Judge Says Teen Drummer's Playing Isn't a Nuisance

New Tricks

Platinum Member
In other words, you'd start a noise war against a teenager with a drumset.
No. I would join the war :). Subtle but important difference.

A little perspective may be in order. Maybe woodworking would be a nice new hobby. Running a router at 7AM, Saturday and Sunday morning might do the trick :)

In fairness, the username you're responding to should give an indication to the mind-set in play here. Someone incidentally and without trying to annoys him, and the first instinct is to annoy others in some weird sense of retribution for the minor slight.
You don't know any details of the case. I am speculating that it has been quite an ordeal (3 years worth). That is hardly incidental or without trying to.

It's no different than a dog that constantly barks.

What I don't understand is how this ever ended up in front of a judge.
If disputes can't be settled by the parties involved, this is how they are supposed to be settled.

No one here knows how it played out. Either side may have been the assholes. I just find it amusing that most people here seem to side with the drummer.


I'm a great neighbor but. if my neighbor, 15 feet away has no respect for me, I would make it my hobby to return the lack of respect, again, just to give them a different perspective.
 

Derek

Silver Member
If this kid was doing his practicing during the day/ stopping at a considerate hour, this neighbor shouldn't have pushed it to the courtroom.

But gotta give a little "shame on you" to his parents. If they truly want to be supportive and encourage their son in his music, they should let him have his kit in the house (his bedroom, maybe) or at the very least some sound insulation in the garage, as others in this thread mentioned.

I'd hate to hear that his parents don't want the "noise" in the house, ." But that last part is just hypothesis; don't want to create and then open a can of worms that isn't at issue.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
In other words, you'd start a noise war against a teenager with a drumset.
Haah!! That reminds me of a story. I lived on the 3rd floor of an apartment in Glendale, the guy on the floor below me liked to play his bass heavy music LOUD later at night. It didn't bother me much because I could not hear it at all from the bedroom when I was trying to sleep. It did get annoying when I was in the living room though, this constant THUMP THUMP THUMP coming up from the floor.

One day he was going on with his noise and I had had enough, it was time for retaliation. I took out my snare and plopped it on the stand, took my sticks and started playing at a medium volume. He turned off his music.

Moral: Don't get into a noise war with a musician, especially a drummer. I'm they type of petty wierdo that would buy a marching snare just to annoy a neighbor.
 

shemp

Silver Member
I'm a great neighbor but. if my neighbor, 15 feet away has no respect for me, I would make it my hobby to return the lack of respect, again, just to give them a different perspective.
The problem is twofold.....and, sure, you may well be a great neighbor, but a few hours of drumming in the daytime does not constitute disrespect. You, or anyone for that matter, cannot expect your neighbors lifestyle to be void of impact to your world. It's not your world.

That's the first problem....it is not your world. Other people and their actions will impinge on your daily life...noise is a part of life. It's not for you to mete out the judgement of what is acceptable and what is not. City ordinances do that.

Sometimes we encounter things we don't like....we don't have the right to complain or impede another if we don't like something they are doing...

And here is problem #2....you have no right to be an aural vigilante. If you don't like someone else's noise, tough....it's not your world. If they are violating a city ordinance, then you do have recourse and I would applaud following a legal course and solving the problem....if not, and it is within parameters, yet you don't like it, tough turkey and you would be the real offender for creating noise that's prime directive is to annoy....the kid just wants to learn something and has no intent to annoy....so play within the rules, accept that your life is not important to others that have their own mission....and move on.

It's not your world, man.
 

Notbob

Senior Member
Some of the comments in this thread remind me that some people's concept of personal rights and freedoms revolves around what they can do. Curiously, their concept does not seem to extend to other people.

In situations like this I try to remember that my right to punch my fists in the air ends at the tip of my neighbor's nose. It doesn't matter if my intent isn't to punch him in the face.

A little consideration can go a long way.
 

shemp

Silver Member
Some of the comments in this thread remind me that some people's concept of personal rights and freedoms revolves around what they can do. Curiously, their concept does not seem to extend to other people.

