Can i just use any ear plugs or should i spend the extra cash and buy those "Musicians earplugs"?

Is there any real difference?
Supposedly musician's earplugs block out all the frequencies equally, so in theory you're just hearing a quieter version of what is happening. Conventional earplugs don't have that requirement, so it might be harder to hear higher frequency sounds, and you might just be hearing the thud of the bass drum and the bass line overpower everything else in a sort of dull roar...which would make things difficult. But having never tried a gig with earplugs I really don't know how it would go either way, that's just the theory.
I actually just bought the Hearos brand of musicians' earplugs last night, and after using regular foam earplugs, they make a world of difference. I definitely recommend them.
~don't finkdinkle when ur supposed to be dimpdickin~
Since they make the sound as clear, but just quieter, sometimes I think I'm putting them in wrong cause it's not all muffled, lol.
~don't finkdinkle when ur supposed to be dimpdickin~
Quote by scguitarking927
cotton balls, work as good as anything.

No, they will not. The best protection cotton balls give your ears is a noise reduction of about 5db--musicians' earplugs will reduce the noise level by 20 to 30 db. That's a huge difference, because "rock concert" volume is measured as being as loud as 105 to 130 db. Wearing designed earplugs over cotton balls is the difference between hearing the music as loud as a close range jet take-off (115-120 db), or hearing it at the level of close highway traffic (80-85 db). Think about it. If you've ever left a show and had your ears ringing, that's what is called tinnitus, where your ears are damaged, and can lead to deafness.

You should also know that hearing loss can occur over a period of time, rather than in one shot. A general rule of thumb is that if you can't hear someone without them shouting, you need ear protection if you are going to be exposed to it for more than 15 minutes.

Invest in some good pairs of earplugs, (the Hearos, as has been stated, are awesome and easy to use), or get a pair that is custom-molded for you at an ear doctor or hearing specialist's office. You may end up spending a few hundred dollars, but that's way less than the cost of going deaf.
'Cause I have done it before and I will do it some more....
i have musicians earplugs. custom ones, actually. they did a baseline hearing test, took a foam mold of the inside of my ears, and did me up some personalized plugs for 120 bucks.

they work perfectly. every single frequency is attenuated equally, and i can always hear everything everyone is playing. you will have to get used to the quieter volume, but as long as you use them all the time, you'll never notice a difference after a week or two.

i do not recommend makeshift earplugs, and the store-bought ones are only okay. they will protect your hearing, but they won't maximize the experience.
If you sing, or play any instrument with a higher frequency (acoustic guitar, keys etc) the cheap foam ones are next to useless. A decent set of musicians' earplugs will give you a much clearer sound, but unless you spend a good amount of money I still wouldn't advise using them on stage particularly for vocals.

In rehearsal rooms I use cheap disposable foam plugs, pushed in only partly, to compress the sound and take the edge off harsh cymbal hits and guitars. On stage I don't wear plugs, the front-of-house volume is often higher than onstage anyway.
playing bass in practises, i found the cheap earplugs to actually be exactly what i needed. I could hear the drums and the bass better than everything else, but the guitars and vocals were just killed off. Obviously this isnt the best way, but for free, you can't really complain =]
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