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How to Manage Stage Volume

Vocal Fatigue Ringing Ears Loud Stage VOlume

I can't hear myself sing!!....... Is this a familiar scene? You are at band rehearsal. Your acoustic drummer plays loudly. This causes your bass guitar player to turn up the volume. Now your guitarist can’t hear-so then cranks it up. You are singing at the top of your lungs and can barely hear yourself! You’ve tried using one earplug, possible two. You’ve tried cranking up a wedge monitor in front of you only to have sound pointing to your shins. Yes, it’s a common situation. A loud volume at rehearsal is not necessary. In fact, what possible reasonable purpose could that serve?

All band members need to be able to hear their instruments in order to keep time and to play well.

This scenario is especially tough for vocalists.

If you are a singer you cannot compete with the loud volume of the electric instruments with your own "very human instrument". If you try to sing over these instruments and loud drums you run the risk of damaging your voice or experiencing Vocal Fatigue. Talk to your players about the challenges you face with the loud volume. Most people just don’t realize this is happening, especially if they don’t sing lead vocals. If you feel you cannot reach out to talk to your bandmates about adjusting to a more appropriate volume my advice would be to look for a better band. Real professionals know about proper set-up and volume at practice sessions and on stage. Real pros don’t let egos get in the way of a great sounding group with happy members.

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