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Where To Practice?


yfried
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I am taking concertina lessons and am very motivated to practice.

This morning around 9:30 am I decided to practice in my back yard.

There is a lot of foliage between me and my neighbor.

About 5 minutes into practicing the piece I am currently learning, I looked up to see a calico cat staring at me through the leaves. It then left.

 

Shortly after that, a fellow comes walking out of his house dressed in blue jeans and no shirt. He's kind of looking to see where the sound is coming from. I said, "I hope I wasn't bothering you." He replied, "well, it is a little early; actually I was just trying to figure out what was making the noise."

 

There is a university here in town where I live. They do have music rooms. I suppose I could play there to my hearts content knowing that I'm not disturbing anybody else's sound space.

 

Have you had any experiences like this?

Where do you practice?

 

Yvonne

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I usually practicing in my room but unfortunately I have to share it with my sister so if she's doing coursework I have to find somewhere else. The living room is the normal alternative but sometimes there's another person watching tv in there and in the dining room is where the pc is and thus my brother. I've tried practicing outside in the garden and found it too...noisy. With various neighbours deciding to suddenly start mowing their lawns. But for the most part I stick to my room. Although I've been practicing the same song for a couple of days now and on the same beat the door downstairs slams every time. lol!

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I am taking concertina lessons and am very motivated to practice.

This morning around 9:30 am I decided to practice in my back yard.

There is a lot of foliage between me and my neighbor.

About 5 minutes into practicing the piece I am currently learning, I looked up to see a calico cat staring at me through the leaves. It then left.

 

Shortly after that, a fellow comes walking out of his house dressed in blue jeans and no shirt. He's kind of looking to see where the sound is coming from. I said, "I hope I wasn't bothering you." He replied, "well, it is a little early; actually I was just trying to figure out what was making the noise."

 

There is a university here in town where I live. They do have music rooms. I suppose I could play there to my hearts content knowing that I'm not disturbing anybody else's sound space.

 

Have you had any experiences like this?

Where do you practice?

 

Yvonne

 

Annoying the neighbors is par for the course.

 

Have some respect for their social times. ;) ;)

 

I'm at home during the day whilst they are at work. So that works.

 

Trouble is though that now they are also pensioners and are also home during the daytime. And go to bed very early.

 

They say it's nice to hear the tunes, but I try to keep it down to a minimum when learning a new tune.

I mean, it annoys me, so what must it be like through the wall after twenty mistakes or so. :angry:

 

You could try the bathroom with the water running to (sic) drown the sound. :lol:

 

Good luck it's not easy.

 

Chas

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It is a problem isn't it....

 

I've resorted to going out to the car and settin up shop in the passenger's seat. Close the window and have at it ;)

 

Our cottage is not large and since I get the urge to play early in the morning (5:00a.m.) and in the evening, the car saves frayed nerves. For my family, it's the phrases I repeat over and over to get just right that drives them crazy.

Edited by Mark Evans
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The soundproofing in a car is excellent, though the elbow room may be a bit restricted (try practicing a flute in one!). If the car is in a garage it's even better and doesn't look so daft.

You don't have to be a driver, just have permission to sit in the passenger seat :-)

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I am taking concertina lessons and am very motivated to practice.

This morning around 9:30 am I decided to practice in my back yard.

There is a lot of foliage between me and my neighbor.

About 5 minutes into practicing the piece I am currently learning, I looked up to see a calico cat staring at me through the leaves. It then left.

 

Shortly after that, a fellow comes walking out of his house dressed in blue jeans and no shirt. He's kind of looking to see where the sound is coming from. I said, "I hope I wasn't bothering you." He replied, "well, it is a little early; actually I was just trying to figure out what was making the noise."

 

There is a university here in town where I live. They do have music rooms. I suppose I could play there to my hearts content knowing that I'm not disturbing anybody else's sound space.

 

Have you had any experiences like this?

