Stephen Shaw
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Practicing Music When You Live in an Apartment

Are you a budding musician who’s living in an apartment? Need to practice those scales, but worried about your neighbors pounding at your door asking you to keep it down? Some people might think that the words ‘apartment’ and ‘musician’ won’t go hand-in-hand. While it can be a problem, don’t worry about it. It’s not the end yet. Here are tips to help you maintain a good relationship with your neighbors while attending to your craft.

Check Your Contract

Does your lease contract say anything about music or practicing a musical instrument? Some apartments provide a time window when it’s okay for you to practice. The last thing we want is your practice time violating your lease. Also, try to get the ground floor apartments if you can as it limits the impact on other people. If it doesn’t state anything about playing music then let’s proceed to the next tip…

Talk to Your Neighbors

Before moving in (if you haven’t yet), introduce yourself to your neighbors. Take time to know them. In that way, they’ll get a glimpse of your life and learn about your hobbies. Keep communication lines open by providing them your number so that in case you lose track of time, they can give you a call. It may be a small gesture, but it shows that you actually care about your neighbors’ personal space.

Choosing the Right Time to Practice

If your neighbors have been informed of your hobby, then I guess it’s all settled now, right? Well apparently, you also have to choose and consider the best time to practice. You simply can’t play your drums in the wee hours of the night, especially when everyone else is fast asleep. The last thing we want is an angry fist pounding at your door.

Observe proper apartment etiquette. Most tenants are out and about with their daily lives by 10:00 a.m., and they don't return home until 6:00 p.m. Though you also need to take into consideration afternoon time as well. Those who do not need to go to work or school may take naps in the afternoon.

Consider Mutes, Headphones, and Other Accessories

Mutes are also widely available for other instruments such as bass, piano, violin, etc. If you do not like how mutes change your instruments’ timbre, you can get yourself a pair of quality headphones instead.

Resort to Room for Rent

If talking to your neighbors is not possible, then perhaps this is the best time to run those research gears and be creative. Look into your community if there are available rehearsal rooms that you can rent out. Perhaps you have friends who are also musicians. You can ask if you can rent out their extra space (like a garage or basement) for a reasonable price.

Soundproof Your Space

Soundproofing your home may be your last (but not the cheapest) option. Music can be someone’s way of life or an incredible hobby for others. Soundproofing your apartment can keep peace between you and your neighbors.

Playing an instrument doesn’t require you to be anti-social. It’s just about finding the right approach. You need not be afraid of being ‘that annoying neighbor who plays the piano/guitar/drums’.

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