Well-Known Member
steve21 said:
Mine is completely involuntary. I have a tendancy to switch off without wanting / meaning to and then miss whatever anyone is saying to me, despite the fact there is no-one else around and I am staring straight at the other person. I dont know why I do it but I always find smiling at the person talking seems to get me through it.

Unless the person is trying to explain something complex to you that they want to discuss with you! Has happened before to me at work... The solution, though good for Physics, probably isn't applicable in general conversation though - I tend to ask them to explain it again with diagrams.

Straightmute said:
...Looks like we're not going to be short of adjudicators in future...

Seriously though, if the hearing loss among people who spend a lot of time playing band music is as common as it looks here, employing people with many years playing/conducting experience, particularly in places like top Cornet, in front of Sop, to judge is a highly suspect idea. I remember being struck at a contest last year by the contest announcer's trying to attract the adjudicator's attention on stage (he was about 10 feet away, facing in a slightly different direction), and manifestly failing until he moved into his line of view.

MartinT said:
I have a family tendency to deafness

That's not good (for me (or you) anyway); haven't noticed too much so far though - sometimes difficulty with conversations in noisy places, but everyone has this, don't they? In any case, I think I've worked my way into the safest position in the band...

CaharleyFarley said:
I always wondered about the "blank stare" from the bass players, until I realised there closeness to the percussion!!

As a bass player, my worst experience so far only occurred a fortnight ago.

We were very tight on space when setting up. I was given the choice of having the Bass Drum on my right hand side and the rest of my section some way away the other side of the drum; or we could all sit together with the bass drum about one inch away from my left ear. Unfortunately I chose the latter. My left ear still feels a bit 'fuzzy'. I will never get myself in the same situation again :x

This occasion topped the concert when we opened with Fanfare for the Common Man. Again it felt as though the percussion were assaulting our whole bodies. It's not just deafness that is an 'unhealthy' side effect of BB. At the concert just mentioned, one of the 'old biddies' in the audience nearly suffered a heart attack as the percussion section made their presence felt :?



Active Member
Steve21 said:
Mine is completely involuntary. I have a tendancy to switch off without wanting / meaning to and then miss whatever anyone is saying to me, despite the fact there is no-one else around and I am staring straight at the other person. I dont know why I do it but I always find smiling at the person talking seems to get me through it.

Don't suppose that happens more often when speaking to a particular solo cornet player steve?

Anyway, looks like we're all going deaf, so maybe we could have a march down to barnsley and sue the brass band association for lots of money!!


i perforated my left ear drum when i was at School which in a way forced me off Tuba and onto Perc because the pressure on my eardrum was unbearable.


I've struggled with my hearing for as long as I can remember now. In a group or in crowded places I can very rarely follow the conversation unless it's directed into my ear! I struggle even when I'm not in a noisy enviroment. I also struggle with ringing in my ears particularly after a noisy rehearsal! I've been playing for over 18 years now and the majority of that has been right in the middle of the band (horn/flugel), having troms down one ear and cornets down the other can be a bit painful at times, add the basses and perc behind you..........
I did find out something interesting the other day. I'm now a classroom music teacher and apparently when you apply for life insurance (connected to a morgage or whatever) if you are a music teacher your occupation will be specified as a music teacher not just a teacher. This is apparently partly to do with stress but is also related to the fact that being a music teacher is considered a more dangerous occupation that being any other subject teacher due to hearing damage. We were actually advised to wear ear plugs when teaching. Anyone who teaches 30 kids all on keyboards or percussion simultaiously will sympathise, it's painful! Apparently earplugs are also becoming commonly used in orchestras etc. Has anyone else heard anything similar to this??


Well-Known Member
When I started this thread I never thought that so many people would be affected.
We all have the same symptoms, such as not been able to follow conversations when several people are involved, or not being able to hear the person speaking when they are sat next to you in band.
Sometimes, after I've not heard after they have repeated it 2/3 times, they just say "It's nothing", or even worse, shout "Why don't you get a hearing aid" and laugh !!
Do find that although you really strive to hear but can't catch the "Drift" that others are unsympathetic and impatient if you ask what has been said or if you mis hear and make a "Silly" comment.
I think that this tends to make us wary of joining in with multi discussions, so we just nod and smile etc.
Personally, even when surrounded by friends, I sometimes feel isolated and even lonely, because I cannot clearly hear the exchanges.
Worst of all, some just can't be bothered with you, and avoid getting into conversations.
I did go for hearing tests and was told I had lost my "Higher frequencies".
I got a new "In ear" electronic hearing aid - it was useless as it didn't just amplify voices, but all the background noise as well - so everything was louder but no more distinct.
Strangely, I can always hear what the Conductor says !!


I would suggest looking for a digital hearing aid, if you can afford it - they don't do them on the NHS as far as I'm aware, and you can be talking about £2000 for some types.
With the benefit of experience and hindsight, I would suggest that the ideal aid would be an over-the-ear digital type - in-the-ear ones can get messy! After a while you stop worrying about it showing. Incidentally, I find I can raise a laugh when the percussion gets too bad, by ostentatiously turning both my aids off :lol: .
I think being up-front about things helps with the social side a bit too. Often the reason others appear unsympathetic is that they are embarrassed and don't know how to respond to your problem. Being able to laugh about it can maybe help both sides.


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the advice Martin - I shall certainly investigate the "over ear" device possibilities.
The "Psychological" advice is also very helpful.
This thread has really shown that "It's good to talk" (If you can hear what's being said !!!!!!)