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  #1  
Old 08-26-2010, 01:12 AM
wcx08 wcx08 is offline
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Default Can A Drummer Get A Break?

Hello all. I'm a drummer of many many years. I've been fortunate enough to be able to play in all of the residences I've lived in up until now in my life. I recently graduated college and have a good job in the area, so I'm sticking around for a while. Unfortunately, my neighbors at my new house aren't so crazy about me playing drums and complain every time I do. I've asked the music building on campus if I could use their rooms, but they're strictly for music students only.

I can't be the only person that's ever been in this situation. Does anyone know any good alternatives for where a drummer could go simply to practice and not bother anyone in the process? I've been looking for rental studio space in the area, but they're very difficult to find.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2010, 01:20 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

Mutes. E-kit, Mesh heads, Practice pads?
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  #3  
Old 08-26-2010, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

If you are a home owner and not living in a community that has shared walls such as townhouse or condo or for that matter in an apartment, then I would tell your neighbor that at certain hours of the day you are going to play and practice your craft...there is nothing illegal about it; I am thankful that my neighbors tell me they do not even hear me when I am playing, but if they did and it were an issue I would politely tell them that I will be doing practice at these certain hours like it or not.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:45 AM
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

Look for a lonely hill top far from civilization... sorry, I just had to do that. I think drumhead61 has it right, but it sounds like you're probably in a complex of some sort, so lots of practice putty is probably your best bet.
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2010, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

Rent a practice spot.
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2010, 02:24 AM
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

I've always entertaind the thought of having a box truck with a kit screwed to the floor. Drive it somewhere remote and have at it.

But you could...

Find out their schedule and try to play when they're out.
Bribe them with something they like.
Get them on your side, tell them you're in the running for American Idol or something, and you need their help.
Jack em up against a wall and scare the crap outta them

That's all I got.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

i went threw the same thing with some my neighbors and my guitars. i tried talking to them numerous times, tried bribing them, trying to work out a schedule but they would have none of it. and it's not like i cranked them up either, we're talking a 2x12 turned up to about 2 or 3.

it's not the best solution and i got cops called on me but...

i waited till they were home, dragged 4 full stacks and a 4000 watt pa into my garage, turned it up as loud as it would go, opened the door and played the most obnoxious thing i could for about 25 minutes till the cops showed up. once the cops left i went over to their house and asked which was worse? my little practice amp or that?

i didn't get too many complaints after that
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  #8  
Old 08-26-2010, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumhead61 View Post
If you are a home owner and not living in a community that has shared walls such as townhouse or condo or for that matter in an apartment, then I would tell your neighbor that at certain hours of the day you are going to play and practice your craft...there is nothing illegal about it; I am thankful that my neighbors tell me they do not even hear me when I am playing, but if they did and it were an issue I would politely tell them that I will be doing practice at these certain hours like it or not.
Be careful with the "nothing illegal about it" In some counties there are nuisance ordinances that do make it illegal to make noise regardless of the time of day or circumstances. You may want to call your county bureaucrats and find out just what your and your neighbors rights are.
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2010, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

I use HQ Sound Off pads. They kill the noise from drums and cymbals. The feel is still there for the most part.

Edit: Also you could get an electronic kit to practice on.
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  #10  
Old 08-26-2010, 05:48 AM
Wopsey Wopsey is offline
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

I'm in a some what similar situation. I live in an Apartment with two buissness' downstairs, and someone to my right (thankfully only 1 other resident in the building). I unfortunately can't practice much during the day, but more-so practice between the hours of 7 and 10 pm. This way it's after dinner, and after hours. I occasionally get to practice from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM if my neighbor happens to be working mornings (I work midnights, so sometimes on my way home I'll see him drive by and get excited because I can go home and make as much noise as I want).

I would recomend just telling them that you plan on practicing between certain hours of the day, and that you're sorry for the inconvenience. In all honesty, they can't do anything but complain. It would take multiple multiple multiple infractions to get the police/landlord(s) involved in it, and it's not like you're doing anything illegal, you're just playing drums.

Sure it sucks and it's a pain in the ass, but unfortunately, you have to just put up with their bitching and let them know when you're gonna play, and don't let them change that fact.
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  #11  
Old 08-26-2010, 09:03 AM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Be careful with the "nothing illegal about it" In some counties there are nuisance ordinances that do make it illegal to make noise regardless of the time of day or circumstances. You may want to call your county bureaucrats and find out just what your and your neighbors rights are.
On top of which, you may have a "musical instruments" clause in your rental agreement/lease that can get you evicted for infractions - as few as two complaints.

If your neighbors never complain, then you're made in the shade; but if they do, here's some things to consider:

1) All the neoprene Soundoff pads and mesh heads and stuff will not keep the simple impact vibrations of your bass drum pedal from traveling straight down. If you live above someone, you must take this into account and work a solution... if indeed there is one. I put three inches of thick padding under a bass drum pedal and it still sounded (to my neighbor) like I was stamping on the floor.

2) Instead of putting Soundoffs on your cymbals, consider the plastic practice cymbals made by Pintech. They feel great and are much closer to soundless (in fact, you could then put the cymbal Soundoff pads on *them*... even better).

