Can Tinnitus prevent me from being able to tune guitars/play by ear? I've been playing for two and a bit years and cannot tune or play by ear at all. A guitar has to be really out of tune before i noticeand when i do try to tune them i normally end up very sharp or very flat. However i can disitnguish techniques quite well, eg slide guitar, hammer-ons etc. and can normally identify effects used, which is better than nothing i suppose. i should point out that apart from tinnitus, i don't have any hearing problems, i.e. my hearing is quite good.

do i have an issue or is it just too early to worry about stuff like this?
I don't think that your tinnitus is the reason for not being able to tell if you're guitar is out of tune. I've been playing for about 4-5 years. After 2-3 years I was sure if my guitar was out of tune. And I'm only now able to tune by ear. So you have nothing to worry.
Probably doesnt affect it, Myles Kennedy has tinnitus and he sings amazingly well - which infers that he can tell if he's in tune or not. So telling if something is sharp or flat is just practice
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You can definately hear a slightly detuned guitar with tinnitus. I've had it all my life (unfortunately) and I can tune a guitar dead on in standard with no tuner.. It just takes a lot of practice and repetition.

It's like having an old, loud CRT TV on in the background; you can just ignore it.
There's a good chance that what I've written above is useless and if you take any of the advice it's your own fault.
i have tinnitus to, and it doesn't prevent me from anything. tuning and playing by ear just demands experience and practice i think. is the tinnitus bothering you while playing?

the trick for me is to focus on the sound of your guitar (or any sound around you when you are not playing) and quickly you don't notice the tinnitus at all.

exept when there is no sound around me at all like when i go to bed. but that's easy fixed with reefer.

don't worry, just keep playing and trying and it will be alright. learning to distinguish intervals by ear is a good way to improve this
Paul Gilbert has tinnitus in at least one ear and seems to have no trouble.
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do you know why you have tinnitus? you should look into it if you haven't. It's unlikely but sometimes it can be for something serious (ie acoustic neuroma)
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My dad has it, he can tune by ear... even im starting to get it a bit and im better than he is at tuning by ear. It doesnt affect it at all, just do ear training . If you really cant get a grasp on it though just use a tuner
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I suspect the issue is more that you haven't done any dedicated ear training rather that tinnitus.
Quote by Freepower
Well, tinnitus could be a problem, but it's much more likely you just don't have a very good sense of pitch.


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