beginner question - how to practice quietly

blofeldblofeld New
edited July 2010 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 11
hi there,

i just recently started manouche guitar and learning the guitar itself.
i am really into it and would like to practise a lot.
however: the guitar and the style is loud.... :)
and i dont want to drive my neighbours crazy...

the left hand la pompe and chord positions can be practised pretty good quietly.

but what about the right?

put something in the guitar?

thanks a lot!


  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    Just play it loud & proud. Let the neighbors know there is a GJ musician in the 'hood.
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    I actually have a nylon string GJ guitar which I take for visits with relatives and hotel stays. I can bang away and it doesn't shake the rafters. But I'm with Tele295, play it loud and proud! I tried playing soft early on and I developed some bad habits in my picking that I am still trying to overcome. You can't practice one way and play another, so practice correctly. As for muting the guitar, if you have a d-hole, you could stuff some laundry in there, but if it's an oval, you may never get it back out!
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • JazzDawgJazzDawg New
    Posts: 264
    I'll give you points for trying to be a nice guy, but I'd really agree - practice it the way you need to play it. You can't compromise and get better, and why should you at home? Are you really worried about your neighbors or are you just embarrassed by the way you sound as a beginner? Either way, there nothing shameful going on when you are on the learning curve. I've had neighbors learning their trumpets, violins, samba bands, and even a 'grunge band' practice in my area, as long as it's within reasonable and legal limits, it's all fair.
  • PerltonePerltone ✭✭✭
    Posts: 28
    As a bluegrass banjo player who faces the same issue, I put a piece of foam rubber about finger size under the strings, next to the bridge on the soundhole side of the guitar or banjo. It is important to practice with power, but noise can be a problem.
  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 551
    I've played electric guitar for many years and I've had the cops called to my place more times than I can count, but nowadays they tend not to give out warnings anymore here in progressive Madison...eventually it got to the point where I figured if they come out again I will have already put down a nice payment on a GJ guitar, so I ended up selling most of what I had to get me a good start. (I still miss not being able to play a rousing chorus of Voodoo Chile sometimes, but I did keep a boutique pedal or two and my double buffered wah-wah, so now I have a crappy Cort with a Pignose sitting around if I get the urge.) As a result my attitude is if you want to fine me for playing acoustic, go right ahead, I'll see you in court . At any rate by the time they get up to my door I'll have my Modele Jazz under the bed and will be plinking away on an old ukulele I keep around just to mess with their heads!

    So if you are a musician and you aren't a step closer to the criminal class, I say you aren't doing it right.
  • SamuelSamuel New
    Posts: 46
    I heard second hand that one thing Fapy would teach his students as important is to learn how to play quietly, but still with correct form and all of that. But it's still probably a lot easier to learn how to play loudly first!

    For la pompe, you can turn your pick sideways so you're striking the strings with the long edge, and it really tones down the noise (gives things a nice swoosh, but not a lot of bite). But I found you still have to "re-learn" things a bit if you move the pick around to use another, more pointed edge.
  • MitchMitch Paris, Jazz manouche's capital city!✭✭✭✭ Di Mauro, Lebreton, Castelluccia, Patenotte, Gallato
    Posts: 159
    This style may not be convenient to practice for your neighbors and you have to know how to play quietly (like Matelo when he was playing at the tables in russian restaurants) nevertheless if you don't hit them strings you'll always sound like a gadjo.

    The best test is Samois... you can see immediatly whether the guy has the sound or not.

    And most of all don't forget to downstroke at each string change.
  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 160
    You coud try a light sordino:

    While it might not bee too difficult to make something like this by yourself, luckily for us comfort seeking guitarists, you can order them from ... itare.html

    It seems too simple to be effective, but it actually does its job quite good. And as they say in the product description: this could save your marriage!
  • JazzDawgJazzDawg New
    Posts: 264
    Ok, made a prototype between the first couple of innings of the MLB All-Star game. It ain't pretty, but I had some foam laying around, and well, it seemed easy enough.

    My measurements weren't precise, so I fudged about on the install, but in place, the thing actually works pretty well. Maybe the next one I'll use better foam, more precise measurements, and a sharper blade. Maybe, won't make another until this one wears out. I could see how this would fit the bill for those times when you want to be a bit more quiet. Not the same as learning how to play quietly, but I could see the application of it being useful for certain times.

    Of course, if I could find one for $5, guess I'd buy it, but dunno, it'd be a hard decision to make in this economy. ;-)
  • blofeldblofeld New
    Posts: 11
    great answers!


    the foam is really good!
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