[Dixielandjazz] Volume

Charlie Hooks charliehooks at earthlink.net
Fri May 2 17:28:11 PDT 2003


    Meg, a lot will depend on the individual's attitude toward himself. For
example, I am getting deaffer (if there is no such word, there ought to be)
all the time and no one is more aware of it than I am.  I wear some 6
thousand dollars worth of hearing aids, but usually can't play using them
because they only complicate the problem, changing the sound in various ways
to boost the frequencies I've lost, letting me better understand speech, and
allow the Opera or a Symphony Orchestra to sound glorious on stage while I'm
in the audience.  But if I'm standing up there among them--chaos!  Last
Saturday night I tried wearing them on a job, only to find that a girl
singer I thought was in G was actually in D!  Hey, we're talking a large
mistake here!  The aids were boosting frequencies that made the 4th appear
to be the fundamental tone.  Out came the ear amps.

    Immediately I asked the guys to please tell me what they heard coming
out of my clarnet!  Was I in tune?  Was I too loud or too soft?  Was I
blending?  The drummer said the bass man and the pianist would have to do
that.  It turned out that I was doing all right.  But I greatly appreciate
any person with normal hearing telling me if I'm out of tune or of balance.

    On the other hand, some guys are in denial--who, ME? DEAF? Kiss my....
My feeling is that if you identify these guys in advance, just avoid them.
Remember that when hearing loss begins to occur, the hearer rarely knows it.
To him it appears that people are just not enunciating as they used to (and
since there are plenty of mumblers around, he can find evidence for them).

    My experience has been that my perception my own volume was greatly
affected long before I was aware of it.  I would be turning up my mike and
others (sometimes surreptitiously, sometimes exasperatedly) turning it back
down.  Then, have a few drinks and all volume-perception can fly out the
window: you just don't realize how much noise you're making until the
neighbors call the cops or the manager fires the band.

    To make my point: a player who realizes all too well that he's suffered
profound hearing loss can be communicated with right out front; he'll
probably appreciate the feedback.  I certainly do.  I now inform the band
right away if I'm new to it that I'll appreciate their yelling at me if I'm
out of line.  Consequently I've been able to compensate mentally and blend
in much better so no one usually has to yell at me, and that's that.

    I agree with Dan Augustine that all comments, no matter how gently
phrased, work better if they come from the leader.

Charlie, the Deaf Old Geezer

on 5/2/03 10:45 AM, Meg Graf at meggraf at hotmail.com wrote:

> Hello, listmates:
> I am hoping some of you will offer your perspective on addressing volume
> control without
> hurting feelings or having a player feel singled out.
> When you are playing with a group, and one musician is playing much more
> loudly that
> everyone else, and you know that person has suffered profound hearing loss,
> how do
> you address the situation?  Likewise, when one player consistently plays two
> volumes,
> loud and louder, because he is so "into" the music, or in his own little
> world, or whatever,
> how do you address balance in a positive way?
> As I seek more opportunities to play, I am ever more frequently playing with
> musicians whom
> I don't know very well, and the last thing I want is to alienate those
> persons who are kind
> enough to let me sit in when I am needed.  On the other hand, when  the
> manager of a club approaches
> me and complains that a certain player is too loud, I want to address the
> situation, for I want the
> audience to be pleased with the music, and I want the musicians [including
> me, I hope!] to be invited back.
> Your thoughts, experiences, advice, please?
> Thanks in advance, and best regards,
> Meg and Big George
> _________________________________________________________________
> MSN 8 with e-mail virus protection service: 2 months FREE*
> http://join.msn.com/?page=features/virus
> _______________________________________________
> Dixielandjazz mailing list
> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
> http://ml.islandnet.com/mailman/listinfo/dixielandjazz

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list