Music at the bench

Too bad about the heated disagreements over what radio station
should be played. These days, the solution is ear buds with the
individual’s music source. I have those noise-cancelling head phones
for hearing protection during hammering. They also take input from an
mp3 player. BTW, I’m an NPR fan and find myself grooving to the jazz
selections, Judy in Kansas

Listening to music definitely helps my focus and it gives me energy.
Can’t have too many lyrics though. Usually classical or electronica.
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of kirtan (hindu devotional
chanting music)–Its very relaxing. I’m worried my neighbors think
I’ve gone off the hippy dippy deep-end though…

Like others have said, I will turn off the music when I’m doing
particularly fragile work or soldering something teeny tiny.


Sharing music in the gym is very like sharing music in the studio it
seems! Doesn’t matter to me what’s on: people can have what they
like. What does matter to me though, is that people have the courtesy
to ask if they may change the music, not just walk in and flip the
channels as if no-one else is there. It’s so freakin’ RUDE!


I’ve come to have this system that evolved and had been accepted by
my peers as professionally acceptable. I get sick of music sometimes
and have my mp3 under the sleeve of my dress shirt and one ear bud
under the shirt also and up to one ear. As another being enters my
space I can take the earbud out discretely and tuck it in my 3rd
button down and you would never know it’s there. I have found
countless great podcasts that are history or science or archeology
related and I play them all day, except when someone is in my shop or
at the design counter. Works awesome. Only this brand mp3 I can
manipulate through the shirt as to on and off and volume.

Polishing now kicks ass. Love it. What I missed in history class
rocks as well as stuff you should know. Both free but give them a few
bucks anyway. If you like history and want to hear about
the metallurgy that the mongols used to dominate their neighbors,
then try hardcore history. He is good. Listen to the mongol series
then work you’re way through the rest. Give him some $ too. After you
hear you’ll know why That one is Just good luck.
See you on the other side.


BTW, I'm an NPR fan and find myself grooving to the jazz selections 

Thank God for noise cancelling headphones…

Paf Dvorak

This is a fascinating thread. Music and recordings are created by
artists with the intent to evoke our emotions, which is why we all
have our personal preferences, much like jewelry. So I think using
individual devices with earphones is much better for our overall

Personally, I love to work while listening to the sounds of nature.
The rainforest sounds of frogs, rain, and insects are great when
working on a tropical themed piece. Thunderstorms can be good for
forging. Birdsong in a boreal forest keeps me calm during a
difficult technique. And I find silence to be best when I’m

I listen to all kinds of music as well, but when someone turns on
the news, or fires up a leaf-blower outside the window, I have
learned to take a break, so I don’t ruin whatever I’m working on!

I appreciate the diversity of suggestions, everyone!

I would agree silence or just the ambient noise of the shop is good
for designing. Sizing, repairs and polishing it’s nice to occupy the
mind with something. Designing is a zone where music can be a

Wow… All this quiet and serenity.

I like more of a Halestorm, Epica, The National, Meatloaf, Def L,
Sarah Brightman, Nightwish, Within Temptation, The Vamps (j rock),
Xandria, anything by Tarja Turunnen kind of atmosphere. As loud as
possible. And, I like dramatic point lighting, instead of general

Guess I’m more of a “Mines of Moria” dwarf kinda craftsman than a
forest frolicking Sindar elf!


Hi Bob,

Funny you should mention Meatloaf. The Music Wars got so bad in my
grad studio that I actually went out and bought a Meatloaf CD, just
to piss someone off. Then it turned out to be a pretty good album.
Still listen to it occasionally all these years later.

We got to the point where we could agree on NPR in the early evening
for the news, and that was about it.

I think it depends on what you’re doing, and how old you are.

I’ve noticed that I need quiet to concentrate much more than I used

Also, I’m much more attuned to the sounds of the shop since I
started teaching. It’s a good way to keep tabs on what’s going on in
the rooms I’m not in. But that’s hard to do if the radio’s blasting.

I also need relative quiet when I’m working around the big CNC’s, or
other machine tools. They’re loud as hell, but I can hear what
they’redoing, and as Lee can testify, I can hear a tap snapping from
across the shop. That’s critical sometimes because the machines are
too dumb to stop if they break a tool. So suddenly there’s a broken
tool in the way of the next tool, or a cut that didn’t get made, and
things are about to go BANG! fast. Best to get to that big red
mushroom before they do. So in that case it’s not ‘quiet’ that’s
needed, it’s ‘no extra noise’.


Nice. I kinda gave up on the rock scene after bands had to outdo
metallica and became screamy but there are days when my coworkers jam
out and that’s ok for your sawing, filing, and general work. Depends
how much my brain has to be engaged. Then I got old somehow also and
growing up in a culture where you didn’t do anything without tunes
blaring I’ve gone a new route with the podcasts. There’s only so much
to learn from Sammy hagar or dokken. Have fun whatever you listen to
and everyone needs top link some pics I think. (Preferably but not
limited to jewelry)

I really only need silence when I’m figuring out difficult things.
Tedious work usually calls for concentration, not calculation, and
Idon’t seem to have problems concentrating when there’s music. I
have to beexact when sawing dies, and probably because I do it so
much, it’s easy todo with music, but there’s a TV right above the
saw area for a reason. Sawing steel calls for lots of blade changes
and breaks for rest. Sittingat a press punching out parts is mind
numbing, so there’s a TV right there too, and stereo speakers for
music in both rooms. One great thing about life in ‘Hooterville’ is
I can crank it to 11 and nobody cares.

Having a good tune planted in my head in a loop is as important as
anything, and that’s half the point of listening to, or playing
music, to plant a good one there for a while, or supplant an
annoying one that has contaminated my personal space from the
outside world (that darn TV, for instance !). I’m really fussy about
what I listen to ; I find most music annoying or generically
uninspiring (even from artists I like). It’s the 1% I’ve worked hard
to find (or make) that makes all the difference; it’s like a doorway
to amazing things. Wife, chihuahuas, air, water, food, and music, in
that order ; cats… they move up and down the list, depending on
their whims.


I’ve seen meatloaf in concert quite awhile age and he was good.
Very small venue, intimate. Same place i saw motorhead. I always did
like paradise by the dashboard light and Bat out of hell of course.

I've seen meatloaf in concert quite awhile age and he was good. 

I think I must be in a time warp. I can’t think of Meatloaf without
thinking of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Frank thought he was good
too. But that’s a tender subject. Another slice, anyone?

Sorry, I just can’t help myself sometimes. Too many midnight picture
shows. Boring!

Dave Phelps

But, on the positive size, I finally figured out the lyrics to Two
Out of Three Ain’t Bad.

I think I must be in a time warp. I can't think of Meatloaf
without thinking of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Frank thought he
was good too. But that's a tender subject. Another slice, anyone? 

Don’t touch the hair!!


Hi David

what ever happened to our world. I can show Alice Cooper “Dead
Babies” to my school students but no Rocky Horror, Time Warp maybe
but Sweet Transvestite is my last day at school. And Rocky was just a
joke about the straight world and a world wide hit. Life was a lot
more fun back then. Mentioned to my principal I took my daughter to
her first concert Alice, he said he did same for his son. So it was
Alice in class, wow did those kids scream LOL but the principal and I
had great fun.

Yet as a history teacher I could show the young girl running down
the road with napalm burning her clothes off in Nam.

Oh well “Its just a jump to the left…”