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tchaikovsgay

Foreseeable Neighbour Dilemma

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Hi. I'm moving with my partner into a newly rented flat. It's a short building with a few other flats. Of course I'll have to practice because I have to finish my degree.

Under coronavirus I'll have to record myself playing for the exams instead of giving a recital at the University. This means my laptop, webcam and microphone will be needed, making booking a place outside and recording there an issue; I'll have to carry my violin, sheets, music stand, laptop, webcam and microphone to the place!

I'm already practicing with a rubber practice mute as I've got a bad experience from being complained by neighbours from the previous place. It got to a point that I can't even focus on practicing because it made me feel I don't have the rights to play the violin at home, even if I never play before 0900 and after 1800. (They even called the security once!)

I can never let that happen again. However, I also need my to ace my degree. I don't mind to do ANYTHING to maintain my rights to practice in my room without worrying. I'm thinking about soundproof materials, informing the new neighbors about my situation, asking if the University allows me to record my recital with a practice mute (last resort), etc.

Any advice will be very much appreciated.

Edit 7/8/2020: It happened! Today's the second day I played without a practice mute (have to record some Bach for an exam), I hear neighbors complaining! It was 1pm, so I've decided to take the advice from everyone and go downstairs to talk to them, 'be sorry but firm'. I told them I am sorry that my violin is too loud and said I was recording for my exam, usually I have mute on and I won't practice after 4pm... They looked accepting (but you'll never know right)

Anyways I've got my 2nd last module done! I just need to record for my final exam :D

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When you can, get an isolated place in the country.  It has a great many positives.  No joke.  :)

In the meantime, try to negotiate some sort of arrangement with your neighbors.  If that fails, get something to sit on, and practice outside.  Always leave a hat on the ground for tips, it can't hurt.  :lol:

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Clearly, talking to the neighbours is first priority. Explain your project, what it involves, what you hope to get out of it.

Maybe they will be interested, maybe they will ask if they can listen. You can tell them what time you will be practising and what time you will be recording. Maybe it can become a routine "it's 5 O'Clock, time to open the windows and listen to the lovely violin music"

Or maybe they will be un-co-operative, and tell you to "turn that wretched thing down, doesn't it have a volume knob or headphones or something".

Then at least you know the situation and can make alternative arrangements. Much better to have this conversation now rather than halfway through your recording sessions...

 

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9 hours ago, tchaikovsgay said:

Hi. I'm moving with my partner into a newly rented flat. It's a short building with a few other flats. Of course I'll have to practice because I have to finish my degree.

Under coronavirus I'll have to record myself playing for the exams instead of giving a recital at the University. This means my laptop, webcam and microphone will be needed, making booking a place outside and recording there an issue; I'll have to carry my violin, sheets, music stand, laptop, webcam and microphone to the place!

I'm already practicing with a rubber practice mute as I've got a bad experience from being complained by neighbours from the previous place. It got to a point that I can't even focus on practicing because it made me feel I don't have the rights to play the violin at home, even if I never play before 0900 and after 1800. (They even called the security once!)

I can never let that happen again. However, I also need my to ace my degree. I don't mind to do ANYTHING to maintain my rights to practice in my room without worrying. I'm thinking about soundproof materials, informing the new neighbors about my situation, asking if the University allows me to record my recital with a practice mute (last resort), etc.

Any advice will be very much appreciated.

Get an electric. You can play all hours of the night and no one will care. You can find them as cheap as $150. https://hub.yamaha.com/silent-violin-vs-electric-violin/

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11 hours ago, tchaikovsgay said:

Hi. I'm moving with my partner into a newly rented flat. It's a short building with a few other flats. Of course I'll have to practice because I have to finish my degree.

Under coronavirus I'll have to record myself playing for the exams instead of giving a recital at the University. This means my laptop, webcam and microphone will be needed, making booking a place outside and recording there an issue; I'll have to carry my violin, sheets, music stand, laptop, webcam and microphone to the place!

I'm already practicing with a rubber practice mute as I've got a bad experience from being complained by neighbours from the previous place. It got to a point that I can't even focus on practicing because it made me feel I don't have the rights to play the violin at home, even if I never play before 0900 and after 1800. (They even called the security once!)

