into this, I don't want to derail your topic.
       
    11. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      I'm a professional musician and this year I decided to take a year off to assess my situation. This has had a huge effect on my life, because music is not only my career but my passion. I can no longer go to gigs and fully relax and enjoy myself. In fact, I had to miss one of my favourite bands that I pre-booked tickets to see last year.

      My other band members refuse to play without me, so they have gone on a hiatus as well. This makes me feel a certain amount of guilt as I feel I am holding us all back, but I need time to clear my head. I'm still depressed but I'm fighting, I refuse to let this beat me. In the early months, and quite recently in fact, I will admit I was suicidal. The devastion I feel cannot really be put into words; I have spent most of my life studying and enjoying music and I have had the rug well and truly ripped from beneath my feet.

      Luckily, I have a thriving tuition business which still supports me, but I feel even this is affected as music in general has been somewhat tarnished for me mentally. Some days I feel like I'm going through the motions a bit whereas it had always been a pleasure before. I believe a lot of this is down to depression because I'm simply not enjoying life at the moment. Part of my brain is telling me to hang in there because it will pass, but it's extremely difficult.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      My own singing is the worst thing for my T. Guitar is OK, Banjo is OK, Fiddle is OK if I don't hit 2 notes together up high, I love blues harp but gotta stay away from the high overblows. ANY kind of music amplified hurts me, I play mostly acoustic. I only go to "Low level" concerts and I wear earplugs when I do.
       
    13. lkingston

      lkingston Member

      Location:
      Gainesville, Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Years of working with loud sound systems.
      My taste in music has certainly changed. I now play fingerstyle guitar and have started playing a big jazz box which is kind of midrangey and mellow (but beautiful sounding) and doesn't irritate my ears.
       
    14. Tommi_boi
      Relaxed

      Tommi_boi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/04/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      I was also in a rock band but after the onset of mil H I have quit. But I still play accoustic guitar and plan to record through my speakers, don't let this crap stop u from enjoying ur hobby
       
    15. GregCA
      Crappy

      GregCA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I had quit the moment T set in.
      I'm a drummer, and I'm sure this fact alone makes everyone think they know how I got T.

      Ironically, it wasn't the drums. I have an electronic kit, so I listen to my drums through headphones and I can control the volume. Never did I get any "heavy ear" feeling or ringing after any drumming session.

      And yet I got T, from otosclerosis (which affected my cochlea in addition to my middle ear).

      Today, after about 4 months without playing, I tried to play again, at a very soft volume.

      I felt mixed: on the one hand it felt good to sit on that throne again and "let the music flow", but on the other hand there was always T there creating interference, but more importantly, an omnipresent fear that I could be making my T worse.

      I'm hoping I'll get more relaxed about it in time, as drumming is one of the ways I have to "escape reality" for a while. I'd hate to have to let T rob me of that too.
       
    16. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      I play my acoustic guitar, sometimes I put in my earplugs (was using 15s, but just got 9s). It took me like 4-5 weeks to be able to. I doubt I'll ever use my sax again. That thing is LOUD.

      I do hope one day to play with a drummer again. For now if I do it will be sequences at low volume.

      Playing guitar is pretty much my favorite thing to do. I can't imagine not doing it.
       
    17. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      I have been a musician all my life .... put that on pause for quite a while hoping that I might return to that at some point. So after a long pause I started to feel much better and I decided to mix one song , its been a mnth of hell T since I did that ....I guess music is over for me.
       
    18. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      @RaZaH - how loud were you mixing? I figured production would be the safest thing
       
      • Like Like x 1
    19. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Too loud obviously .. First time in years that I turned on my mid size speakers.
      Did not feel that it was too loud and I only turned it up for probably 30 sec at a time .
      Most of the mix was done on tiny Avantone speakers.

      Bummer is that I will probably not have the courage to do this ever again , I was starting to deal with this pretty good after almost 4 years of fighting. Did not notice my T for most of the day and a few bad days inbetween.
      To be honest , as much as I love music with all my heart its not worth missing a month (possibly more ) of work and life.
       
    20. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      I'm not a musician but i do go to gigs still, not as many as i used to though. Only if is a band i really want to see.
       
    21. Andrei88
      Creative

      Andrei88 Member

      Location:
      South Africa
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      I used to play guitar in bands for many years (mostly death metal, thrash metal and grindcore) and for me the ultimate feeling was playing music with other musicians. Since I got my T I had to give that up, then after a year about my T got so much better that I could jam with a drummer again, wearing earplugs, and my T would not get louder. But I eventually gave that up again for reason I cant remember.
      Just about 2 months ago I bought me a new half stack and at that moment I got a bad cold, after I recovered from the cold my T has gotten extremely loud and ive also gotten hyperacusis, I suspect the cold meds I took messed me up.
      Im selling my amp again this week as I cannot use it at all, not even with earplugs. I hate this situation. Even playing acoustic guitar messes my ears up.
       
    22. Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      Another musician here. I've continued to play, record and attend gigs. All less frequently mind but I couldn't give any of it up.
       
    23. Sebastians

      Sebastians Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13/10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Guitars, loud girls and guns
      Wait, so your first T suddenly improved after one year? How did that go?
       
    24. Andrei88
      Creative

      Andrei88 Member

      Location:
      South Africa
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      I just started taking magnesium and wearing earplugs almost permanently for a very long time and then my T got very reduced. Im taking magnesium again now, but no improvement yet.
       
    25. Sebastians

      Sebastians Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13/10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Guitars, loud girls and guns
      Interesting though, how several people noted improvement once they started wearing earplugs in everyday outdoor situations. Sure beats the 'overprotection' mantra..
       
    26. Andrei88
      Creative

      Andrei88 Member

      Location:
      South Africa
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      Yes but then you take some over the counter cold meds and your tinnitus goes to hell again :/ but its all good, just gota stay positive!
       
    27. Sebastians

      Sebastians Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13/10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Guitars, loud girls and guns
      What meds did you take, just in case i get a cold this winter..
       
    28. Andrei88
      Creative

      Andrei88 Member

      Location:
      South Africa
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      Ohman ive no idea what the exact name was! But its some tablets that gets made here in South Africa.
       
    29. drox
      Pacman

      drox Member

      Location:
      Brussels
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Drugs/stress/music/noise ?
      I am musician too and cannot imagine giving up on music ! I think in my case the tinnitus was actually brought by stress or some drugs (sudden hearing loss) more than by music but then probably noise/music made it worse... I know I have to be very careful with my ears but I also know that playing/listening to music is distracting me from the tinnitus even though I'm always frustrated to hear it interfere with it...
      I use earplugs in noisy places/concerts but I really have difficulties using them while playing because it is amplifying the perception of tinnitus and denaturing the sound... I play acoustic instruments and sing and try to monitor my perception and any spike but for sure the pleasure is not the same anymore... There is always fear and annoyance which are bad companions for creativity. Fortunately I don't really have H or strong hearing loss so I can still enjoy music enough to not give up... But for how long ?
      In this misery I had the opportunity to start playing a new instrument that probably saved me in some way... It's called the handpan and you can see what I achieved with it over the tinnitus:

      Fuck tinnitus !
      Love music !
       
      • Like Like x 1
    30. Sebastians

      Sebastians Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13/10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Guitars, loud girls and guns
      Don't you perform sometimes at Mont des Arts??? Saw some dude with a handpan there some weekends ago
       

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.