3) Mesh heads, Soundoff pads, etc. are not as great on your snare because of the constant pounding. Soundoffs especially will wear out fast. I instead put a Vic Firth pad directly on top of my snare, which is not only way more durable, but killed the volume.

Good luck. Eventually I moved to a city where I could afford to live in a house.
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  #12  
Old 08-26-2010, 09:43 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
If you live above someone, you must take this into account and work a solution... if indeed there is one. I put three inches of thick padding under a bass drum pedal and it still sounded (to my neighbor) like I was stamping on the floor.
FWIW, have you see this Al? http://www.vdrums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45889

I haven't tried it, but it's bloody tempting. Certainly looks like it'd do the job.
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  #13  
Old 08-26-2010, 05:20 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
FWIW, have you see this Al? http://www.vdrums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45889

I haven't tried it, but it's bloody tempting. Certainly looks like it'd do the job.
It looks like it has the necessary components - a layer of air and a layer of shockwave insulation. I personally haven't tried it and won't any time soon (as I move onwards and upwards to my home studio project next year)... but for the OP, this could be gold, if he's on a 2nd floor or higher. If not, he just saved himself the price of two sheets of plywood and ten cans of tennis balls.
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  #14  
Old 08-27-2010, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan01 View Post
Rent a practice spot.
+1. May even find some people to jam with.
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2010, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

Quote:
Originally Posted by azrae1l View Post
i went threw the same thing with some my neighbors and my guitars. i tried talking to them numerous times, tried bribing them, trying to work out a schedule but they would have none of it. and it's not like i cranked them up either, we're talking a 2x12 turned up to about 2 or 3.

it's not the best solution and i got cops called on me but...

i waited till they were home, dragged 4 full stacks and a 4000 watt pa into my garage, turned it up as loud as it would go, opened the door and played the most obnoxious thing i could for about 25 minutes till the cops showed up. once the cops left i went over to their house and asked which was worse? my little practice amp or that?

i didn't get too many complaints after that
Haha stick it to the man! Nice one mate, my hat is off to you.


Luckily I have great neighbours who actually enjoy my drumming haha (even though there is a lot of double bass rolls going on so I don't know how) However they have just sold their flat and the new guy moves in soon. I'll just be telling him politely my current arrangement with my neighbours and if it is ok to continue with it, if not I will try to negotiate and if he doesn't want me playing at all I shall say well I have tried negotiating with you and you're just going to have to put up with it. An hour a day 4 days a week after all is reasonable I would say. Plus 2 can play at that game if he calls the police I will say I'm sick of him blasting his stereo at 3 am whether it's true or not, no way he can prove otherwise!

It's a sad case when this happens cause unfortunately it shows that some people can be very unreasonable and just a plain nuisance.

Just out of interest have you tried negotiating a solution with them? This is the first thing that my parents did admittedly and I will this time round but a little heart to heart and understanding could be the way forward.
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Last edited by JT1; 08-27-2010 at 02:48 PM.
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  #16  
Old 08-31-2010, 06:02 AM
wcx08 wcx08 is offline
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

Well, here's the thing. I live in Kent, I just graduated from Kent (Ohio) and I'm looking to go back to school for music. I need a place to practice real bad. I don't know if anyone knows anything about Kent, but outside of the college town it can get pretty shady. I'm pretty sure my neighbors downstairs do some sort of hard drugs like meth or crack. I'm actually kind of nervous to even let them know I play drums. I guess I got myself in this situation. Would have been nice if the landlord told us we were living above crack heads.
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  #17  
Old 08-31-2010, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

i took my acoustic kit to central park then to the top of a parking garage once to rock out. i live in an apartment in nyc. i have an E-Kit and its a life savor. i just got done touring with my band all summer and it took me all of like a day to get my acoustic feel back. not nearly as bad as i thought it would be. if you get a decent E-kit your dynamics and feel will be fine.
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  #18  
Old 09-01-2010, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Can A Drummer Get A Break?

You might want to check out the Lidwish sticks and beater. I posted a thread reviewing them. http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=64942
The guy that makes them sent me some messages saying that I had adjusted the ends out too far. Their web site says that you adjust them for the desired level and to show how quiet they could get, I set them so that you could play really quietly, although the sound is affected. This would let you work out beats and patterns while making less noise than the rubber pads. Which I also have and they have a much deader feel to them, like playing on pillows. Doing both will help your chops. Using only one thing all the time will teach you to play that way. e.g. rubber pads being dead, mesh heads being bouncy, cane sticks feeling different in the hand, and the Lidwish sticks have their own feel.
I took the Lidwish sticks to a jazz jam last weekend and they were great for playing up tempo things normally instead of playing with brushes or cane sticks while keeping the volume down. I don't have the control to play that quietly on up tempo things with normal sticks. Slower things, I can keep it down. I could get louder with the cane sticks. Lidwish sells another type that is supposed to be more for low level gigging which would probably be more appropriate for this coffee shop jazz thing. The ones I have are for practicing at home, which is what I needed.
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