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– How’s it going, guys? Julian Bradley here
from TheMusicalEar.com, and in today’s video,
I’m gonna talk to you about one of the most important things I could ever talk to you
about, ear protection. As musicians, the most
important thing we have is our hearing. A hundred years ago, we weren’t having this much hearing loss. Really young people in their twenties are already having significant
damage to their hearing. And in this video, I’m
basically going to list nine things which damage hearing. These are things which I
avoid on a daily basis. So, we’re gonna get straight
in, enjoy this video, and I’ll talk to you
again on the other side. (laid-back music) Okay, so number one on the
list is in-ear headphones. These are the earbud-style headphones which actually go into the ear. And these have sort of become the norm for earphones these days. They come with every
smartphone, every mp3 player, I actually had a friend
who worked at the BBC, and he did hearing tests
for people who worked there. And he told me that he could always tell if someone listened to music
on these in-ear headphones. He said there was just
a certain type of damage or hearing loss in certain places. So personally, I never listen
to music on these in-ear, earbud type headphones. What I do use is these
outer ear type headphones, anything like this. And the difference is that,
with these types of headphones, the sound actually can escape, whereas with the in-ear
headphones, it gets stuck in there, because it’s airtight, and
the damage is so much worse. (electronic tones) Number two is avoid
winding the windows down when you’re driving, especially on a freeway,
especially at high speeds. This is known to damage your hearing. Personally, I love driving
with the windows down. However, I’ll limit it to about five minutes max, 10 minutes max. And I certainly wouldn’t
do a long road trip with the windows down,
because this buffeting really damages your hearing as well. And if you have a sort
of drop top type car, these are especially
bad, because, obviously, the whole trip, you’re just
exposed to all this wind noise. (electronic tones) Okay, number three, this is a
big one, prescription drugs. There is a long list of
over 200 prescription drugs, which are commonly prescribed to patients, which damage your hearing. So the take away from this is to read up on any drug that you’re prescribed. So that is number three, a
long list of prescription drugs are known to damage your hearing. (electronic tones) Okay so number four on
the list is smoking. Smoking is known to damage hearing, and the reason, as I understand it, is that anything that sort
of clogs the arteries, or interferes with the
blood that has to get to the very tiny hairs on your eardrum, that, over time, will
lead to hearing loss. And really, I’ll add in there, fast food, anything that clogs that blood and stops it from getting to
the hairs on your eardrum, that, over time, is
likely to damage hearing. (electronic tones) So number five is your own instrument. That’s right, musical instruments
are actually very loud, nearly all instruments. So I know this is obvious
with certain instruments, like percussion and drums,
snare drum is very loud. However, it’s also true for violin, brass instruments, and even piano. Personally, when I play piano, I tend to hold down the left
pedal, you know, the damper, which just makes everything quieter. And I’m always monitoring how loud the instrument is in the room. So if your instrument is on the loud side, then consider using a mute. If you’re a violin player,
you can use a mute, or a brass player, you can use a mute, because most of the time, when
you practice your instrument, it doesn’t need to be loud. You might be practicing
technique or scale-type stuff. So that is number five, your instrument can be
damaging your hearing. (electronic tones) Okay, so in at number
six, we have machinery. I’m talking most man-made
machinery these days, things like electric
drills, electric saws. If I’m gonna do any of these things, I’ll always put in earplugs. But even things like vacuuming,
again, I’ll put in earplugs. If you’re in the restroom and you use one of those air dryers, often these are too loud as well. If you have to use one, then
put your hands down lower. I find that it’s significantly less noisy. So that is number six, man-made machinery. (electronic tones) Now, in at number seven is sirens. I’m talking about police
sirens, ambulance sirens, fire engine sirens. Any time I hear a siren
coming down the street, I’ll put my fingers in my ears. I’ve been doing this for
15 years, it’s no big deal. Your hearing is very important, and these sirens are much
too loud for human hearing. And that is number seven. (electronic tones) In at number eight, we
have impacts to the head. I’m talking about sports, especially, which cause impacts to the
head, things like boxing, probably American football, I’m guessing, certainly martial arts as well. Any strikes to the head
can sort of dislocate those tiny little bones that
you have in your eardrum. So, for me, nothing is
worth damaging your hearing, so that is number eight,
impacts to your head. (electronic tones) And finally, number nine is
an obvious one, loud music. Any public venue you go
to, whether it’s a bar, a nightclub, a concert, and
even movie theaters these days, the norm is to crank up the music way too loud for human hearing. So as a musician, you have to
take control of the situation. You have to take your own ear protection when you’re going to these venues. That is number nine, loud music. (electronic tones) Okay, so now let’s take a quick look at what I use for ear protection. This isn’t a promotion of these products, this is just what I’ve
used for the last 15 years. Really the main point here is
just that you get something. So, I have two types of
ear protection that I use. First of all is these
kind of ear protectors. They happen to be called Doc’s Proplugs. Again, I’m sure there’s lots
of other things out there that do the same thing. Now these are not for
complete ear protection. All these do is, they take off probably about ten or 15 decibels. And I’ll just put these
in when I’m at a bar, which isn’t often. But any place that I am, where
it’s sort of slightly louder but you can still hear
people talking quite clearly. So that’s why these are useful. And then the other thing
I do is just the generic, these types of earplugs,
the standard ones. And what I tend to do is,
I’ll take three of these, and I’ll put them in this box. And I carry both types of
ear protection with me. Why three? Well the reason is, I
actually have three ears. That’s not actually the reason. The reason is that often you’ll open this and you’ll drop one. That’s something I’ve learned
from many years of doing this. So that’s why I carry this with me, two protectors for just mild situations and then three for if it gets really loud. (electronic music) So, thank you very much for watching. I really hope this video helped you. If it did, I would really
appreciate a thumbs up. And if you have a musician friend who would also benefit from
hearing this information, please share this video, because it’s very important information. Now if you’re really serious
about protecting your hearing, I’ve actually put together
a complete ebook guide. This is a free ebook,
where I go into 23 things that will damage your hearing. This is a more complete
version of this video. And you can download
that at the link below, it’s absolutely free. So thank you very much for watching. I’m Julian Bradley, protect
your hearing like nothing else. And I look forward to
seeing you again soon. (electronic music)