Where do you practice?

 

Yvonne

Hi Yvonne

 

I would be a lot more aggressive on so many levels. When I noticed him, I would have said a neighborly good morning and stopped there. Let him initiate the complaint instead of offering an apology in the first hello.

 

9:30 in the morning won't even raise an eyebrow if he decides to complain. An unamplified instrument is nothing during the day. 6AM maybe, but not 9:30. If you were mowing the grass with a loud motorized mower,he wouldn't have a leg to stand on. If you were sunbathing with the radio on, he probably wouldn't complain either.

 

I would NOT allow a neighbor tell me what I can or cannot do on my own property, especially if it was legal. You've done nothing wrong. You shouldn't have to seek out an acceptable place to practice away from your own home.

 

Chance are once he realizes he can't bully you, he'll go away. Another couple of weeks, there will be snow, and closed windows, so play at home. As you get more skill in playing, it will become less "noise" and more pleasant.

 

People like that just P$$ me off. If he were on the East coast, he could have wound up with a couple of broken knee caps. Like I said, more aggressive on so many levels.

 

Thanks

Leo

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I work on a ferry, being the night watchman for 12 hours a night. I take my truck with camper onto the covered car deck. I have a folding lawn chair I place out on the deck. After doing all the cleanup I sit in the chair and play to my hearts content. The steel ship produces a beautiful reverb (think of the world's biggest shower stall). I've had a mink, several otters, seals, sea lions, and the odd heron come by, curious about the sound I would imagine.

 

Lately I've been working on Rod Stewart's "Sailing". It seems rather appropriate, considering the circumstances, but is surprisingly well suited to the concertina. If the wind blows I just move the chair into the lea of the truck, put on a jacket, and have at it. If it's raining and blowing I move up to the lounge or wheelhouse, but they are carpeted, so no reverb, just spectacular views (well, in the summer at least). The upper decks are a great place to play as well, especially in the winter when the shooting stars are active on clear nights (i].Apologies for this edit, an irrelevant paragraph about playing my harmonica missed the post, so it was a bit out of context)[/i]

 

The strangest thing I did was to take my concertina paragliding, on a bet. I have a ridge I soar over here about 2.5 miles long and 500' high. I can cruise around 800'-2000' and if the wind is about 17kph SSE, I'll slowly crab along about 800' above the road and forest (1200' ASL). I played the three tunes I knew, but the wind sucked the sound away, to my ears it sounded really bland. Normally I have eagles coming around, but they stayed away that day, probably more to do with my god awful playing.

 

I took a digital recorder (an H2) with me with a wind sock in place, but the recorded sound was terrible, nothing but major wind rumble and disturbing thumps and scrapes, as I touched it constantly. It did pickup the sound of my vario beeping away, but that was right next to it on my instrument deck and the concertina sounded way off in the distance.

 

Anyone else have a weird place you've played?

Edited by RustyH
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I am taking concertina lessons and am very motivated to practice.

This morning around 9:30 am I decided to practice in my back yard.

There is a lot of foliage between me and my neighbor.

About 5 minutes into practicing the piece I am currently learning, I looked up to see a calico cat staring at me through the leaves. It then left.

 

Shortly after that, a fellow comes walking out of his house dressed in blue jeans and no shirt. He's kind of looking to see where the sound is coming from. I said, "I hope I wasn't bothering you." He replied, "well, it is a little early; actually I was just trying to figure out what was making the noise."

 

There is a university here in town where I live. They do have music rooms. I suppose I could play there to my hearts content knowing that I'm not disturbing anybody else's sound space.

 

Have you had any experiences like this?

Where do you practice?

 

Yvonne

Hi Yvonne

 

I would be a lot more aggressive on so many levels. When I noticed him, I would have said a neighborly good morning and stopped there. Let him initiate the complaint instead of offering an apology in the first hello.

