Renting a storage unit for practice?

zambizzi

Platinum Member
OK, I have a neighbor who has grown completely intolerant of practicing *any* time of the day. She's a shut-in and seems to have some serious emotional problems. I've been completely unable to get her to compromise in some way and she has been nothing but rude with me, from the start. I worked pretty hard (and spent a good deal of money) "soundproofing" the detached garage...but *some* noise is still audible. It's not LOUD, mind you...but if you're outside you can still hear it. It's comparable to someone having their TV up very loud inside of their house and you might hear it as you walk by. I called the city police and apparently, the noise ordinance here is in her favor. If a cop can hear it from the street, at all, I'd get a $100 citation. The house is very close to the street and the garage is directly behind it...of course they'd hear *something*.

Anyhow, I need an alternative. I don't like the idea of buying an electronic kit...that's not an option. A practice pad or practice kit won't cut it either, obviously.

What are some more creative alternatives? I'll pay for rehearsal space but I can't find any. There's an old bomb shelter here that was converted into band rehearsal studios but they're booked up solid and have a 6 mo. waiting list. This much demand tells me that this type of thing is hard to find here.

What about a storage unit? I've heard of people doing this. Anything else I'm not thinking of?

Thanks guys!
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
I called the city police and apparently, the noise ordinance here is in her favor. If a cop can hear it from the street, at all, I'd get a $100 citation.
that's so strict it's hard to believe! are you talking about after a certain time? in my city, you can't make noise after 11pm, but up to that point you can as long as it's not excessive. what does your neighbor do when neighbors mow their lawns or work on their cars? does she call the police on them too?
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
that's so strict it's hard to believe! are you talking about after a certain time? in my city, you can't make noise after 11pm, but up to that point you can as long as it's not excessive. what does your neighbor do when neighbors mow their lawns or work on their cars? does she call the police on them too?
It is...but that's what I was told by police dispatch, on the phone. It's *almost* worth the $100 to test the theory. A solution to this is going to cost more than that.

This woman has fixated on me and is simply taking out her anger on the nearest, most convenient target. Apparently, it's just her personality. When I moved in, I made a point of going around to all surrounding neighbors (including her) and asking them if I'd be a bother...when would be the best time, etc. etc. All said it wouldn't be a problem at all, don't sweat it. The garage is pretty well done...a lot of sound isn't getting out. My bedroom is 6 feet away and connected by an over-hanging roof...and my wife says it's barely audible in there - not enough to even think twice about it. My wife has *very* sensitive hearing...won't let me practice in the house for this reason.

Also, this neighbor was completely rude and aggressive from the start. She didn't approach me politely and ask me to stop, she made a very big, dramatic scene from the first complaint...complete with a bright flashlight in my face. After ten minutes of talking her down to a relatively calm level, she realized I wasn't a bad guy. The first time (at 8pm) she claimed it was because her bedroom was too close...and she "just needs it to stop!". OK, fine...I made it a point to practice from 6pm to 7:30pm, instead. Now she says she "has just had enough!". Zero tolerance.

She's maybe 45...married, and lives alone w/ her husband. They have no kids, they do nothing all day but hang out at home...so I think her sensitivity arose because I'm disturbing her relative calm, all day long. Upon asking all other surrounding neighbors a second time, many with kids (even babies), all say they cannot hear it inside their homes.

I'm extremely frustrated. $1000 down the drain on the materials for reducing sound leakage...plus two weeks of hard labor. Band rehearsals have ground to a halt. Practice isn't fun, even when I brave it, because it always ends in a threatening pound on the door or phone call, now.

But...it is what it is. Now I need somewhere to go.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Well, the laws varry from state to state, and city to city. Out here, if the sound is reasonable, you have until 10pm.

I'd say, rather than renting a new place (which will be a financial drain), re evaluate your practice room.

My 1st attempt to make a sound proof room was no where near as sound resistant as I thought it would be. After reading some some books, and doing some research, I discovered where I had gone wrong.