  1. I don't know about the smoke stuff (Maybe you could have used a reference to that) but most of the other stuff really make sense to me so thanks for the tip and know I probably will be scared everyday now when I have to go out…


    nice video btw
    Keep the good content n.n

    (Oh and thanks for the free ebook 👍)

  2. Just read through the quick pdf. I like the suggestions. Ever thought about how masturbation affects hearing? You know that blood pumping effect you get in your ears after you wax your whistle? Is it bad for the ears?

  3. These make perfect sense, but the whole video could have been boiled down to "loud sound damages your hearing"The three real culprits in my opinion, are:Live music venuesCranked headphones Constant Background noice, for example a loud workplace or lots of traffic around.

  4. I was waiting for you to mention excessive use of Q-tips which gets ear wax clogged down. Also what is the impact of swimming and changes in pressure?
    All in all great video, made me re-evaluate stuff 😀

  5. The human ear is able to self protect and regenerate. Don't be frightened of every sound which is loader then your voice. But seriously take care of the intensity. (Loudness over time)

  6. You mentioned the car windows!!! Best advice ever. I made this mistake when I used to smoke cigars. Now I can't hear over 4000k in my left ear.

  7. I always found the opposite with in ear buds. Whenever I listen to music I can have a lower volume with in ears – especially the soft ones that fit your ear nice, and when I take them out of my ear I feel hyper aware of any noises including how loud my voice really is. However when I put on over ears I feel like my ear is assaulted and as soon as I take them off my ears almost feel tired.

  8. As a brass player, I know that the instruments are quite loud, but WARNING! Do not always practice with a mute! The backpressure that a mute has is bad for your everyday practice routine. When you take the mute out after practicing lots, your playing without the mute will be much different. You should always practice the way you are going to play. Just be careful. I get what Julian is saying, but brass/wind players must be careful if they are going to always practice with mute in (especially a shush mute or straight mute).

