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#541084 - 09/14/07 02:10 AM Ear Plugs for pitch Yes or No?  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,593
Iggy Offline
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Iggy  Offline
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Manheim, PA
I’ve heard a lot of recommendations for vocalists to use ear plugs when singing to stay on pitch.

I’ve tried using plugs in both ears and then one ear but find I get worse. I must admit I can hear my own voice much better when I’m “plugged up” but I lose hearing the music which, I find, keeps me on pitch.

Thoughts? Plugs yes/no? Alternatives?

#541085 - 09/14/07 02:19 AM Re: Ear Plugs for pitch Yes or No? [Re: Iggy]  
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Hummingbird Offline
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Victoria, B.C. Canada
Personally I am against any kind of mechanical device that measures your ability to sing the pitch or gives you a concert-A pitch to match while singing. The reason I'm against these things is that I feel we start then to sing mechancially, 'making' the voice sing. The voice is a wind instrument that needs free breath, lack of tension, belief/trust, and reasonably good articulation in order to sing effectively on pitch. In addition, plugging your ears means you hear your voice from 'inside' your body... which can often lead to vocal problems because what we 'feel' and 'hear' inside the body may not be what other people get from us. It's too myopic.

I teach many people who come to me as 'tonedeaf' folks who can't carry a tune at all, or who have some difficulty carrying a tune, and with good mentoring, every single one of them learns to sing on pitch through supporting the voice effectively and removing old habits that get in the way.

Just my opinion...

Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher


MY STORY & MY MUSIC: http://www.vikkiflawith.com
Be a FAN: http://www.reverbnation.com/vikkiflawith
#541086 - 09/14/07 02:43 AM Re: Ear Plugs for pitch Yes or No? [Re: Iggy]  
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Gina V Offline
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Gina V  Offline
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Posts: 34
South Buffalo (Freeport) PA
Y'know what Iggy-- I'm gonna agree with Vicki on that. For all th reasons she talked about, and because I think in the style of music you produce, as a listener I'd much rather hear a little "character" in the vox rather than a sterile sound. But once again, I'm a rocker-- and that goes with the territory I suppose. I don't have all the technical knowledge that Vick or some of the professional teachers have, but I can hear the finished product and Know what sounds good to me. Anyroad, it's not like anything you've done stands out really bad, like a sore thumb or somethin'. I just appreciate it for what it is. Nothing at all wrong with wanting to improve something, but I just feel that there's a line not to cross. I can understand wanting to pluck out the wild nose hair (something a great friend and mentor of mine once said,) but yeh don't want to get a whole nosejob for the sake of that one hair.

I dig your music-- and your sound. It's all yours, bro. Keep the faith!!


That's ME-- in the BAG!! (performing "Yer Blues")
#544551 - 09/26/07 02:39 PM Re: Ear Plugs for pitch Yes or No? [Re: Gina V]  
Joined: Apr 2007
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Heidi Thompson Offline
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Heidi Thompson  Offline
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Hey guys,
For me, if I am performing on a stage with loud stage volume and I cannot hear myself, I will tend to over-sing and go sharp. I have excellent pitch (relative pitch), but there are circumstances which can place stress upon the fragile instrument called the voice.

The best thing I've found to handle this problem is the in-ear monitor. It allows you to hear whatever mix of voice and instruments you want. They have a way to fit the monitor to a mold of the inside of your own ear and it is a technology that can save your voice from singing too hard.

It makes the stage mix more comfortable and that can be a huge blessing, especially if the audience is also very loud. However, I prefer not to use it if the stage volume is comfortable enough for me to hear the floor monitors.

Also, placing the drums stage left or stage right rather than in the center can help the singer hear better on stage and protect the ears from the frequencies generated by the cymbals, etc. It can be balanced to look better on stage if you also place a riser on the other side for the keys or guitar. It really helps.

"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Paul McCartney
#544553 - 09/26/07 02:49 PM Re: Ear Plugs for pitch Yes or No? [Re: Heidi Thompson]  
Joined: Sep 2002
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Tom Tracy Offline
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Tom Tracy  Offline
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Lumberport,WV, USA
If I have to listen to a really bad singer that can't stay on pitch, then I like to use ear plugs.

I'm with Heidi on this one. I've used the in-ear monitors with an Aviom system. The Aviom gives me 16 channels from the board where I can mix what I want to hear right there on stage - so I can tune out the bad singers and turn up the good ones.

#563433 - 11/29/07 09:22 PM Re: Ear Plugs for pitch Yes or No? [Re: Heidi Thompson]  
Joined: Jun 2002
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pRISCILLA  Offline
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Barcelona, Spain
I agree entirely
if I listen properly to myself I can really be in pitch, i've struggled in severe or harsh monitoring conditions and of course you can remain on pitch but you go sharper or louder than you should damaging your chords... the right monitoring is pivotal

Priscilla Hernandez singer-songwriter
New album at:
#636448 - 07/24/08 09:51 PM Re: Ear Plugs for pitch Yes or No? [Re: pRISCILLA]  
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markus-ky Offline
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markus-ky  Offline
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only when the music/speakers are mega loud. if not, I can't hear myself in pitch.


#700769 - 03/12/09 12:27 PM Re: Ear Plugs for pitch Yes or No? [Re: markus-ky]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 7,925
Johnny Daubert Online content
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Johnny Daubert  Online Content
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New Jersey, USA
New Info:

The brand ETY makes ETY-20 ear plugs that allow all frequencies to be heard, just at a 20db lowered volume. Get the "Baby Blues" if not having a HUGE ear canal, for they are more comfortable, and not for babies! Around 12 dollars, US. Can hear better of self from hearing some from the inside of the mouth to the inner ear/bone corridor.

They also make "Musician's Ear Plugs". Custom fitted, and you will need a prescription for them. They lower volume by 25 db, and give even a more clear sound of all frequencies. Around 120 to 150 dollars.

I find the ETY-20 Baby Blues good for the band playing and for tuning pianos. (Not as an attacking noise, which is what can damage our ears, either from just one loud snare drum hit, or a high loud guitar note, or anything a band player does, to long term hearing of everything in general at higher levels.

I would encourage the parents here with children to have them use either a child's headset, or the baby blues, if their ear canals are not too tiny. Write to "Moe" at that company, and she will be glad to go over your specific questions. Tell her I sent you if you like.

ETY's site:

Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
Songnado I and II:

#700797 - 03/12/09 01:49 PM Re: Ear Plugs for pitch Yes or No? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
It depends very much on the setup and style you are singing. In small halls playing mainly acoustic at a fairly low volume then no plugs are necessary and decent singers should be able to hear everything and remain in tune. Singing with a loud rock type band using very loud PA is a completely different story. First the ears must be protected as exposure at close range over a prolonged time can cause tinitus (ringing in the ears) and long term damage leading to deafness. It is very difficult hearing what the rest are playing and staying in pitch if you are standing in front of a drummer or guitar amp so in those situations plugs or in ear monitors are a must.
Re plugs that help you sing in tune I do not think they work...if they did then why are the tone deaf poptarts and boybands who frequent the charts not forced to use them. Maybe they would sing in tune for once using these gizmos instead of relying on Autotune or lip sync.

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