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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
The Ultimate EQ Cheat Sheet for Every Common Instrument
15 Reality Checks Young Artists Need to Hear

Angry Sound Guy, health

Oct 21, 2015 06:00 AM

Aaron Staniulis

Drunk Biology: Does Drinking Alcohol Cause Hearing Loss?

Image via gearpage.net

Inevitably, alcohol ends up becoming a part of many musicians' lives regardless of you, yourself, consuming it. Many gigs take place in clubs and bars, and in many circles, drinking is a firm part of the culture and the ritual of the arts. Whether you're a drinker or not, it's there all around us, from the image of the whiskey-swigging rock star to the artist-endorsed and -owned brands (looking at you, Diddy!). It's ingrained in the culture. And as we all know, either from personal experience and "research" or from the literature we get supplied with at a relatively young age, as one drinks, inhibitions go out the window, as do coordination and fine motor skills (and eventually, the not-so-fine motor skills) along with a plethora of other short-term side effects that tend to lead to a miserable morning after.

One effect that has recently gotten some attention and continues to be an issue of study is alcohol's effect on hearing itself.

Musician Life, health

Oct 7, 2015 06:00 AM

Hugh McIntyre

Musicians: You're Losing Your Hearing, and It's a Bigger Problem Than You Realize

The Who's Pete Townshend has experienced decades of tinnitus resulting from music. (Image via breitbart.com)

Everybody knows that being a professional musician comes with sacrifices – job security, standard of living, spending time at home with family and friends – but many musicians don't think about how their health might be affected when they get into the business. Touring and all the late nights in the studio can certainly take their toll, but one thing too many performers don't consider until it's too late is their hearing, which is obviously incredibly important for a career in music.

According to This Study, You Might Need to Spend Less Time Practicing Your Instrument

Image via redfin.com

This article originally appeared on The Bulletproof Musician.


I spent most of my life as a chronic under-practicer. So the experience of practicing too much was uncharted territory… until the time in grad school when I crammed for a competition. There was plenty of time for me to learn and polish all the rep, but it was several rounds of music, and I waited far too long to get serious about my preparation. Several months out, I knew I was in a bit of trouble.

So for once in my life, I cranked it up to 11. I forced myself to practice way more than normal. When I wasn't practicing, I was listening to the music. When I wasn't listening, I was mentally rehearsing the rep. When I wasn't engaged in mental practice, I was worrying, stressing, or thinking about it. I ate, slept, and breathed music, the intensity of my preparation only increasing as the competition drew nearer.

Naps vs. Coffee: Which Is a Better Choice for the Sleep-Deprived Musician?

Image via flickr.com

This article originally appeared on The Bulletproof Musician.


Naps were a way of life for me in college (though it's debatable whether a four-hour "nap" still qualifies as such), and there are indications that napping is becoming a more culturally accepted practice as companies like Google, the Huffington Post, Zappos, and Nike are encouraging employees to nap instead of insisting that they try to simply power through the mental fog of a mid-day lull.

Indeed, the literature suggests that we can derive a whole range of benefits from sleep – from better focus and performance to happiness and apparently even greater attractiveness. However, when we can't get the sleep we need (and really, isn't that all of us?), coffee or an energy drink still seem to be the old standbys.

Sure, these can perk you up a bit. And yes, they can enhance concentration and attention. But what sort of impact does caffeine have on memory and learning? Can caffeine keep you alert enough to think clearly and learn effectively, or is a good old fashioned power nap still the way to go?