In situations like this I try to remember that my right to punch my fists in the air ends at the tip of my neighbor's nose. It doesn't matter if my intent isn't to punch him in the face.

A little consideration can go a long way.
Not really my friend....I can play drums any time of the day. My desire would be to do that as I please....but out of consideration for my neighbors, I play only during the day and at a very friendly time during lunch for a max of 90 minutes....never more. So was this kid; during the day which implies "hey I know night may not be tolerable". I could play at night, but I try to consider that most people are home from work then, but most are away during the day.

So your comment is not accurate. Playing drums in a neighborhood home does not mean inconsiderate, though the time of the day sure could.
 

Notbob

Senior Member
I seem to recall that the kid played from 4 to 7 PM which is the time most people are just home from work.

There are a few simple facts in this case:

1. A drum kit is potentially a very loud instrument.
2. A basic garage does little to reduce sound transmission.
3. There will be little attenuation after 15 to 20 feet of separation (I believe it said the neighbor's house is 15 feet away from the garage).
4. None of us knows precisely how loud it is at the neighbor's house. We can only speculate from the above.
5. The judge ruled in favor of the kid anyway.

If the judge didn't rule in the kid's favor, a very simple answer would be to get the kid some mutes or some mesh heads and triggers with an inexpensive module, but I can already hear the cries of the purists arguing against that. Funny how our concepts of personal freedom apply only to us and not the other guy. We consider ourselves to be magnanimous if we offer the other guy even the most basic level of accommodation and consideration. It's not like any of the attitudes expressed here are in any way tribal, right? Sure, my right to drum supersedes everyone else's rights and if they don't get on board then they're just a bunch of crybaby woosies. /sarcasm.

I've been playing drums for 40 years. My drums are a part of me but I understand that music to my ears might be a racket to someone else. I don't want to be a source of irritation in someone else's life so I take great pains to keep the noise levels at an absolute minimum. That doesn't make me a wonderful person. That's the minimum level required to be a decent neighbor. The world doesn't revolve around me.
 

shemp

Silver Member
Funny how our concepts of personal freedom apply only to us and not the other guy. We consider ourselves to be magnanimous if we offer the other guy even the most basic level of accommodation and consideration. It's not like any of the attitudes expressed here are in any way tribal, right? Sure, my right to drum supersedes everyone else's rights and if they don't get on board then they're just a bunch of crybaby woosies. /sarcasm.
I understand your thoughts....and that you are the "devils" advocate to a degree here...but again, I think you are being too sensitive to the neighbor.

It is not the neighbors right to have their surroundings be cut in the vision they prefer. Alternatively, It is not the kid's right to have his surroundings be cut in the vision he prefers.

Neighbors must expect to be affected by those around them....a few hours of noise, out of a conservative waking period of, say, 14 hours or so...is not a burden. It is not disrespect...in regards to the kid's footprint on the neighborhood from drums....2 or 3 hours out of 14 is a very small percentage of the day. It takes some neighbors several hours to cut and manicure their lawn and that is a *lot* of noise...some neighbors have kids playing outside all day, screaming and having their little pissing contests and tantrums....it is their right to make that noise...I have a neighbor who's dog will bark all day every day at a feather kicked up by the wind at 40 yards...who cares. I don't feel disrespected nor do I feel that I have a right to be insulated from that dog or the kids, etc.

Anyway, the judge and ruling pretty much said what I am saying....

The act of making noise and having it be heard by a neighbor is not a crime...conversely to your argument, drums are not bad or something that should have to be contained or monitored; unfortunately, many folks think "drums" and their mind goes right back to Elvis and his hip gyrations and then to a conclusion that there is something bad or evil happening...rock&roll does have an underlying bad connotation to those such neighbors that would be complainers....but, really, playing drums is not something bad at all. The neighbor has no right of quiet at all hours of the day...drums are not a bad thing, they are not hurting anything...AND they are not being played all day.