  9. buffeting wind was smthing I never knew about…but I felt wen I drove bike fast without helmet…thank u very much dear…bless you…

  10. Great video. Really helpful.:) i usually listen to music through "in ear headphones" when im looking for the chords of the song and most of the time listen to song on my way home from church. Really great video. Thumbs up.👍👍👍

  11. Thank you very much Julian. Such excellent advice. I have just shared your message with another of your jazz tutorial colleagues. 🙂

  12. Nice video Julian, you told us things that are so obvious, that we forgot all about it. Yesterday I was testing the fire alarms in my house and I wish I thought of protection before I started.🙁I tell my kids not to wear headphones in all day; there lifestyle really put them on risk of getting hearing problems in the future.I do agree with Bart Kuipers that it's probably more about the volume than fact that you wear in ear plugs, but it's a great thing you made us think about the subject.It's a simple and easy solution to bring some protection with you all the time and everybody is free to decide for themselves whether or not to use it.thanks for your efforts .

  13. Well said, Julian. Music is an auditory art form and our ears are our most important asset! Excellent advise and suggestions.

  14. When I was in the army one guy accidentally shot his gun from like 2 meters away from my right ear. I'm pretty sure it did something, it was clogged for a hour or so.

  15. Good to mention crying babies, especially in a room with little wall decoration. Please do use ear protection there. Apart from saving my hearing, it helps me to stay calm. I do think that earbuds are okay IF you use proper ones and set it to a low volume. Those that come with your phone usually have an awful sound quality and a lot of resonance. Don't use them!

  16. You do change my attitude and ways and I am very greatful for that. There is also a lot of cultural, artistic, musical and even spiritual wisdom behind it, let us care about life! Thank you at least for caring.

  17. I will try to avoid these things now! Thank you 🙂
    If your hearing is already damaged, can you improve it again?

  18. it’s a helpful video. Thanks julian! i’m a piano player and I came to know that even piano does damage ears.

  19. I have been a muscian since around 1960, I have worked in industry with very loud noise levels using grinders and beating sheet metal. I still ride a motorcycle with high wind noise, I have been a roadie with many big bands back in the 80's and sound check levels were way out of line most of the time. I have suffered multiple head injuries throughout my life including firing very loud guns. I have also had my own ambulance with sirens, so I guess that I have ticked all your boxes. Ok so I can confirm that your warnings are well founded and should be taken seriously by all young and old. Now on my way to 70 my hearing is dreadful, and still being a muscian find life is getting real hard, I also have unbearable tinnitus that is driving me nuts 24/7. So this is kind of confirming your future fears, as I am at the end point of what you are trying to avoid.

  20. Very true.. and partly surprising. Never thought about wind buffeting but definately true. Fast food.. well .. might be a long shot.

  21. 1.) In-ear headphones
    2.) Driving with windows open
    3.) Prescription Drugs
    4.) Smoking or general bad circulation
    5.) You own musical instrument (play with a mute or something to dampen the loudness)
    6.) Machinery (hand tools, vacuuming, hair/hand dryers)
    7.) Sirens
    8.) Impacts to the head (football, boxing, martial arts)
    9.) Loud music / Public Venues

  22. Unfortunately I do as of recently (past year or so since I've noticed) have tinnitus in my right ear, honestly it's pretty quiet, only when going to sleep can I hear it clearly. It's like two oscillating tones that resonate and one of them fluctuates between (roughly) an A6 to Ab6 back and forth. Then there's an underlying quieter one that's roughly an F5 I think. I had to use a MIDI piano roll and oscillator to reference these tones/frequencies.

    The odd thing is that I usually listen to music on pretty low volumes especially compared to most other young people. But since I've looked at other causes many of which mentioned in this video I'm starting to think it's a multitude of factors playing in here. I do also have those apple earphones as well, interesting mention of them here Julian, also long time no talk hope you're doing well.