 

9:30 in the morning won't even raise an eyebrow if he decides to complain. An unamplified instrument is nothing during the day. 6AM maybe, but not 9:30. If you were mowing the grass with a loud motorized mower,he wouldn't have a leg to stand on. If you were sunbathing with the radio on, he probably wouldn't complain either.

 

I would NOT allow a neighbor tell me what I can or cannot do on my own property, especially if it was legal. You've done nothing wrong. You shouldn't have to seek out an acceptable place to practice away from your own home.

 

Chance are once he realizes he can't bully you, he'll go away. Another couple of weeks, there will be snow, and closed windows, so play at home. As you get more skill in playing, it will become less "noise" and more pleasant.

 

People like that just P$$ me off. If he were on the East coast, he could have wound up with a couple of broken knee caps. Like I said, more aggressive on so many levels.

 

Thanks

Leo

 

Where do you live? In the States? :blink:

The major common sense in the States is: your neighbor is your best friend. You will be aggressive - you'll suffer the circumstances. Legal-shmegal, it doesn't matter in making friends with people around you, and they may save your life one day.

A concertina has very sharp and piercing sound. Many other instruments, louder: piano, horn, drums may not bother people. Strings generally are very pleasant, even beginner fiddlers are not as annoying as the beginner's concertina "myauing", repeating phrases over and over.

I'd go into a car, as Mark suggested, and will not brandish the Bill of Rights. It works other way around too and you don't want lawyers to regulate your everyday life.

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I work on a ferry, being the night watchman for 12 hours a night. I take my truck with camper onto the covered car deck. I have a folding lawn chair I place out on the deck. After doing all the cleanup I sit in the chair and play to my hearts content. The steel ship produces a beautiful reverb (think of the world's biggest shower stall). I've had a mink, several otters, seals, sea lions, and the odd heron come by, curious about the sound I would imagine.

 

Lately I've been working on Rod Stewart's "Sailing". It seems rather appropriate, considering the circumstances, but is surprisingly well suited to the concertina. If the wind blows I just move the chair into the lea of the truck, put on a jacket, and have at it. If it's raining and blowing I move up to the lounge or wheelhouse, but they are carpeted, so no reverb, just spectacular views (well, in the summer at least). The upper decks are a great place to play as well, especially in the winter when the shooting stars are active on clear nights. But my fingers do get cold quickly on those nights, so I've taken to wearing sailing gloves that don't have finger tips, they're great, but do take some getting use to.

 

The strangest thing I did was to take my concertina paragliding, on a bet. I have a ridge I soar over here about 2.5 miles long and 500' high. I can cruise around 800'-2000' and if the wind is about 17kph SSE, I'll slowly crab along about 800' above the road and forest (1200' ASL). I played the three tunes I knew, but the wind sucked the sound away, to my ears it sounded really bland. Normally I have eagles coming around, but they stayed away that day, probably more to do with my god awful playing.

 

I took a digital recorder (an H2) with me with a wind sock in place, but the recorded sound was terrible, nothing but major wind rumble and disturbing thumps and scrapes, as I touched it constantly. It did pickup the sound of my vario beeping away, but that was right next to it on my instrument deck and the concertina sounded way off in the distance.

 

Anyone else have a weird place you've played?

 

 

Hi Rusty (and Yvonne),

 

Your mention of "the world's biggest shower stall" reminds me of playing at the stern of a ferry on the way home to Orcas. There's a sheltered area with wooden benches which is generally deserted and more or less protected from the wind. With steel decks above and below the reverb was wonderful; exactly like singing in the shower. It did wonders for my confidence!

 

In the summer it's too crowded; in the winter it's too cold; but that particular day was perfect. Thanks for a fine memory.

 

Cheers,

Molly

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Hi Rusty (and Yvonne),

 

playing at the stern of a ferry on the way home to Orcas. the reverb was wonderful; exactly like singing in the shower.