This is why the kid was not punished by the law....the neighbors felt it was "their world" and were oversensitive about the noise.

If you (not YOU but any sniveling, nattering namby pamby) want your own little world, just the way you want it, with everything just so and in your vision, then move out to the country.
 
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ncc

Silver Member
one thing that should be considered here is common sense. This really has nothing to do with the kid playing. It is simply the parents vs the neighbor, plain and simple. There are noise nuisances that cannot be addressed like lawn mowing and garbage trucks. This was not one of those cases. In this case something as simple as insulation could have been done to defuse the problem with no burden or impact to the kid's right to practice on his drums and the neighbor would have been happy. The parents opted for a solution to go to court rather using a little common sense to fix the problem - which most likely would have cost less than getting a lawyer and going to court.

I also wonder if there is more to this story line. the media can sometime make a story seem different than it really is for a headline.

But as someone else pointed out, why is the kid in the garage anyway?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Maybe the judge is a drummer lol. When I lived in a place where neighbors could hear me....I tried my best to make sure what they were hearing was somewhat pleasant. You have to consider others. The kids parents really should spend a hundred bucks on some soft sound absorbing materials in the garage. It's basic consideration. Even after the win, I'd still be trying to cut the noise out of basic respect for others preferred lifestyle. Pissing off people....doesn't come without a price. Sooner or later the pissee will get theirs if no consideration is given them. I pretty much agree with Shemp. Tolerance is a beautiful thing.
 

shemp

Silver Member
I fully agree with [ncc] and [larry]....and i personally do give my neighbors the gift of consideration to the tune of thousands spent on sound proofing and also try to reach out to them and be sensitive to their thoughts..but at the same time my neighbors recognize that I have the right to be a musician and play in my home. They know that it is all of our rights to make noise, within reason, and we all accept that. They know and I know that it is not my world and I must accept behaviors, within the law, of others.

It ends up being a two way street of respect....i try to be reasonable by practicing only during the day and cutting the noise...and my neighbors then realize "hey this guy is trying" and then they try....it is communication

That said, the kid has no real responsibility to do anything to his garage or even worry about his neighbors...that might be the path of MOST resistance, but it ain't my call.

Obviously he did not do anything wrong as judged by the legal system.

Larry...tolerance is a beautiful thing in a neighborhood.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
In situations like this I try to remember that my right to punch my fists in the air ends at the tip of my neighbor's nose. It doesn't matter if my intent isn't to punch him in the face.
Actually, you don't have that right. Even the act of stepping up on him may be considered a threat. The minute you cock your arm back, your assault certainly begins.

I agree with your views but this thread has me in an argumentative state of mind :)

a few hours of drumming in the daytime does not constitute disrespect
It certainly could.

You, or anyone for that matter, cannot expect your neighbors lifestyle to be void of impact to your world

I never suggested that. There are colors between black and white.

The question is, "Is the impact reasonable"


It's not for you to mete out the judgement of what is acceptable and what is not. City ordinances do that.

Again, I never said that. I'm generally careful with my words.


Sometimes we encounter things we don't like....we don't have the right to complain or impede another if we don't like something they are doing...
Seriously? You cannot actually believe this.


you have no right to be an aural vigilante. If you don't like someone else's noise, tough
I can make as much noise as they can.


If they are violating a city ordinance, then you do have recourse and I would applaud following a legal course and solving the problem....if not, and it is within parameters, yet you don't like it, tough turkey and you would be the real offender for creating noise that's prime directive is to annoy.
If my barking dog, router or weed whacker is within the legal limit, tough turkey.


...the kid just wants to learn something and has no intent to annoy....so play within the rules, accept that your life is not important to others that have their own mission....and move on.
Intent has no bearing on it. I accept that my life is unimportant to others but I feel that, to some small degree, it should be.

It's not your world, man.
You know, you said this like a hundred times and you are flat out wrong. It is my world. It is your world. It is our world and we need to learn to get along. Sometimes that means tolerating others and sometimes it means altering your behavior to be respectful to others.