  23. Great vídeo! I normaly use in-ear headphones and now im going to throw them all away. But can u commend me a good headphones that I can use all the day and im not going to kill my ears? Thank u so much <3

  24. Hello from Down-Under Sydney, Australia
    For the past 10 months I am checking U-Tube for music lessons.
    Allow me to say you are The Best in every way. Your presentations with colour, graphics, background music does not overpower what you say, your direct, uncomplicated instructions is a Beauty, the writing of scales and chords for slow ones like me is a Blessing.
    I am a 73 year old, coming back to music after 43 years of a nasty break. Also I have a passion for singing, classical and modern. Teachers at AIM music school say my voice has not developed "The Wobble" which burnt voices devellop. I am a linguist, with 5 languages, speak read and write. But I can sing in 8. Worked until my 71st. as interpreter to lawyers, doctors and hospitals. It's time to come back to music for me.
    I am so blessed to watch your videos. Actually for the past 4 weeks you are the only one I watch in the middle of the night and day-time too.
    You have the passion and you want to help anybody that wants to learn music. My passion is to teach young singers to sing with a bright, metalic voice till they are my age! Most are burnt after abusing their voice and wander why their careers ended so soon!
    I intend to get ALL your books & CDs in the future.
    Thank you again for your clarity, uncomplicated instructions, the way you explain even the most complicated lessons become a joy to follow and spur me to sit on the piano.
    Kindest regards

  25. I sleep with earplugs in, and I believe they've contributed to some hearing loss due to the pressure and increased bacteria growth.

  26. Great advice! But you forgot Airplanes 🙂 I had my first hearing accident last year after taking 4 flights while being sick. In the last flight I had a dreadful experience with pressure that could not be equalized, and I felt incredible pain until we landed. After that I could not hear with my left ear for 2 full days, despite all possible attempts…
    And just a few weeks after that I had a stupid incident with my iPhone in-ears (not Apple ones… high end ones): by accidentally switching from a very low music to YouTube there was a huge jump in volume: I pulled the in-ears at once but the shock was done, and (that was 9 months ago) I have been experiencing ringing since, for the first time in my life 🙁

  27. I'm about to learn the guitar and they say every Friday the students should be in the practice room for band rehearsals. I checked it and found that the sound was so loud that it took me a few seconds to retrieve my hearing after i got out of the place. I'm worried about having to be in the place every week for longer times. What exactly should I do? Please suggest.

  28. I never took care of my hearing, always went to concerts without earplugs, always listened to loud music on headphones, and so on. For 30 years I never had any issues. From the moment I started to relise that I could be damaging my ears with noise, I started to use ear protection, those earbuds. After that, I started playing digital piano with headphones too, but I dont think I had the volume too loud to be honest. I even tried to use cotton inside my ear to protect from the piano sounds, I could barely hear it. And now I got tinnitus and lost a lot of hearing on high frequencies. So yeah, I dont get it, my uncle has been a wood worker for 50 years, and never used ear protection, using those loud machines all the time. And now he is 69 and his hearing is perfect. Maybe we just shouldn't CARE?!

  29. personaly i do not beleve that piano can ruin your ears mby the organ but classical music not

    as a hobby pianist and composer i like to keep my piano at 60- 65 % for 1.5-2 h practis i also use close back headphones only in ear on the road

  30. my advices for better hearing:
    if you play piano in small room make shure that is proper size piano for your room
    – sleep 2 h more then u practice last night
    – use close back headphonse at 70 % max
    use headphones as less as passebal
    – drink green tea in the morning instead of caffee
    – chek your ears every 2 years or earlyer
    – use earplugs on rock concerts and laud events
    – practise your hearing 15 min. before playing.


  31. Headphones equally as bad though. Never got hearing loss but i certainly at one point became sensitive to sounds. Where get horrible piercing feeling from high sounds, Lot of music causes it as well bright music. Like if I listen to some types of Rock where its rolled off at the top end, Not gritty top end that certainly doesn't bother me, Some say Dubstep tracks I can't even play its just too much doesn't sound pleasing to me. Probably get ear fatigue really quick. Going to see someone to have my ears checked. But I predict there is some type of damage definitely.

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