Disturbing the neighbors


"Uncle Larry"
If you are within the confines of the noise ordinance...then he is asking you to make a special case for him, which is your choice to do or not.

What's in it for you if you cater to this person?

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Disturb neighbors and there can be all kinds of trouble. Are you that loud that you can be heard through insulated walls and distance? I mean, my neighbors don't complain.

Maybe it's time to get an ekit.

Rock Salad

Junior Member
Practice to loud music. Seriously. It may be less distracting to your neighbor than unaccompanied excercises.


Senior Member
You are probably suffering from “conduction” if your bass drum isn’t isolated from the ground. Sound travels easier and further trough solid than through air ( think about hearing a train miles away by putting your head on the rails).

So take a look at putting your drums on a floated platform. Those tennis ball ones are pretty effective and cheap to build. The more mass you can add to the platform the better.
The drums are on a concrete slab, not a floor. I'm not certain how bass travels through that.


Senior Member
Shrubs are your friends too. If there's anyway to plant some bushes or shrubs around your garage, it'll help. The thicker the better. Also, if your doors, garage and/or entry, don't have some sort of baffle between them and the sound source, your efforts may be moot.


For what it's worth. Cut out ply discs for each drum head with jigsaw. Stuck on circles of camping mat. Bought cymbals - hats with holes in em.....can now practise round the clock, but not for everyone I suspect and the neighbors can still hear the soft pad against the BD...


Gold Member
Your only real solution is as Bermuda suggested - an E-kit and all the crap that comes with one.

But put yourself in your neighbor's shoes. It would drive me absolutely bonkers crazy to be forced to listen to somebody practicing the drums, especially every day and at the very time that I'm trying to find rest and relaxation in my own home. If you've ever lived next door to somebody with incessantly barking dogs, you get the picture. I think your neighbor has shown incredible restraint, so far, and I'd urge you to do whatever it takes to respect his freedom from your noise. In this case, it's you intruding on him.

And I say this as a drummer. I don't know how my neighbors stood the noise I made as a teenaged drummer, and they lived 1/2 block from my family. My dad built me a shed in our back yard and fully insulated it. It was still loud outside. The neighbors never complained - not once - and remain good friends today. But they still talk about my drum practices fifty years later!

I feel fortunate to live out in the sticks now with no neighbors that I can disturb anymore. But I can't imagine having a drummer as a close neighbor. As much as I love them, drums can be a real nuisance to everybody but the drummer.



Platinum Member
Disturbance! oh sorry I can't hear you knocking!
That’s probably the most annoying part of drumming. At least with me, I spent years waiting for nice gear, got them and they turned out so much more focused and responsive, they went through the walls even more. Who cares if you have to muzzle a Sponge Bob kit, but anything nice just hurts. Craviato and I’d have to open the windows! :(


Platinum Member
If there is a noise ordinance where you live, have the police come out with a decibel meter. They can measure the sound from the source of the complaint (the neighbor's house) while you play. If you are within the ordinance parameters, the neighbor is being a pest. If you aren't within the parameters, then you figure out how to reduce the sound.

If you call the police, it looks like you are trying to play nice and remedy any issues in order to keep the peace. If he calls the neighbors and tells them it's everyday and has already asked you to keep it down, you will look like the bad guy and get a ticket.


Senior Member
Specifically, what he asked is that I don't play on Sunday. This is not unreasonable, although it's 50% of my days where I can actually play for any extended period of time. So I do have the option of basically doing nothing except laying off on Sunday. This last Sunday I spent my practice time sitting at the kit with a pad going through "Great Hands for a Lifetime", which is fine.

Honestly, my real issue now (aside from losing Sunday) is simply that I feel self conscious. I'm trying to work through some fast, aggressive songs and sometimes I need to get into a loud/aggressive mindset to drill into them, but the back of my mind is thinking about how the guy may be listening: a) being annoyed, and b) hearing me screw up repeatedly as I try to figure out the parts. It's not conducive to productive practice.

Last night I experimented putting old T-shirts and stuff into the drums just to bring it down a little. The bass sounds just fine, and the toms okay but dead like a cardboard box. The snare just sounds messed up (as expected) with internal muffling. Not sure what to do about that.

AzHeat, I hear you. I had dreams of getting a nice kit and mic'ing it in the not too distant future. Not much point if you have to wreck it with massive muffling or rubber pads on the heads.

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Seriously try Broomsticks, they lower the volume , you can still play with same force for 30 or 40 bucks, cheapest alternative. At least on Sundays.