My thoughts are, if I'm the one making noise, I need to be sure that it's not having a negative impact on my neighbors. The minute a neighbor complained about my music, I'd shut it down and correct the problem because it's the right thing to do.

I live in close quarters with my neighbors. When I stared playing music here, the first thing I considered was my neighbors. I went thru the effort and took all the necessary steps to insure that I would not be disturbing them. It is not their responsibility to listen to my music, no matter what the legal limits are. It is my responsibility not to annoy the shit out of them :)

I'm no rocket scientist/engineer but I figured out how to play with a full band at my home a couple nights a week until 10:30 PM.

I will add that, when I was younger, I did not have the same consideration for my neighbors. I have lived and learned :)
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Drumming is annoying.

I'd get a recording of a yapping dog, or a violin playing scales, point a speaker to the drummer's house, set it to the legal limit and play it whenever I was not home. Maybe they would begin to understand my point of view.
I can not read past these. You lost me.

If not <sarcasm> ....how supportive of drumming or any music is that? Not sure how this brings you to drummerworld?
 

GeoB

Gold Member
You can't judge an age group by using your HOA as a standard. HOA's suck. If you don't want to deal with them you shouldn't have moved into a community governed by an HOA.
HOA's do suck... until you need them. My neighbors 26 year old boy-child has never left home, never held a job, occasionally deals snakes and breeds pits who are maltreated and bark incessantly in their 10x10 prison cages until (by law) he grudgingly and forcibly drags them in at 10pm, sits on the front porch and curses very loudly whilst yakking to his spice friends on the cell, has a fugly girl friend that bears his children, his mama is a total enabler and his step-daddy (I actually feel badly for him) just works his ever-living arse off to support this pond scum. An HOA would be my bestest friend right about now....

When I saw this image the other day I just sighed....

BUT I do play drums in my garage and I make sure I'm pounding away at 8am (he sleeps until way after noon)... everyone else at the domicile is at work... except him.
 

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SmoothOperator

Gold Member
A kid up my street had a dirt bike. He liked to ride around in the neighborhood, and occasionally in the city park, they had sort of dirt bike gang. I called the cops repeatedly. The cops eventually stopped by, it was a bit complicated, because I didn't exactly know which one or how to identify him. Anyway I suggested maybe getting them on a noise ordinance. The cop said basically before 9:00pm in my town you can do just about anything noise wise. I think leaf blowers are particularly annoying, I mean is it that much easier to run one of those things? Anyway, the cops knocked on the door and talked to the MOM, and he stopped, however riding a dirt bike in the street without a helmet or license and in the city park are illegal, whereas making music is not.

I kind of worry about the little snots taste though, I mean I hope he doesn't lose his sense of smell playing that loud.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
....how supportive of drumming or any music is that? Not sure how this brings you to drummerworld?
I'm a respectful human first and a drummer second.

When I read that the garage was 15' from the neighbors house, I took the neighbor's side.

I will be honest and admit, the fact that most people took the drummer's side kind of swayed me in the other direction :)
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
The cop said basically before 9:00pm in my town you can do just about anything noise wise.
Maybe, but the cops have to respond to calls/complaints, keep complaining and the cops get tired of coming over, they'll threaten the perpetrator(s) with a citation. Disturbing the peace.
 

Derek

Silver Member
We can keep beating this into the ground for as long as we choose, obviously. I'm just thinking that it's all been said on the subject. No, the kid wasn't wrong. All accounts say that his playing was at reasonable, respectable hours.

The neighbor who complained may or may not be a serious PITA, either is easy to believe.

It goes back to my earlier post. Shemp, yeah we want the kid to be able to practice. I think he's showing good judgement in his chosen practice time.

Why can't his parents do even a fraction of what you had the respect for, and courtesy toward your neighbors to do. A little insulation on the walls, put forth a little effort. Have a little consideration.

If space isn't a constraint put that kit in the house. If you support your kid's musical aspirations, don't banish them to the garage (unless, as I said, space is an issue).
 
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