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How to balance home life and bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Growler, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Growler


    Sep 26, 2004
    Background: My fiancee lives with me and we both work 9-5 jobs. As a 'living alone' bachelor I used to practice 1-2hrs every night instead of watching tv etc after work.

    How did you guys make the transition? I don't support my life via music but it's more of a hobby... I've already got headphones and such. Were your wives ok with the "I'd like to practice bass X days a week for Y hours in the spare bedroom"?

    Any hints tips?
  2. Get used to spending less time playing bass, and spending more time 'together'.

    Or become single again. lol

    My wife and I have been married/dating for >9yr, and I still get the "you spend too much time in bands and not enough time with me" guilt trip every few months.
  3. Baron Von Vik

    Baron Von Vik

    Jun 11, 2010
    Somewhere in Arizona
    Mojo FunkBasses
    I just say "I have to go practice." She understands. I don't really schedule it out, like "6 pm Wednesday thru Thursday, Sundays 1 pm to 2" or anything like that. When I have free time, I let her know I'll be making a little noise.
  4. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Hopefully she is cool with it or enjoys it. My last girl REALLY liked my playing, she like picking a song and seeing how well I could play it off the top of my head. I used it as a bonding time instead of making it something that separated us more. However she was way too needy so things didn't work out...but the bass playing had no negative effect on it!! :D
  5. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Anything you do that displaces TV watching shouldn't have to be further justified in my opinion. :)

    I share an apartment with my GF and for her sake (and the sake of neighbors) I almost always practice with headphones. (Went through a heck of a process determining how best to do that--but that's another thread.)

    If your significant other is a little on the clingy side (has difficulty letting you do your own thing for a couple of hours), that's a whole other can of worms.
  6. hotrodjohn

    hotrodjohn Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2009
    "Now listen honey, it's either me or that bass!"

    Sure gonna miss that woman.....:meh:
  7. jgroh


    Sep 14, 2007
    Stay up after she goes to bed. Thats what I do and I have two young kids on top of a wife (not literally of course)
  8. Lee H

    Lee H

    Nov 30, 2011
    Redding CA
    When I was younger,I had a larger problem with a race car...

    I heard the comment "I think you love that car, more than you love me." more times then I could count..
    just FYI...never get irritated and agree with that statement. You will regret it
  9. mikeddd


    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    This thread really hits home for me, as I live with this issue every day. My work day is roughly 13 hours including commute. Bass is a hobby for me but I'm always looking for a band to jam with in the spare time I don't have. LOL!

    I'm married and have a 2 year old at home. As soon as I hit the first note, the baby runs in to "play bass with Daddy." I encourage this b/c it's music and of course I want him to play bass. :D But b/t him strumming the strings while I'm playing (it's cute, yes, but gets old quick) and twisting the knobs on my amp and pedals, it's difficult to practice at all.

    Combine that with having a woman at home (Notice I didn't say "needy woman" b/c that would be redundant) and jam time is a thing of the past. Hoping to get a band together so I can get out of the house and PLAY.

    So unfortunately, I have no good advice to give you, Growler. Suffer like the rest of us. ;)
  10. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Just make sure to give her some "her" time, and then you can go practice. Anyone who truly loves you will give you the space to be the person you are. (btw, you should see my soprano wife and I trying to balance out who practices when!)
  11. The best part about being an adult is the ability to be candid with the one you intend to spend the rest of your life with. Talking to your significant other can go a long way. Does she have hobbies? Encourage her when she shows interest in something that she wants to do. Sometimes, you may have to do something else aside from practicing, this is where making effective use of your practice time comes into play. Have a routine laid out before you practice, know what you are going to practice and for how long and it should be easy.

    My wife is a marathon runner. She goes out on training runs often for a couple hours at a time... guess when I practice.
  12. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Pro tip: When your significant other complains about your hobbies--the same hobbies you've always had since before you were together--ask her this: "did you just meet me?" Don't over use it, but I find that the strategic asking of this question will make her slink away in shame, embarrassed at her own shrew-like behavior.

    Pro tip: anyone who takes relationship advice from me should have their head examined. Twice divorced! :)
  13. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    Others have alluded to this, but try having kids as well!
    So, consider yourself that much more free than I am.
    My wife is a marathomn runner as wll, so she can relate to me NEEDING to play bass. She has no problem with it being a proority in my life, BUT it is still really hard to eke out time in the week at all.
    We try to calendar as much as possible so there are no suprises.
    Often I will stay up after she goes to bed. I know she doesnt love that, but sometimes I have to.
    Come home, give her "the goods" ;)and then go practice!
    Good luck!
  14. if your doing right by her (you have to ask to be sure)

    then she shouldn't care if you practice when you have an hour or two to burn...

    for me it's all about scheduling "Quality time" with wife ... and if that quota is filled i don't have problems with an hour of practice several times a week. infact she ask "are you going to practice tonight" ... a lot :) ...

    that is usually my key to put in a tv show or play a game or something before practice.
  15. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    I just say: I am going downstair to practice, sometimes if I am in the mood I will crank the amp up and play really loud for few minutes, then I will go upstairs and say something like: How that sounded? :) My wife likes me playing bass rather than watching TV .....the hardest part is when you have kids, they demand way more time, thats why I usually practice from 5 am to 6:30 am when everybody is sleeping.
  16. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    What works for me may not work for you. I have always done my practicing while my wife was doing her work out.

    That said, I recently quit all my regularly performing bands to be home more. I didn't want to do 9-1 gigs. My decision. I have always tried - pretty successfully I think - to balance home and gigs. No pressure from my wife at all. I felt more pressure from my kids - 5 and 2. They didn't like when I had to go to rehearsal or to gig. I didn't either. It won't be long before they won't want me around so I'm staying home for now. There will always be a band or gig, they don't stay young and cute and wanting to snuggle daddy forever.
  17. ebonalley


    May 17, 2010
    I'm a bass hobbyist with a wife and kids. After we put them to bed my wife likes to decompress for an hour on the internet. That is when I practice. We then reconnect for some evening tv or a movie. My kids still go to bed pretty early though and I keep the volume down.
  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Everything in marriage starts with one rule: TALK ABOUT IT. As long as you've decided mutually how this will work, it should be cool.

    If you want to practice an hour a night (IMO that ought to be plenty, because you're not single any more), then discuss it. Work out a time that's mutually agreeable. Be willing to move the time when she needs help with something. Don't use practice as a reason not to help with things like doing dishes or cleaning off the table.
  19. Great advice, so far, by the way.

    I practice bass under only 2 conditions:
    1) Wife is at a Dr. appointment, shopping, etc.
    2) I am at rehearsal with the band, which is across town.

    I just cannot have productive practice time when she's home.
  20. kellyrojo


    Feb 16, 2011
    South Carolina
    Man it sounds like some people got it rougher on here than I have it. I guess I am lucky but my fife (future wife) has all sorts a hobbies that keep her busy (capoeira, yoga, surfing, sewing) as me. She has never complained about my playing although maybe I should get a headphone rig...hmmmmm.
    Guess I better go tell the old lady "thanks for lettin me practice!"

    My only advice is as long as your practice volume doesnt affect whatever she is doing than she needs to be okay with it....If you are really a musician and really want to make it work with her than this has to be the arrangement. If its not then something will have to give---and you will not be happy. Believe me. I have had friends give up music, surfing, traveling whatever for a lady and to a man they are always unhappy without the things that stoke their soul. The key is fiinding the right way to tell her---good luck!

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