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A Place to Practice in Peace

edited November 2010 in Welcome Posts: 32
Hey guys, although this topic is a little silly and never really caused me a problem before i thought it might be interesting to hear peoples solutions.
Do you ever have problems trying to practice without annoying your girlfriends/wives/partners or whoever you live with? :roll:
I never had a problem because i have a musical house and no one minds, like i'd wake up and come downstairs and warm up on guitar for 20 minutes before i even make breakfast.
But i'm in college and the apartment where i'm living this year wouldn't be as sound proof as other places i've lived. I try to be courteous and not play all night nor too loud, which is difficult with GJ.
I feel like trying to play quietly holds up in muscle memory and is counter productive, for right hand technique anyway.

Anybody else have this problem? I'm sure many get given out to regularly. :cry:


  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,048
    Yes, I've had this problem many times in my life! I even got evicted from my apartment in Amsterdam because the couple upstairs couldn't stand me playing around the clock....ha ha

    I would often stick a mute on the strings so I wouldn't bother people....if you're dedicated you'll find a way!

  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,154
    you can try practicing on a cheap archtop that has little volume, like some of the epiphones
  • JazzDawgJazzDawg New
    Posts: 264
    Couple of ideas come to mind. First, depending on what kind of college or where, there might be someplace you could actually schedule your practice sessions. When I was in college, I talked to a Professor in the Music department and she was helpful in getting permission for me to use one of the practice rooms at the conservatory.

    Another idea, is to see if the local library has study rooms. In one of the main branches here, they have special sound proof rooms setup for scheduling music practice. One more possibility is contacting the local musicians union to see if they have any place to schedule practice.

    A mute on your strings might be helpful. It's not that hard to do, just place some cloth under the strings. There's even a foam mute available to do it. I made an ugly copy of the commercial mute, out of spare packing material that worked. Check out this post:

    Above all, nothing will stop you from playing music, if you have the passion for it. In my younger days, playing rock, cranking the amp to 10 was the only way to get that 'sound', and I made no excuses for it, though I did move quite a bit. Finally, things sorted out naturally, got in a band, and club owners paid me to play. I, also, learned how to get the tone without playing loud, which was a lot better on my ears and I enjoyed renting for longer periods too. Then, I got a banjo, and the whole process began anew...
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,811
    Has anybody ever tried a solid-body electric guitar without amplification?
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • JazzDawgJazzDawg New
    Posts: 264
    For what? Practice? Of course. I had a Rick 360 back in 65, and it was a semi-hollow body electric. It was not undetectable in the next room even without amplification. I tried to play as softly as I could late into the night. My father would always yell from his room, "If you don't put that guitar down, I'll sell it." He wasn't actually that mean, but he did like his sleep time. I think the point is trying to play GJ requires a certain technique to be learned, and it's hard to learn without some kind of volume or projection. Playing rhythm, as a beginner I struggled to learn to play without being too loud. As I learn to play lead, dynamics play a huge part in development, but again, it's mostly projection and articulation, and that's hard to learn on other guitars. Possible, but hard.
  • I share a 660 sq. ft. apartment with my girlfriend and had to alter my practice times to account for the fact that we have essentially 3 rooms (including the bathroom) and are in a building with many other apartments.

    I've learned to practice when the lady of the house is:

    working out
    sleeping (use a semi-hollow unplugged)
    surfing the internet
    out with friends

    Additionally, I stop at 10:30pm, no matter what. It's tough because I have to practice when there is time. However, it makes you focus on practicing specific things.
  • dennis wrote:
    you can try practicing on a cheap archtop that has little volume, like some of the epiphones
    Ha ha i wish i could afford NOT to be practicing on a cheap archtop but sadly thats the case for a little while. :lol:
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,154
    you'd be surprised what kind of guitars many gypsies owned, played and recorded on , before they made arias and gitanes.

    we're talking no-name archtops worth 100$ or ultra cheap nylon strings like this :
  • bokchoybokchoy New
    Posts: 19
    dennis wrote:
    you'd be surprised what kind of guitars many gypsies owned, played and recorded on , before they made arias and gitanes.

    we're talking no-name archtops worth 100$ or ultra cheap nylon strings like this :
    So many times it is that a guitar that is supposedly "cheap" turns out to be a most wonderful instrument to play on.
    That is the story of the Maccaferri, don't you think?
    How could it compare to the other masterpiece guitars that met with Segovia's approval?
    What with its' funny bracing and all.
    It is a rare, hard to define ability to be able to identify something that is "good" when by all other standards it is described as being "bad".
    Too often people describe something reputed to be "bad" as being "good"(thinking that it is the thing to do) when in fact it is a bad instrument.
    And is.
    Good is good. And bad is bad.
    Do you follow what I am Saying?
    Such a hard thing to put one's thumb on.
    But at least I am delighted to see Django music played on a nylon string!
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,277
    It pretty much drives the significant other out of the room. It gets less annoying though as you improve (I think so anyway).

    Transcribing is the worst. Same little phrase over and over at half speed. Don't even try that if they are within earshot.

    Best bet, train them to play rhythm :D
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