My awesome and well-meaning son gave me some rather nice earplugs for Father's Day. I've tried to use them, but unfortunately they work too well. The way we play I need to hear the lead guitar to know what we're playing next because we don't stick to a set list. Instead we feel out the crowd and play toward their reactions, what's getting them dancing. So I've not been using hearing protection.
There are more expensive models that are molded specifically for your own ears and crafted to lower the volume but allow all frequencies. While that would be ideal, I would need to work about 8 or 10 well-paying gigs to afford them. Yikes! I'm currently considering in-ear monitors as an alternative. But for now, I don't have a working solution. I may just have to suck it up and use the ones my wonderful son bought me.
Scott Devine of scottsbasslessons.com addressed this topic on his website. Check out the video below. In this video Scott mentions that he sometimes wears a plug in just one ear, closest to the drummer. I may need to try that this weekend!