You can also get a decible reader, and take some measurements from outside your room and see where you really stand.

There is also a good chance it's not the volume, but just the low end that getting out and being a bother.
 

mcbike

Silver Member
some cities are really bad. When I lived in denton a noise disturbance was defined as any noise that disturbs someone. That was it, not scientific definition, you just have to complain and thats it.

I've practiced in a storage unit a few times, it gets really hot in the summer, really cold in the winter, but besides that it was a good place. Some storage units have lockout hours so you might not be able to go drop off your gear after gigs.

I've tried everything to be able to have rehearsals in a house, and it never works out. We even tried running direct without amps and using headphones. it's just not the ideal situation you want to practicing in and in the end it didn't work out.

now I have a rehearsal studio 24 hour access, heated, cooled, secure, with a loading dock. it's worth the extra money. I can't stand practicing at peoples houses when I know that neighbors are being disturbed, or the cops are going to come out at any minute. they are usually really pissed to have to be responding to noise complaints instead of real crimes.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Is it possible to set-up a music room on the opposite side of your house from hers? Also, is it just you practicing, or a band?

As for a storage space, it is typically 'no bands', and I'd be hesitant to tip anyone off that there are instruments stored there.

While your neighbor may be overly-sensitive, I also don't like someone else's sound coming into my house (however I wouldn't call the police during normal hours.) It's nice that you're trying to work with her, and I'm sure your other neighbors appreciate it as well.

My next door neighbor is a drummer, and his practice room is next to mine. No complaints so far!

Hmmm... maybe you should give the lady a kit?

Good luck,

Bermuda
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
have you checked the actual city ordinance about noise? it seems to me that if you're practicing in a sound proof room in the early evening and the noise is not loud, then the law is probably on your side. if that's the case, then she can complain, but she can't get you fined or legally ordered to stop.
 
R

Random Name 123

Guest
I'd show her some real noise. Set up your kit outside her front door and wail away.

Of course, that would achieve nothing. But it'd be funny.

Or you could play very quietly, it's great for dynamics.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
that boise ordinance doesn't say anything about time of day. it's way more strict than the ordinance in my city. she may have you there!

i know you said you don't like electronic drums, but that's what i use for practice at home. most of my neighbors don't even know i play drums.

my band has a rented practice space that was designed for that purpose. it's great! there's a drum kit and PA set up there all the time. we even have a refrigerator and a private bathroom. you could live in it in a pinch, and in fact some band members have done just that when they're in trouble with their wives or girlfriends.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Is it possible to set-up a music room on the opposite side of your house from hers? Also, is it just you practicing, or a band?
I thought about this...there's an extra bedroom on the opposite side, in the front of the house. However, I'd have to deal with the neighbor on that side of the house. They have kids and are also home all day (unemployment is pretty evident!) - and it may not even solve the problem. The irritated neighbor will no doubt still be able to hear it outside...an it'd definitely be audible from the street.

While your neighbor may be overly-sensitive, I also don't like someone else's sound coming into my house (however I wouldn't call the police during normal hours.) It's nice that you're trying to work with her, and I'm sure your other neighbors appreciate it as well.
Ironically, her son is a drummer in a band that tours (or so her husband says). She may have put up with a drummer in the house for years and finally has her peace now...not sure. I understand...but also I think she's being unreasonable.

Hmmm... maybe you should give the lady a kit?
Good idea! I thought about gift-wrapping some ear-plugs and bringing them by. That might send her over the edge.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
that boise ordinance doesn't say anything about time of day. it's way more strict than the ordinance in my city. she may have you there!
Yep, she's got me. I confirmed it w/ a phone call to the BPD dispatch. I'd get a $100 citation for each call.

my band has a rented practice space that was designed for that purpose. it's great! there's a drum kit and PA set up there all the time. we even have a refrigerator and a private bathroom. you could live in it in a pinch, and in fact some band members have done just that when they're in trouble with their wives or girlfriends.
Ha! Actually, I just got off the phone w/ a storage place just a few miles away. I'm going to swing by there after work. Climate-controlled, indoors, security cameras, the works! It'll cost me but it's the best hope I have now...and can get back to rehearsing w/ the band.

