Well, for the past 5 years of my guitar playing (namely by myself) I've played without earplugs, but now that I'm playing with bands nearly every time I play, I need to wear ear protection. The more confident I feel in my playing, I crank it. And I've been doing that a lot lately. Can I just buy some of those swimming earplugs that mold to your ear and look like wax, or do I really need some of those gun shooting earplugs? I gotta buy some for my band buddies too, cause they don't ever use them - and that might be a problem.