I can never let that happen again. However, I also need my to ace my degree. I don't mind to do ANYTHING to maintain my rights to practice in my room without worrying. I'm thinking about soundproof materials, informing the new neighbors about my situation, asking if the University allows me to record my recital with a practice mute (last resort), etc.

Any advice will be very much appreciated.

If you're using a practice mute and already playing only between 9AM-6PM, I think you just need to grow thicker skin, like the neighbors.  Part of living is the sound of it.  I have lived in places where the neighbors complained and I've lived in places where they don't.  Just make sure you're obeying whatever local ordinances and accept that some neighbors enjoy making trouble.  (But, of course, always be polite and even a little apologetic about the sound, but firm.  You're allowed.)

If you search for soundproofing materials, you will find things.  I've used the foam stuff and blankets before.  It will make a difference.

(When I lived in NYC, my apartment window opened onto an alley where you could hear a soprano practicing and a horn practicing.)

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11 hours ago, tchaikovsgay said:

Hi. I'm moving with my partner into a newly rented flat. It's a short building with a few other flats. Of course I'll have to practice because I have to finish my degree.

Under coronavirus I'll have to record myself playing for the exams instead of giving a recital at the University. This means my laptop, webcam and microphone will be needed, making booking a place outside and recording there an issue; I'll have to carry my violin, sheets, music stand, laptop, webcam and microphone to the place!

I'm already practicing with a rubber practice mute as I've got a bad experience from being complained by neighbours from the previous place. It got to a point that I can't even focus on practicing because it made me feel I don't have the rights to play the violin at home, even if I never play before 0900 and after 1800. (They even called the security once!)

I can never let that happen again. However, I also need my to ace my degree. I don't mind to do ANYTHING to maintain my rights to practice in my room without worrying. I'm thinking about soundproof materials, informing the new neighbors about my situation, asking if the University allows me to record my recital with a practice mute (last resort), etc.

Any advice will be very much appreciated.

First thing to do is talk to your neighbors. Say, “I’m a musician I need to practice this many hours a day, when would be the most convenient time for me to practice so I don’t disturb you?” Give them your phone number so if the baby is taking a nap or something they can text you and ask you to wait for a while. It shouldn’t be a problem.

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8 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

conductor hans richter learned trumpet in a boat in the middle of a lake so nobody could hear him. 

How does that work? Sounds travel over water.

Edited by Rue
Or ... Sound travels over water?

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48 minutes ago, Rue said:

How does that work? Sounds travels over water.

It was a big lake.

But, apropos to the post, Richter also practiced around the house, and Cosima complained about the noise, but lived with it.  I imagine it was an emotional payoff when he finally played that trumpet part in the context of the Siegfried Idyll.

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18 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

It do, but that particular lake be in a vacuum

:angry:

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I agree with what Stephen Fine and PhilipKT said above.   I've noticed that some apartments for rent  in NYC are advertised as being in a  "musicians building" by realtors.  As for complaining, my wife, who is a pianist, once had a neighbor from across the street complain about practicing in the middle of the day.  I heard an article in (was it Strings magazine?) where it was said that Yehudi Menuhin frequently practiced using a heavy "practice" mute and he said that he liked to do that before a concert because the effort of trying to make a good sound with that mute on helped him to play better without one.  In addition he had a rush of excitement from hearing the full sound of his instrument after having been practicing with the mute.

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^in his book "violin and viola" he says always practice with a heavy mute, if i remember right, and reserve playing without one to what you suggested.

i was thinking we're fortunate in that no matter what we do (almost) things improve, contrary to the normal laws of the universe...  come back in a year or two and what was difficult will be easy.  one teacher even wisely says if you're trying to re-work something about your playing, the less practice the better!  your main responsibility is to strive to hear yourself, and personally i think develop the fourth finger.  exercises that i know of to develop fourth finger also develop finger independence, equally important

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An obvious solution...to neighbours....that no one has mentioned...

Is to have none.  Or to have them far far away.

Works very well.

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1 hour ago, Rue said:

An obvious solution...to neighbours....that no one has mentioned...

Is to have none.  Or to have them far far away.

Works very well.

I recommended that he find an isolated place in the country.   :P  :lol:

It's especially pleasant during the current emergency.  :)

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Hmmm...still not the same as having real space. Maybe later on today I'll just mosey on down the road...see if I can find a neighbour...ask if my practicing bothers them...

 

 

20200726_084212.jpg

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