#1
I recently started playing the upright bass, a thing I've yearned for for ages now, and I couldn't be happier. However, this has led to something I've never had to deal with before - neighbors.


I haven't received any complaints yet, nor has my landlord/finnish-equivalent-of-a-landlord so there isn't a problem, yet, but I clearly overheard people outside of my apartment discussing noise from an instrument, and how they've heard it for a couple of days now. I have no idea about the context, I don't know if they were complaining about my playing or simply making note of it, but I guess now is a great time to brace for the dreaded knock on the door.

So I guess this thread is just for discussion. Do you have any stories about your neighbors complaining about your drumset/tube amp/bagpipes and how did you deal with it? Do you feel like it's reasonable for a non-musician to complain about your playing, if you play during daytime? Have you made a noise complaint against a fellow musician?

To answer my own questions, if problems arise and I get a complaint, I sure as hell won't stop playing, of course. Music is more than a hobby to me by now and it's not like I could just stop playing. I have taken some precautions, of course, I have a practice mute that lets me practice intonation and fretting hand technique on a very low volume without sacrificing too much tone or feel. But still, if I want to do some proper pizzicatto practice, some noise is to be expected. If someone does have a problem with my hobby, I guess I'd try to bargain by asking if it's okay that I practice 30min-1h each day during daytime, and for the rest of the day I focus less on pizzicatto and more on the fretting that I can do without much noise. If I actually have a neighbor who can't deal with 30 mins of noise, I think it ceases being my problem. Upright bass isn't that loud or noisy anyway, if I was a drummer or a brass player it might be a different thing

But I have to admit it's a bit annoying when non-musicians don't seem to understand that you can't just turn down an acoustic instrument, and it's not an option to just stop playing. I don't think that an hour of practice in the middle of the day is unreasonable, and tbh it's completely legal in Finland to practice an instrument in a flat during daytime. So it would be illegal to throw me out anyway, but if it's my word against the two nice old ladies next door I feel like they get more sympathy.

I personally have no problem with noise from other flats. It's just life. But of course I think like that when I'm the one making the noise

So idk, discuss loud noises and irritating neighbors or anything else really.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#2
Notice your surroundings and be consistent.

Step outside and gauge the local noise level; any of these going on?:

- lawn care (lawnmowers, trimmers, edgers, leaf blowers)
- driveway/sidewalk cleaning (pressure washers)
- tree trimming (chainsaws)
- fence repairs (table saw, hammering)
- roof replacement (hammering)
- air show (jets making low passes)

If so, all is well, but you need to be consistent, which means when there is no noise level outside, you shut it down and are quiet. Neighbors will figure out that you only get loud when there is already loud noise outside... they will never bother you if they know that when it is all peace and quiet you never disturb anyone.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#3
Last edited by cdgraves at Jul 6, 2017,
#4
I have a rang of experiences with noise complaints being made against my bands, but as I have lived in houses (rather than apartments), it was a lot easier to manage.

The best way to pre-empt any issues is by talking to your neighbours first and let them know you are practicing sometimes during the day. See what they say.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#5
There's also something to be said for setting a regular practice schedule. If you can find a time when your neighbors either won't mind your noise levels and/or are being noisy themselves, you'll minimize the risk of conflict- they'll be able to anticipate and adapt.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#6
Quote by cdgraves
 Just palm mute
 

This was actually funny.
But for the rest of your post, I believe I already mentioned that I have a practice mute?
Quote by AlanHB
The best way to pre-empt any issues is by talking to your neighbours first and let them know you are practicing sometimes during the day. See what they say.

I don't really know any of them personally so I can't just go ringing random doorbells, but I plan on doing this if I run into them.
Quote by dannyalcatraz
There's also something to be said for setting a regular practice schedule.  If you can find a time when your neighbors either won't mind your noise levels and/or are being noisy themselves, you'll minimize the risk of conflict- they'll be able to anticipate and adapt.

This is something I've thought about and plan on keeping up.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#7
Quote by Kevätuhri
This was actually funny.
But for the rest of your post, I believe I already mentioned that I have a practice mute?



Well if that's not doing the trick, you might look into more substantial muting along with a piezo pickup so you can at least use headphones for quiet practice.
#8
Wait, it's an upright bass... you should be able to play that anytime - it's not loud enough to disturb anyone.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#9
Riiiiight...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
If you are a little nervous about talking to them, maybe a note in their letter box will do?

I'm just saying that if you are dreading the knock on the door, you may as well take control of the situation and knock on their door instead.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#11
Or have an open house/ meet-n-greet party.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#13
Quote by AlanHB
 If you are a little nervous about talking to them, maybe a note in their letter box will do?

 I'm just saying that if you are dreading the knock on the door, you may as well take control of the situation and knock on their door instead.

Maybe. I thought about leaving a note on the building bulletin board that would just say "if you're bothered by the noise, come discuss it with me in apartment 12345, thanks".
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Or have an open house/ meet-n-greet party.

I'm actively trying by always practicing with an open door...
Quote by cdgraves
practice in the hallway so nobody knows which unit you actually live in

...but this is actually an even better idea.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#14
Wow, someone is actually considerate about neighbors? That's a first! We usually blast and deal with aftermath later.
I've had some parties with jam sessions but it hasn't been an issue as we play with edrums, at least in the house.
#15
Quote by AlanHB
I have a rang of experiences with noise complaints being made against my bands, but as I have lived in houses (rather than apartments), it was a lot easier to manage.

The best way to pre-empt any issues is by talking to your neighbours first and let them know you are practicing sometimes during the day. See what they say.

A friend of mine had a just-moved-in neighbour from the next flat knock on the door and say that they played the piano every now and then and hoped that this was ok. My friend took the opportunity to inform that he practised the trombone pretty seriously.
#16
Quote by copperwreck
A friend of mine had a just-moved-in neighbour from the next flat knock on the door and say that they played the piano every now and then and hoped that this was ok. My friend took the opportunity to inform that he practised the trombone pretty seriously.


Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#17
copperwreckI've actually found in my houses that if your bands are good (and not heavy), neighbours are pretty cool with it most of the time.

However, when. I was a beginner and crap, neighbours we're definitely not happy.

I have no idea if metal bands would be treated the same way.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud