Why Do Drummers Wear Headphones | A Quick Guide

Ever wondered why the drummers on stage wear headphones while performing?

Whether it’s practice, band rehearsals, song recordings, or live performances, drummers wearing headphones over their ears is a typical picture that most of us concert snubs have seen countless times. 

Why Do Drummers Wear Headphones

But why do these ultrahip music mages wear headphones at all? To look cool? well maybe that too, but that’s not the real reason.

The answer to this question that we’ve all been seeking for a while now is stated below.

Scroll down the list of reasons and know why do drummers wear headphones when playing or practicing tunes.

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Reasons Why Drummers Wear Headphones

To Protect Their Ears: 

Anyone who’s ever been to a concert knows how loud it can be. With all those hysterically shrieking fans, shouting with all their might, one can’t even listen to their own voice, let alone a friend. And so to keep their sensitive hearing safe, drummers need to and should wear protective gear on-stage. 

But why wear headphones during practice sessions? Usual practice rooms or studios are small and quite reflective, meaning that any sound made will be reflected with a relatively higher amplitude. What’s more, it’s surprisingly easy for the drums to reach 90 dB in no time and 90 to 100 dB is the threshold of danger. 

To sum it all up, the smaller the room is, the greater is the reflection of the sound and so the chances of permanent hearing loss get higher.

 That’s why drummers use headphones to protect their ears and be safe from long term ear damage or worse, tinnitus

Hear Click Track On Live Shows:

A click track is a recording of a click sound that runs at the same speed as the song being played. Adding a track to live performances can be a risky bid for most seasoned players because click tracks require precise motions and accurate timing to stay in rhythm. Playing the wrong thing over a rhythmic pattern is one thing, but starting a song with the wrong melody can cause a discordance that won’t go unnoticed by the audience.

As most of us know, a drummer is an essential element of a band and is responsible for setting the pace for a song. Where most musicians use drum machines/ sequencers for practices, live drummers are needed for certain shows or performances. That’s essentially why drummers wear headphones over their ears, to hear that click clearly and match their pace with other instruments in order to maintain the rhythm of the song.

To Remove Annoying Overtones:

An overtone is simply the extra sounds heard above and beyond the fundamental note. When you strike a drum, a fundamental note is produced when the stick first hits the diaphragm of the drum. An overtone is the resulting consonance heard after that. Simply said, these overtones are the noise that you really don’t want to hear. But the bad news is, almost all instruments – especially drums – produce overtones. Sometimes they are truly horrible and result in indistinct sounds made by the instrument. Which in turn results in a messed up song with inharmonious notes. To prevent this frustrating outcome, drummers take preventive measures in the form of noise-canceling headphones so as not to cause any dissonance while composing new songs or even during practice.

To Get Amazing Headphone Mix:

 A headphone monitor mix, also known as a headphone mix, is used by musicians to record a song with multiple instruments playing at the same time. According to Most engineers, a headphone mix can result in an unnatural feel. But all musicians and producers are aware of the fact that anyone who enjoys music would more or less use headphones to listen to it. So in order to get a great headphone mix, it is essential for drummers, or any other musician for that matter, to produce a balanced stereo between the users’ left and right ears. That way one can listen to music that would sound good even when listening through headphones.

Testing Audio For Recording:

If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘1,2,3…mic check…’ at any point in your life, then you already know what’s meant by ‘testing the audio’. When A musician needs to know how much sound a microphone is producing, he usually wears headphones to monitor that mics outcome. The headphones help the player to analyze the level of sound produced by the mic and adjust the volume according to his requirements. This helps the drummers to critique their own playing, and also check if their beats actually fit the song or not.

Listening To On-stage Directions:

As mentioned before, a drummer is a band’s crucial constituent and having a good sense of direction and great hearing is part of his job. We are already aware of the fact that it can get awfully noisy during live concerts. A good pair of headphones come in handy in order to follow onstage directions which would effectively support the drummer to play his part and set the tempo for the song.

The Final Word:

Drummers are an essential element of any band because they are usually the ones who set the pace for a song. That’s also why it’s extremely important for drummers to wear hearing protection while performing. 

Learning to play with earbuds or headphones might be disturbing at first but it can enhance one’s skills by forcing oneself to play/practice more consistently and with more touch rather than more force. 

Most drummers who don’t wear ear protection while playing are noticed to disengage from conversations because they can’t keep up. They slur their words and watch your lips because they can’t hear what the other person is saying. You might not feel any physical pain when continuously exposed to such high decibel sounds but it does hurt your ears. 

That’s why do drummers wear headphones. One should get good hearing protection in order to become a musician who can control and hear the band while not sacrificing his hearing.

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