No.1 with a Bullet: Wear your earplugs
As I write this, I’m sitting on a bench in Central Park in New York City.
I hear parents yelling to their kids to “get back here!,” strollers rolling and birds chirping.
But what if I couldn’t hear these everyday sounds? I think something most of us young people neglect to use at concerts is earplugs.
Maybe when you leave a show with your ears ringing you think it’ll be gone the next morning and then you’re ready for the next round of rock and roll. The simple misconception that we are young and invincible doesn’t help the matter at all.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says that sustained sound 90 decibels and above can cause damage to the inner ear.
To paint you a picture of how loud that is, a normal conversation is about 60 decibels, a subway train is 95 decibels, and a motorcycle is 100 decibels.
Concerts are typically 115 decibels. There’s a really simple way to prevent this damage to your ears, and it’s to wear earplugs. Now, when I suggest earplugs, I know some people might be turned off by the idea because they think it muffles the sound and takes away from the experience. And I agree, but only if you get the cheap foam ones.
I have a pair of orange, contoured ear plugs that I wear to absolutely every show that I attend, because at the rate that I go to concerts, I’d probably be deaf by now if I didn’t.
These earplugs fit more easily into my inner ear, and they don’t muffle the sound at all.
They literally just turn the volume down. Because rock concerts are so loud, all the instruments can sound blended together.
But with my earplugs, I can hear each part more clearly.
I went to a Yellowcard show, and the singer of one of the openers, Hey Monday, sang a duet with Ryan Key. If you’ve ever heard Cassadee Pope sing, you know how high pitched it is.
When the song was over, I turned to my friend and said, “Wow, Cassadee’s harmonies were really great,” at which point my friend said, “Oh, I couldn’t hear it at all.”
So wear earplugs while you’re young so that when you’re old, you can still enjoy all the sounds that surround you.