[Harp-L] Re: Hearing Yourself

This is an important thread.  I played harp in a really
good band in the late 70's.  We had a nice PA with
monitors and I could ALWAYS hear myself.  I feel my 
playing was very good, and, since I could always hear
myself in the mix, instantly self-correcting.
And we were plenty loud to be heard in the clubs we
played in - but we were not as loud as anyone today.
I jam at clubs of the same size or smaller now, and the
volume levels are generally, and almost always, much higher.
When I can't hear myself, I tend to play harder as
a knee-jerk reaction - and of course I still can't hear
myself, and all that happens is my playing gets sloppier.

I see the increase in volume as a trend that it is very hard to fight -
I don't want to sound like, "These damn kids and
their loud music" - it's just my experience that musicians
are just playing louder today, and the volume levels
keep increasing.

It would be nice if everyone turned down a little.  Sometimes this
just isn't going to happen.  I find that with ear plugs, at least,
you can better hear what you're playing acoustically, sort of
"inside your head," even if you can't hear your playing that well
through your amp or the PA - which is another pragmatic
reason to wear earplugs, as well as the very important
reason of preventing permanent damage to your hearing.

The best discussion of volume I've seen (it's re: feedback
but it applies to volume levels in general as well,) is at:


Would that everyone took it to heart.

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