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Thread: TOO LOUD!!!!

  1. #1
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    TOO LOUD!!!!

    I must admit that the older (wiser?) I get, the lower my tolerance is for people who don't understand dynamics (i.e. loudness).

    The other day we were at a jazz jam session, with a mixed complement of guys- keys, horns, drums, bass and guitar. A kid walks up and plugs in, late teens I would say, he is a good rock guitar soloist, I have heard him. Unfortunately he plays really loud- the amp was painfully loud to me so I moved to the other side of the stage. My son was literally holding his ears because the guitar was also painfully loud to him. Signal to the guy that maybe something is wrong?

    The keyboard player yells at him, "kid you are too loud, in fact you are ALWAYS too loud". The kid retorts "that's good, I like to play loud". The keyboard player must have said something else to him because the kid eventually moved to another amp and turned down.

    So I got to thinking. Next time we do one of these jam sessions, instead of sitting at the front of the stage (because the horns are not miced), I am going to stand behind one of the guitar players who is too loud and play my marching baritone horn as loudly as possible right next to his ear. It is the loudest horn I have and we'll see how he feels about the tables being turned...

    Interesting a couple weeks ago another one of the guitar players commented that my son was playing the trumpet extremely loud on stage at a jam session. I told him, "well if you insist on keeping your amp that high, he HAS to play as loud as he possibly can to keep up with you..."

    Why don't guys get it???

    dB

  2. #2
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    dB, if you haven't already, get some kids' swimming ear plugs (ones that fit them comfortably) for your young prodigies. They don't need to wear them all the time, but they should have them handy for when jamming with inconsiderate musicians.

    What some guitar players don't get is that we don't have to exert very much force to be louder (unless you consider carrying a bigger amp). We can just reach down and turn up the knob. But a drummer, horn player, or any other purely acoustical instrument has his hit harder or blow harder to keep up.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  3. #3
    Axellent Member Forecaster's Avatar
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    never, ever have I used earplugs onstage.
    Yes, I do have some slight tinnitis, but if I have to cover MY ears,
    then somebody is doing "it" wrong and I will be glad to let them know.

    If I put one finger in my ear prior to singing,
    a good soundperson will give me more in the monitor mix.

    Alot of my professional musician-type friends have gone to an ear doctor
    and had them make special ear plugs that still allow you to hear
    and are "adjustable' by what color coded blocker - thingy you put in the plug.

    I am told they work quite well,
    but it's the principle of the thing, for me.
    "The problem with the internet (and e-mails) is you cannot hear someones voice, see them smile, nor notice a tongue planted firmly in cheek" - Andy Fuchs

  4. #4
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    I have worn earplugs for nearly 35 years, anytime I play with other people (except when I forget them, and I always regret it). I have total control over my levels when I play solo. Not so much when I share the stage.
    I don't push the plugs in all the way, unless it's ridiculously loud. Most of the time, they are at the edge of my ear, kind of like a door left ajar. It's more akin to cupping your ear lightly, vs sticking a finger in there. Even like that, they make a big difference in whether my head hurts after playing.

    When I can, I buy kid-sized swimmer's plugs. Adult-sized are too big for my ears.
    I don't need to stop water from entering my ear-canal. I just need to cut down the sound pressure a bit.

    I can't find the exact ones I prefer to wear, but these are similar. I find them in reddish orange, which looks better:



    I would like to try a pair of these:


    The local drug store chain keeps changing brands and products. When an earplug I like starts getting scarce, I keep my eye out for that store and grab all I can. (Kind of like hunting down NOS tubes.)
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  5. #5
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  6. #6
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Here you go. This is my brand, but in an orangy-pink colour:
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  7. #7
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Okay, so now I know that my fav plugs are marketed internationally as Earplanes. Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada had them as swimming ear-plugs for many years, but they are getting hard to find...

    Further digging finds them recommended for flying. However, this reviewer calls them "disposable". Not bloody likely! Mine cost me nearly ten bucks with tax. I keep them for years (yes, I clean them) if I don't lose them.
    Review of EarPlane Air Pressure Regulating Ear Plugs | Gadget ReviewsGadget Reviews

    Here is another review:
    Earplug news, information and advice | Allearplugs.com - Blog - The best travel ear plugs for*you
    "As they are designed for plane journeys..."
    That's really funny, since for the past ten years they have been "designed for swimming" (at least as marketed in Canada).

    If I knew they were "designed for air travel, I would use have tried them when I have flown, rather than the cheapo ones I use when I fly. My Earplane/swimming plugs are too expensive and hard to find to risk losing on a plane.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  8. #8
    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    The best answer is to leave the stage. If enough of the participants do it, the kid will figure it out.....Nobody wants to play with an idiot who thinks he needs to sit on top of the mix so others can't hear....or be heard.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

  9. #9
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I have earplugs and I think you are right that I should get some kids earplugs too. Actually the place where they do the jams also has a bulk earplug dispenser and my son has gone and taken them more than once.

    But jeez man, it is a jam session! You shoudn't NEED earplugs!

    I do think you are right however, guitar players sometimes do tend to forget that the battle of the volume is something horns can only wage to a certain extent until miced. Although I will say I have also played with a drummer who was so loud that the audience actually complained of their level. That is a very bad reflection on that drummer.

    Dynamics, what dynamics?

  10. #10
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    I've always liked dynamics--they give music character, mood and suspense--among other things.

    As for too loud, I was amused one year at the company Christmas party.
    There was a rock band playing, whose music appealed to the people within 5 years of my age--and some others.
    they were loud, but the people who complained the most about it being too loud were not the oldest ones (Older than I am), but young ones in their early 20's--yet get them a DJ with a pounding bass & drum where the song being played doesn't matter--only the beat--the loud incessant beat--and they're okay with that.

    The band was loud, but they did use dynamics and did do a quieter song or two.

    After the band there was a DJ, but we left during that time.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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