Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
User avatar
Charles Mokotoff
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:43 pm

Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by Charles Mokotoff » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:24 pm

I am possibly moving from my large house (kids both off to college!) to a smallish unit in a more urban environment. Its a new building and I have been assured that the walls are cement and quite "soundproof" so it won't be an issue...but was wondering what sort of experiences others have had with practicing classical guitar in your apartment.

I vaguely recall living in a house many decades ago that was split up into several rental units and the folks upstairs didn't like my early morning practice. I would think that in a modern building, this won't ever be an issue.

If you've done this in the past, or are currently doing so, please let me know your experience. Thanks!

Rick Hutt
Posts: 269
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:03 pm
Location: Oak Paark, IL

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by Rick Hutt » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:37 pm

Not a problem in most modern apartments. But once, years ago, when I lived in a "vintage" apt. building, I was working on one of the Milan Pavanes. I played it several times, then while looking over some music to work the guy next door knocked on my door and asked me if I would play it ((the Pavane) again.
2010 Pimentel & Sons Concert Grand
1970 Taurus (Barcelona)
2009 Ramundi flamenco blanca
1962 Martin 0-16
2000 Martin 000-18
1963 Epiphone 12 Str

Andrew Pohlman
Posts: 846
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:24 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:39 pm

Charles Mokotoff wrote:I am possibly moving from my large house (kids both off to college!) to a smallish unit in a more urban environment. Its a new building and I have been assured that the walls are cement and quite "soundproof" so it won't be an issue...but was wondering what sort of experiences others have had with practicing classical guitar in your apartment.

I vaguely recall living in a house many decades ago that was split up into several rental units and the folks upstairs didn't like my early morning practice. I would think that in a modern building, this won't ever be an issue.

If you've done this in the past, or are currently doing so, please let me know your experience. Thanks!
For me, an apartment is in the past. Your experience will depend almost entirely on the tolerance of your neighbors. I had neighbors that if they could hear anything, at all, they would complain. I also had neighbors who were hard of hearing, and obviously, never heard anything to complain about. I had highly tolerant neighbors, with whom, we worked out a limited schedule with built-in quiet times, which was actually quite flexible for me.

Also note, I was on the ground floor, so I had neighbors to the left, right, and above only. But depending on the apartment, you could share walls/floors/ceiling with neighbors on 5 sides. You may want to consider one of those silent guitars for practice if too many neighbors are unhappy...

Now I live in a big house that is isolated from any other near by neighbors. My only concern now is the damnable winter cold and the corresponding low temperatures inside with high ceilings and vacuous rooms. I think I may relegate my practice sessions to a closet with a space heater...
2013 Rodriguez FF Sabicas blanco
2015 Trevor Gore custom Neoclassical
- redwood top, Palo dorado B+Ss.

User avatar
Jim Davidson
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:23 am
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by Jim Davidson » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:41 pm

I'm pretty stacked up in my complex. My neighbors can hear me, but insist that they enjoy it and that it doesn't bother them. It still made me think a bit more carefully about how much noise I made. I used to practice very late at night, but when I moved I switched to practicing in the mornings out of courtesy to my neighbors (which improved my playing, too!).

I'd say introduce yourself kindly to the neighbors, let them know they can contact you anytime that noise is a problem, and make an effort to play at reasonable hours (especially business when everyone is at work).

Admittedly, I am a bit sheepish about really digging in and playing loudly, but I've caught myself playing full blast and it didn't bother anyone.
2015 Alan Chapman Test Friederich CD/CO
2009 Cervantes Concert Milenia SP/PE

2handband
Posts: 948
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:31 pm

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by 2handband » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:28 pm

Apartment living is the worst thing ever, on a lot more levels than just your guitar playing. Think twice.

User avatar
AndreiKrylov
Posts: 1668
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:22 pm
Location: Canada, USA, Mexico, Portugal, Spain

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:37 pm

isolate yourself from neighbors... maybe put some stuff on walls some kind of extra curtains etc...find a room which will be farther away from neighbors... when I travelling - I stay in all kind of places...apartments, hotels.. shared rooms etc. and I managed not just to play, but also to compose and to record... :)
Life dictate us things sometimes... and we have to adjust...
Good luck!
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

User avatar
Charles Mokotoff
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:43 pm

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by Charles Mokotoff » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:08 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote: Life dictate us things sometimes... and we have to adjust...
Good luck!
Well said Andrei!
Thank you all for comments.

khayes
Posts: 1189
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:29 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by khayes » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:49 pm

