Oddness – being a deaf musician

In the past, as a deaf musician, I have felt a bit like the weird one. Not really fitting in. My mannerisms were a little different from my friends and colleagues, because I lipread, have to look at people’s faces and lips. It makes people sometimes think I was odd,  looking so intently at them.
Now I feel empowered by my deafness. It makes me stronger. Like some sort of Marvel superpower. I lipread,  I read body language. I can cut through the oddness.
Playing music and being deaf is sometimes hard when you have to rely on your instinct to know how loud or quiet something is. Sometimes I can’t actually hear very well on stage at all and have no reference to fall back on. Its like performing in a void.
Its good when I have a good sound engineer doing the sound,  they can sort out the monitor so that I can get the right frequencies directed towards me.
My favourite  sound is when then music is like a cushion underneath me and I am cloaked by the other instruments around me.
When I practise at home I will often practise with headphones on really loud so can just feel the music and completely immersed.

2 thoughts on “Oddness – being a deaf musician

  1. Katy Windsor says:

    Hi Mel, as another musician who is deaf, I read your blog with interest. People often ask me how I can be deaf and play music – I have to admit it can sometimes be very hard, especially when the bass isn’t loud enough. I often don’t know how loud/quietly I’m playing and that’s caused some problems with others in the past! For me, if the bass is loud enough and I have the correct amount of hearing myself and others in the monitor then I’m sorted. It’s all in the vibrations!

    1. Mel Zebra says:

      Hey fellow deaf musician. Definitely vibrations. !!And love bass. Quite happily sit next to the bass amp, feel it.


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