music instrument playing?

outofideas009May 3, 2009

I'm wondering whether or not to be worried about disturbing our neighbors about playing music instruments.

Playing instruments and practicing is part of our lives, none of our neighbors have complained about the noise (yet)

We live on the 2nd floor and the walls are paper thin, you can hear just about everything , ugh!! Our lease says "to be considerate of other residents when playing a music instrument", of course, while we do play during the day and weekends, we do not play after 9pm. Should we be concerned about this or just go about our routine as we have been?

Just for references, we play piano, flute and bass clarinets :)


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It's hard to say if no complaints means that no one is bothered by the sound. At least you aren't playing bagpipes!

To me, 9 pm seems a bit late. If your neighbors have kids, they might be going to bed earlier than that. I'd say 8 am to 8 pm is a good guideline for noise in shared living situations.

Is there any place else you can practice? Are you students? Are there practice rooms available at your school? Can you practice in a local church or function room?

My concern is that there are three different instruments. While I might be fine with a neighbor who plays the piano for a hour or two every day, if the entire day seems filled with music that is not of my choosing, however good it is, I'd start to get annoyed. I'd recommend practicing elsewhere as much as possible and playing at home only when there are no alternatives.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 3:17PM
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Even 8PM could be a little late, especially for kids. I'm grown myself, but I like to wind down and watch some TV at around 7PM.

If you really want to be considerate you should talk to your neighbors. Chances are you could find plenty of time that won't bother them, and you could all get along much better than some of the horror stories we hear about here.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 6:46PM
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I agree with fotostat. I live in a condo complex and have an idiot neighbor with no common sense who decided getting a full drum set for his son would be a good idea (we have a common wall). I can't compare it to a piano/flute/clarinet, but all I can say is even for an hour a day during the daytime, the noise from the drums was unbearable. We had quite a few arguments about it, but eventually he came to his senses and at least put some muting pads on his drums. It's still loud and annoying (mostly because his son is pretty horrible at drums), but at least the noise is tolerable.

The thing is, if he had actually come talked to me BEFORE he bought the drums, I'm sure we could have resolved the issue about the mute pads then, instead of having to argue with each other and be in a situation where two next-door neighbors hate each other. I would strongly advise just going to each of your neighbors and seeing if you won't be causing too much of a problem.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 11:14AM
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I'd say it also depends on how good you are. If you're a beginner and are playing the same section of music over and over again as practice that would be really annoying even if it wasn't that loud.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:46AM
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It all depends on the neighbor.

I used to share a wall with a guy who played the guitar. He worked a swing shift, so he played at different times.

He ALWAYS asked me if it bothered us, and he turned his amps down at night, or didn't use them.

Sometimes he'd play the same song, or part of a song over and over for days (or weeks) until he got it just right. Honestly, it didn't bother me. After awhile, it just became background noise. People would visit and ask how I could put up with it, but it had gotten to the point where I didn't really notice it. The kids slept through it.

I think the posters who commented on how well you play and what you play are correct also. I don't think I could have put up with a beginner playing a harmonica or an accordion.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 9:53PM
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Sometimes it depends on the music and the listener. There are sound that is tolerable to hear and you wouldn't mind. Its true that sometime when you constantly hear that certain sound you wouldn't notice you're starting to like it or even hum the sound.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 2:42PM
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I play fiddle/violin, but I don't play before 8am and I don't play after 6pm. Doesn't matter what day of the week it is, and I've asked my neighbors if they can hear me and if it bothers them. Normally they don't even hear me, but when they do they don't seem to mind since I don't play for more than a couple of hours. I think it helps that I live in a single level apartment.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 12:04PM
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Good thing you don't play drums then :) Then again, it's impossible to play drums in an apartment. I think you're doing all right for now. Frankly I'd suggest you find proper rehearsal space if possible. That way you can play all you want and you wouldn't be worried you're bothering neighbours.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 2:48AM
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Since your neighbors don't seem to mind and you aren't playing the instrument at unearthly hours I think there is nothing to worry about ....

    Bookmark   October 28, 2014 at 1:51AM
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If it was me, i would probably play the instrument outside on the street or in the park. Or rent one of those rooms that is specifically designed for instrument practise.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2014 at 12:06AM
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