Advice on helping reduce noise levels for neighbours

There's the issue of reducing noise levels and then there is the issue of reducing issues with neighbors.

I hope it's not too late since it sounds like you've already had complaints but one big mitigation technique for the latter is simply communicating with neighbors that you're sensitive to the fact that your passion can cause noise disturbances to others. I've never had a noise complaint but I have preemptively let people know that practicing drums is part of my profession, asked people to let me know if it becomes an issue, asked if there are times of day that work better for them, and told them to text me immediately if I'm ever playing at a particular moment that they just can't handle. Kind of a kill-them-with-kindness technique but I truly am generally concerned about it. I mention that even if my favorite drummer was practicing outside my walls all the time, I might not like it.

Also, whenever I start a session I ease into the volume by starting a very quite roll then gradually building, so that I'm not hitting anyone with an abrupt wall of sound just in case they happen to be holding a pot of boiling water when I start.

This is probably all harder when so many more people are at home these days but showing them you care can help ease the tension. Good luck!
 
What I should have said is that my kit is in a separate garden room at the bottom of the garden and the noise that is heard in neighbours houses and gardens is more the thumping of the bass drum and kick as well as the hitting of the snare and toms.

I know that for me personally just hearing a rock and roll bass drum playing different patterns would drive me crazy if it didn't fit into a rhythmic context I could easily decipher. If I can also hear a snare playing a backbeat, then that provides that context. It will always sound better to you than to anyone listening through the walls, because they can't hear the connective tissue provided by your cymbal playing and ghost notes. Make sure your sound is balanced and confident while playing.

Also, what a perfect reason to work on playing at low volumes
 

Woody

Member
There's the issue of reducing noise levels and then there is the issue of reducing issues with neighbors.

I hope it's not too late since it sounds like you've already had complaints but one big mitigation technique for the latter is simply communicating with neighbors that you're sensitive to the fact that your passion can cause noise disturbances to others. I've never had a noise complaint but I have preemptively let people know that practicing drums is part of my profession, asked people to let me know if it becomes an issue, asked if there are times of day that work better for them, and told them to text me immediately if I'm ever playing at a particular moment that they just can't handle. Kind of a kill-them-with-kindness technique but I truly am generally concerned about it. I mention that even if my favorite drummer was practicing outside my walls all the time, I might not like it.

Also, whenever I start a session I ease into the volume by starting a very quite roll then gradually building, so that I'm not hitting anyone with an abrupt wall of sound just in case they happen to be holding a pot of boiling water when I start.

This is probably all harder when so many more people are at home these days but showing them you care can help ease the tension. Good luck!
Many thanks for your advice, it makes complete sense especially the easing into the volume. After I'd found that I'd annoyed a neighbour I did go round and talk to them and to be honest I felt better myself having done so. Unfortunately they are retired and so spend most of their time at home ! That said, as I take steps to reduce noise I let them know what I've done and ask if I've made any difference and thankfully they are appreciative of my efforts so far.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
I'm still confused. Is it that you are cranking the amp? Surely just hitting e-kit pads can't be that loud at the neighbors house?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I'm still confused. Is it that you are cranking the amp? Surely just hitting e-kit pads can't be that loud at the neighbors house?

He's in York, and I believe (many of) the houses there are Row/terraced/connected. A single structure the length of an entire block made of red brick with interior partitions.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
He's in York, and I believe (many of) the houses there are Row/terraced/connected. A single structure the length of an entire block made of red brick with interior partitions.

The structure in the picture appears to be isolated from the main building though, is that right?
 

Woody

Member
The structure in the picture appears to be isolated from the main building though, is that right?
Correct. I suspect because of the structure, the bare walls and the large windows/doors that sounds are simply magnified. The other issue is we live in a very quiet area so any unusual noises tend to be heard more easily. Hence why I’m building a platform and deliberating whether to use some acoustic blankets or panels but I just can’t decide which would be more effective in absorbing some of the low frequencies.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
Correct. I suspect because of the structure, the bare walls and the large windows/doors that sounds are simply magnified. The other issue is we live in a very quiet area so any unusual noises tend to be heard more easily. Hence why I’m building a platform and deliberating whether to use some acoustic blankets or panels but I just can’t decide which would be more effective in absorbing some of the low frequencies.

Is it from the tapping of the pads or the amplifier?
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
Gotcha. Sorry for the diversion. It must indeed by a quiet neighborhood. I almost got away with playing a full acoustic set in my detached garage. Mesh heads make no sound at all by comparison. Isolating sound is no easy process though. I have a thread on my drum room construction and it was quite the endeavor. If it's mostly the physical impact directly resonating the floor, the riser could do the trick. If it's actual audio getting through the walls or window, it'll be tougher.
 
Top