A ray of (expensive) hope!
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
A ray of (expensive) hope!
man, i hope that works out for you! you'll get super spoiled real quick once you get a practice room set up. we share our space with two other bands, but we all know and trust each other so it's cool. that helps keeps the cost down. we also use our band earnings to pay for the space, so it's really not too much of a burden.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I would check the oridinace word for word. In my area there is no particular times but whether or not you are being a nusance. Maybe call the police and have them come by, stand outside and advise you as to whether or not it is a nusance.
That's an excellent idea, so that you - and the neighbor - can know exactly where the line is drawn. Do it with her, so that she can appreciate your willingness to cooperate, and the police can tell both of you at the same time whether the volume is unreasonable or not.

Once that's officially established, you can both get on with your lives.

Bermuda
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
man, i hope that works out for you! you'll get super spoiled real quick once you get a practice room set up. we share our space with two other bands, but we all know and trust each other so it's cool. that helps keeps the cost down. we also use our band earnings to pay for the space, so it's really not too much of a burden.
I already am, which is why I need this! ;) That's a great idea...maybe I can get bandmates to pitch in, or share w/ other musicians. I'll keep that in mind, thanks.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
That's an excellent idea, so that you - and the neighbor - can know exactly where the line is drawn. Do it with her, so that she can appreciate your willingness to cooperate, and the police can tell both of you at the same time whether the volume is unreasonable or not.

Once that's officially established, you can both get on with your lives.

Bermuda
My drum teacher recommended an approach like this, as he went through the same thing w/ his neighbor a few years ago. After being told that if they can hear it at all from the street, I'd be fined, I kind of gave up...especially since she has been so hostile and uncompromising, so far.

We plan to move out anyhow. We're not crazy about the house and this experience has helped sour it as well, so it just may not be worth the extra effort.
 

jim_gregory

Senior Member
I don't get why you discount using an electric set out of hand. I have my reasonably inexpensive roland TD3 kit set up just like my 5 piece pearls, hook my laptop to it with my MP3 library and have a ball with the headphones on. My wife hears the occasional tippy taps and thumps but the neighbors definately don't. Plus my band practices here in the evening (with me on the pearls) and we shut down at 10 sharp. My neighbors are tolerant and I work to keep it that way.
BUT, even if I coudnt play the acoustics here the electric kit is a fantastic alternative.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I don't get why you discount using an electric set out of hand. I have my reasonably inexpensive roland TD3 kit set up just like my 5 piece pearls, hook my laptop to it with my MP3 library and have a ball with the headphones on. My wife hears the occasional tippy taps and thumps but the neighbors definately don't. Plus my band practices here in the evening (with me on the pearls) and we shut down at 10 sharp. My neighbors are tolerant and I work to keep it that way.
BUT, even if I coudnt play the acoustics here the electric kit is a fantastic alternative.
Jim, did you see the thread a while ago about handling the transition to acoustic kit for people who practice on e-drums? Most people found it took a while to adjust when they first got back on the acoustic kit after pracising on e-drums.

Then there's simply some people who dislike the e-kit sounds and only an a-kit will do it for them.

Zambizzi, I can't practice at all either and I'm contemplating getting a e-kit because it's better than nothing. Most times I get bored on the pad pretty quickly too.

I thought all jurisdictions set time limits and decibel limits for noise complaints. I suspect your regional council will have their rules on the web. I looked up some info on my state's noise rules: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/noise/neighbourhoodnoise.htm

Table 1 about halfway down the page shows the time limits.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
I don't get why you discount using an electric set out of hand.
I had one, I hated it. I played on it for 3 mo. straight and when I went back to hitting the acoustic, it sounded and felt terrible. I think they're fun but they're just not for me, for routine daily practice.
 
Top