2handband wrote:Apartment living is the worst thing ever, on a lot more levels than just your guitar playing. Think twice.
I heard that! Our first apartment was underneath a unit where the occupant spent all day playing the opening riffs to "Proud Mary" on his jangy electric. At least he did not do it at night. Our bedroom window was right off the pool and one night we were awakened to a skinny-dipping party right outside our window. Do not miss those days at all.
Ken

2handband
Posts: 948
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:31 pm

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by 2handband » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:03 pm

khayes wrote:
2handband wrote:Apartment living is the worst thing ever, on a lot more levels than just your guitar playing. Think twice.
I heard that! Our first apartment was underneath a unit where the occupant spent all day playing the opening riffs to "Proud Mary" on his jangy electric. At least he did not do it at night. Our bedroom window was right off the pool and one night we were awakened to a skinny-dipping party right outside our window. Do not miss those days at all.
Not even the skinny dipping parties? :twisted:

souldier
Posts: 680
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:45 pm

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by souldier » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:26 pm

I think the key factor is the tolerance of your neighbors. I lived in one apartment with neighbors below me who would complain and bang on their ceiling if there was any sign of life above him. He even posted a note on my door once saying that I was dragging a chair on the floor at 4am which is impossible since I was fast asleep. In the apartment I currently live in, I am surrounded by really gracious neighbors who hear my guitar and even compliment my playing. I ask them regularly if I am disturbing them and they insist I'm not.

The other factor of course is the sound proofing of the units in that building. Instead of assume, I would seriously look into how well the units are sound proofed from each other. If necessary, I'd go as far as knock on doors and ask people directly how the sound proofing is and if they might be disturbed by someone practicing classical guitar. It will not only give you a sense of how good the sound insulation is, but how friendly the neighbors are.

If it were up to me, I'd just avoid moving into an apartment altogether, or at least move into a nice condo that has excellent sound proofing. The last thing you want to add to your practice time is limiting your right hand or always being conscious of possibly disturbing neighbors.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

User avatar
spanishguitarmusic
Posts: 1113
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:58 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:34 pm

I was living in a shared rental town house years ago and all I did was to play very quietly. I also picked times when some of the renters and the home owners were out or away. I was told by the homeowners that they enjoyed hearing me play, as they didn't know I had a classical guitar and mentioned that if I wanted I could play a little louder, so that was really nice! Basically, I just played very quietly and right above the sound hole as well. Hope this helps! :merci:

Jeffrey Armbruster
Posts: 1301
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:16 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:14 pm

I live in a 'live-in' apartment on the ground floor of a house. There's a heating vent that leads directly to my landlord's living room; also sound just carries (I can hear dishes from upstairs sometimes.) Nevertheless, my landlord insists that he enjoys my playing, which is really strange since I'll work on the same piece for hours over days. So I'm incredibly lucky. I also remember once when I was playing in a rental room at Lake Tahoe with someone on the other side of the ancient wooden wall. I was just starting playing and struggling through some Sor exercises. She told me that the guitar sounded 'pretty' I think. So there may be something soothing and inoffensive in the sound of a guitar muffled by walls.

I can't picture having to use a silent guitar for the majority of playing time.
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
Takamine C132S

Tubbers
Posts: 2421
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 10:17 pm
Location: Enumclaw, WA

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by Tubbers » Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:55 pm

2handband wrote:Apartment living is the worst thing ever, on a lot more levels than just your guitar playing. Think twice.
I swore I'd never live in another apartment.
Help!

soltirefa
Posts: 1289
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:59 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by soltirefa » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:02 pm

Maybe you could downsize without moving into a multi-unit complex. I wouldn't rely on someone's assurances that the guitar won't penetrate the walls or bother people. There's always the possibility of the reverse; that your neighbor would produce a noise or smell that would bother you. I had a friend whose neighbor smoked and somehow the smell penetrated into his unit. How depressing. And the laws in California dictate that you disclose all material matters, including the fact your neighbors stinks or makes noise that is audible.

khayes
Posts: 1189
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:29 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

Re: Practicing guitar in your apartment space

Post by khayes » Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:40 am

2handband wrote:
khayes wrote:
2handband wrote:Apartment living is the worst thing ever, on a lot more levels than just your guitar playing. Think twice.
I heard that! Our first apartment was underneath a unit where the occupant spent all day playing the opening riffs to "Proud Mary" on his jangy electric. At least he did not do it at night. Our bedroom window was right off the pool and one night we were awakened to a skinny-dipping party right outside our window. Do not miss those days at all.
Not even the skinny dipping parties? :twisted:
Believe me - it was nothing you'd want to see :D
Ken

Return to “The Café”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 10 guests