The process and manner in which musicians compose rhymes differ from one person to another. There are those who will come up with a song while listening to other music. Others will want a silent place in order to write down ideas naturally without interruptions. I have been interviewing several musicians on how to find an ideal environment to compose a song, but many didn’t want to disclose their ‘secrets’. This means artists are different, but I came across one pop artist who opened up his mind.
The artist told me he can compose songs while listening to loud music, especially through his car audio system. According to him, the car system produces the desirable upbeats and acoustic sounds that inspire him to generate ideas from existing songs. If the music is playing and beats are just cool, ideas start flowing in his mind and he would even compose a whole song before reaching his destination.
On the other hand, he told me that silence is sometimes required in order to allow the brain to work appropriately. He related it to a typical reading situation when you need concentration but people and vehicles are causing interruptions. Interestingly, he revealed about the use of earplugs which are also commonly used by many when reading.
First, he pointed out about earplugs that offer comfort when worn. The best models are made of soft foam and tapered so that they are easy to insert and feel comfortable. These are best for regular users but mostly come as a package with hundreds of pieces. This means a pair can be used for a week before picking another one. However, there are some people who complain about headaches when using earplugs, and therefore should choose earplugs that do not fit too tightly if their ear canals are small.
Second, he talked about universal earplugs that can fit all ear canals. Some of them come as a package with about 100 pairs and are suitable for writing songs when in a noisy room. However, these kinds of earplugs usually block noise completely and you cannot hear when somebody next to you speaks. Since writing songs can be done from anywhere, these earplugs can be a good choice when in a coffee shop or any other noisy room. Also, they can block excessive noise from a neighbor or when dogs are barking from outside.
Third, there are earplugs suitable for those living near motorways or near industries. Though they are mostly used when sleeping, they can also offer a maximum filtering of vehicle noise. They can be reused for several weeks, and once you get used to them you may not even need to look for different options.
Fourth, if you live near a noisy club you need to have earplugs that can filter out the sounds of the instruments. These are also used in gun shooting ranges, but also offer the best when it comes to reducing the impact of motorcycle riding sounds. They are comfortable as they sit on the ears without causing irritation even when worn for a longer time. He said these can be used for reading and songwriting because they block those sharp sounds that must penetrate ears even when from a far distance.
Before we finished the interview, I didn’t hesitate to ask about the techniques of choosing the right earplugs. He was glad to give a few answers as outlined below;
Noise reduction rating (NNR)
This is the measure of the effectiveness of earplugs to protect your hearing. When the noise is too much, a higher noise reduction rating is vital. The higher the NNR, the more you will reduce noise from reaching your ears.
The best earplugs are those that can offer maximum comfort even when worn for a long time. They should not cause too much pressure because this can cause headaches. So, the suitable options should have a soft foam material for easier inserting.
Disposable or non-disposable
This may depend on whether you move to different location regularly. Disposable versions are just used for a while and then thrown away, while non-disposable can be re-used severally. You can also carry them when going to a different place where there could be noise.
Lastly, he pointed out two types of materials used to make earplugs; molded silicone and wax. Silicone earplugs are more effective and comfortable than their wax counterparts.