 

Cheers,

Molly

 

One of my most enjoyable times practicing the concertina was on the ferry to Friday Harbor. The sound is great and the scenery superb!

 

Yvonne

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I'm surprised that nobody suggested that you try to play quietly.

It's good practice to learn to control the instrument and to find

different dynamics and ways of expressing the music. You don't

always have to play at peak volume. The concertina isn't the pipes.

It's capable of shades of volume. Learning to play quietly as well

as at full tilt will teach you how to control the instrument and make

you a better player for it.

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I'm surprised that nobody suggested that you try to play quietly.

It's good practice to learn to control the instrument and to find

different dynamics and ways of expressing the music. You don't

always have to play at peak volume. The concertina isn't the pipes.

It's capable of shades of volume. Learning to play quietly as well

as at full tilt will teach you how to control the instrument and make

you a better player for it.

 

Ah, David....that doesn't really work at my house. All musicians with hearing that is very accute. When they've had enough of me and the Morse even in the upstairs bedroom playing ever so softly, I've gotten the knock at the door...."How much longer?" :(

 

I often go to work two hours early were my office is the stone chapel where we hold our chamber music series. Having the sun come up and hit those stained glass windows is....not bad a' tal. ;)

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Hi Molly,

 

Our benches are extruded aluminum constructs. Highly unromantic places to perch the derrier. And in winter, well, freezing one's butt off is a cold hard reality.....lol

 

My wife's violin teacher is interested in coming down on a calm evening with her students and trying out the acoustics, should be fun.

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Public parks are good until it gets too hot or too cold.

 

And definitely, practice rooms at your local university.

 

My only time to practice is when my 3-year-old daughter is asleep -- which means I can't leave the property. Our new house is also very small. However, our main floor bathroom has the world's loudest exhaust fan -- you could not hear Armageddon when that thing is on. I may try to practice there -- if I can hear myself over the fan!

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Mark, that's an interesting dilemma. There are studies that have shown that it isn't the actual volume that people find annoying

but the perceived intrusion or imagined lack of consideration. So if the neighbor's radio is on, even at a relatively low volume,

the irritation factor is much higher than a passing airplane or more intrusive street noise. I.e., the complaining person might be thinking,

"why is he having all the fun?" or "why does he get to practice his damned concertina while I have to do the dishes?"

There probably would not be a complaint were you to be typing or mowing the lawn.

It isn't about the noise, per se. Your house mates are objecting to something else that they find irritating.

That's as much psychoanalysis as I will offer this morning.

No charge.

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Mark, that's an interesting dilemma. There are studies that have shown that it isn't the actual volume that people find annoying

but the perceived intrusion or imagined lack of consideration. So if the neighbor's radio is on, even at a relatively low volume,

the irritation factor is much higher than a passing airplane or more intrusive street noise. I.e., the complaining person might be thinking,

"why is he having all the fun?" or "why does he get to practice his damned concertina while I have to do the dishes?"

There probably would not be a complaint were you to be typing or mowing the lawn.

It isn't about the noise, per se. Your house mates are objecting to something else that they find irritating.

That's as much psychoanalysis as I will offer this morning.

No charge.

 

Yes, I think you are right and do appreciate the gratis insight. However, revenge or maybe redemtion is on the way.

 

Dominique who will not practice her singing in the house unless everyone including me is gone, has taken up the fiddle. Three weeks in and she asked me to play with her, Christmas carols and a few Quebecois fiddle tunes. Of course I'm very happy at the turn of events. We knocked off over an hour of music making yesterday, even playing a few over the phone for her mother.

 

Oddly enough, she has no problem warming up and practicing with us in the house. Gone totally mad for the instrument she has. The kids...one hits the computer and the other dissapears into the basement to play video games. Our bulldog seems to approve of our efforts...and of course her mother.

 

This has renewed my secret fantasy of a family band....won't hold my breath.

Edited by Mark Evans
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