Hearing Protection & Musician’s Ear Pieces

Before we proceed in selecting the proper hearing protection for avoiding hearing problems, let’s first discuss how people hear and what causes problems in hearing.

How do People hear?How do People hear?

There are 3 parts of the ear: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Sound waves travel to the air much slower than light, but it can be measured in terms of Decibels. The part of the ear that we will discuss importantly is the inner ear.

So here is how sound travels. In our ear is a narrow canal from which sound waves travel (part of the outer ear), until they reach the eardrum (middle ear) where there are 2 bones that create the sounds. The sound waves cause vibration through the eardrum then travels to the inner ear where there are structures called the cochlea which contain tiny hair cells. These tiny hair cells are the one responsible for hearing which vibrates and sends the signals to your brain. People who can’t hear have a problem with the hair present in the cochlea. These hair cells are sensitive and may end up broken or bent or even die when you use high frequency or too loud sounds and they are irreplaceable. They don’t grow back unlike the human hair. People who have problems with hearing may have difficulty hearing high pitch sound or complains hear ringing or buzzing sound on their ears also called tinnitus.

Dangerous Decibels with Shooting

There are certain levels of sounds that are pleasant to the ears and there are levels of sounds that are devastating to the ear especially to the hair of the ears. Since sound levels are measured in decibels there is a normal level and a dangerous level. To prevent such damages you might consider to get ear plugs. You can check the latest ear plug models on http://www.wearplug.com.

According to research noise from guns are considered one of the most dangerous non-occupational noise that can expose people to.  It is said that a single shot from a gun which is heard by a person without proper ear protection can lead to sudden and permanent hearing loss.  It is often accompanied by ringing or buzzing sound (tinnitus), humming or hissing experienced by a person. It can either be a result of a long exposure to gun shot from an extended period of time or even from a single incident of gun shot fired at proximity.

Normally, noise heard at a certain range or amplitude level for a specific period of time like 90 Decibels for 8 hours. The permissible exposures of noise or level that can be tolerated and won’t damage the ear are about 115dB for about 15 minutes. Intensity duration and amplitude are both related how powerful a sound is that can lead to possible hearing damage.  It is really quite damaging to work in an industrial plant or continuously hearing gunshots for about 6 hours at a level of 90 decibels than listening to the same level of 90 Decibels for 30 minutes.

Anything considered to be above 85 dB for long period of time exposure are considered dangerous to the ear without protection, but it can also be hazardous even with a  single loud gun shot fired in just a short time.

Based on research it is proven that permanent damage hearing can happen when exposed to noises above 140 decibels without protection.  Firing guns in a place that is closed where sound waves can bounce off will create even make it noisier and will further increase the possibility of hearing loss. It is imperative to wear ear protection every time you fire a gun to avert hearing damage even with the use of a .22 caliber handgun which can produce 140 dB levels. Without protection, your tiny hairs at the ear will die and remember, once it is damaged, it will never grow back or renew.

Read the types of musical instruments post.

Types of Musical Instruments

Types of Musical Instruments

Music has been with humans for a very long time. They used it for many reasons, for example, intimidation, imitation of animal sounds, and communication. People love music so much, and they are willing to create anything that can create the music.


The first musical instruments were human bodies; clapping to create percussion sounds and vocals from their voices. These instruments have evolved into things like drums made from animal skins, and flutes made from bamboo stems used in the earlier days to pianos in this modern world.


Today musical instruments are grouped into 4 broad categories; string, woodwind, percussion, and brass.


With the need to create more artistic effects, there are some instruments that cross the lines. For example, the American Banjo may fall under the string category as well as the percussion category. Another of these is the piano. It has got hammers that produce sound when struck and strings that produce sound by vibrating.
Then computer developed synthetic sounds do not fall in any of the categories.


However, most instruments seamlessly fall into these categories, and they include:

Woodwind Instruments

These are in 2 subcategories; flute and reed instruments.


They create music by making the air within the pipe to resonate. Examples include:

  • Piccolo – This is a small, high-pitchedwind instrument.Woodwind Instruments
  • Recorder – it is a small wind instrument



They create music by causing the reed (a small, flexible wooden piece that is usually near the mouthpiece) to vibrate the air within the pipe. Examples include:

  • Oboes – it has got a double reed.
  • Clarinets – It has got a single reed.
  • Bassoon – It is a large instrument that has got a double reed. It can play rather low
  • English horn – it has got a double reed.


In both subcategories, the resonating air is then released from the instrument at a particular pitch. That gets controlled by the openings in the pipe.

These piped instruments have been with us for a very long time, close to 10, 000 years or more.



Percussion Instruments

Percussion InstrumentsPercussion sounds have filled the air as long as humans have been around. These instruments produce sound when they get hit. Clapping is one of the ways that such sounds get produced. They include:

  • Cymbals – You have to bang or hit them to make sound
  • drums,
  • tambourines,
  • Xylophones – these have rows of bars and are played using a mallet.
  • Chimes,
  • timpani,
  • tam-tam
  • Wood blocks


They are then divided into instruments that do not produce a distinct pitch and those that create musical notes.


Seeing that instruments that fall in the percussion category are not difficult to find, it is little wonder that they followed in the steps of human voices to create musical instruments. That has also led to an immense breakthrough in percussion instruments such as the birth of steel drums in Caribbean music.


String Instruments

In these instruments, one has got to move a string to produce vibrations that create sound. These include:String Instruments

  • Cello – it is a large string instrument.
  • Electric guitars –electronically enhanced stringed instrument.
  • Harps – they have very many strings
  • Violin – it is also called a fiddle and it a small string instrument
  • Ukulele – It is a small string instrument that has got four strings.


There are many instruments that fall in this subcategory hence providing a wide selection for any player. The strings are made to vibrate in many ways; plucking for a guitar, and using a bow for a violin. The first instrument of this kind is a lyre.


Brass instruments

Brass instrumentsThese are of brass or any other metal. They produce music or sound when one blows air into them. The player’s lips should buzz against the mouthpiece then air reverberates inside the instrument to produce sound.

These include:

  • Trumpet – When you play this instrument, your lips vibrate
  • French horn – it has got a long tube
  • Bungle,
  • Cornet,
  • Trombone – it has got a long makeup

Even the saxophone falls in this category.



However, sometimes the saxophone is looked at as a family of its own. The instruments under this category include

  • Basssaxophone
  • Tenor
  • Baritone
  • Soprano
  • Sopranino


Explore these instruments to appreciate the beauty of music.