Take it from plenty of elder statesmen of the dance-music scene—if there’s one thing you gotta do from an early stage in your career, it’s protect your hearing. That’s why folks like Richie Hawtin travel with Johannes Krämer, to ensure that of course things sound good to both the crowd and the DJ, but also so that Hawtin doesn’t end his career prematurely from hearing damage. Naturally, not everyone can afford to have someone like Krämer in tow, but that’s why DJ TechTools’ always-on-it Ean Golden put together this great primer on quick tips for saving your eardrums.

Tip one: Don’t drink and DJ

“I know this is a bit of a party pooper tip, but the fact is that alcohol impedes your ability to perceive when the sound is too loud. Simply put, while drunk you will do serious damage and not even realize it. ‘If I see a DJ take two or three shots during a set, I know for sure that he will eventually end up deaf. It’s only a matter of time,’ [says Krämer]”

Read up on all of the tips here.