Practicing in an apartment

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Lovebown, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Hey all
    Here's my scenario, I just started playing double bass and have been able to practice at any time and at "any" volume (unamplified) pretty much. Problem is I'm moving into an apartment fairly soon. What can I do to "mute" the bass, or prevent the sound from going through to other flats as much??

  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I usually talk to my neighbors, tell them about my noisiness and find out when the noise is least likely to bother them. I also give them my phone number and tell them to call me if I'm getting on their nerves. I've found that the general rule of thumb to follow is 10am-10pm is noisy time. This might not work if you live above an insomniac that works 3rd shift.

    I haven't gotten a call yet.
  3. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Ok thanks a lot... I'll look into all that.

  4. Or, find yourself an Electric Upright Bass and a pair of headphones.
  5. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I live in an apartment, and I haven't had any problems as of yet. The best thing is to be careful about when you practice. When it's late, I find that to be the best time to work on mezzo piano!

    Great tips though Ray. Thank you, I may need them!
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    The whole idea, and this works on a lot of levels in life, is to put a face on the enemy, in this case, you.
  7. Mike A

    Mike A Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Now... this is just a suggestion. Keep in mind that I don't own or play an URB, but common sense says...

    Try resting the endpin (is that the correct term?) on something that will cushion it (rubber block or similar - I've seen people stick a work boot under it, looks like the URB is standing on one foot.)

    Anyway- the idea, if you don't get it already, is to break the direct contact with the floor that could actually amplify the noise you're making to neighbors living below you, or even beside you, depending on your situation.

    As I said, I don't know alot about URB's, but I would think that unless your apartment has VERY thick carpeting, this could go further to dampen the sound than any sort of "muting" on the output of the bass itself.

    Just an idea.
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    From time to time I do practice arco in the middle of the night i.e. 2am, but I work on getting a steady sound and control at ppp. My sister lives under me and has yet to call about this wee hour of the morning bow flexings. :D
  9. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    one of the big heavy rubber practice mutes can go a long way towards making one soft sounding.

  10. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    I live in an apartment and have never had any problems. I play predominately arco. It will depend on the apartment you're moving into as well. I live in a 2 story with one apartment beside me and one below me so I always practice upstairs. I guarantee you the neighbors would rather be annoyed by your beautiful grooves than some chump cranking the hip hop at midnight. :)
  11. Mazinger

    Mazinger Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2002
    I've had more problems with the units above or below me than next door.

    Just try to practice in the living room and not in the bedroom. Generally in multiple floors the floorplans are the same. So if you play at night in the living room there's less chances of bothering people who are trying to get some sleep since you're not directly below or above them.
  12. Baron von Basso

    Baron von Basso

    Nov 3, 2002
    I usually stop at 9pm. Technically the lease states 11 as quiet time, I think. You may find something in your lease that'll cover your butt if a neighbor complains. If I play late, the big rubber practice mute goes on and a towel may even go under the bridge. Just keep Strauss and Mahler for the afternoon.

    I've had no complaints yet. I think that the constant thundering of the neighbor upstairs that caused my FLOOR to shake sometimes by walking across the room probably masks the sound anyway.
  13. I live in a dorm and get complaints with my electric all the time, during the day!@ I always obey quiet hours. I was practicing a little loud for a while, and the main thing I have to say is dont let anyone tell you to turn it off, or stop. Always compromise, if it comes down this far, because you have just as much right being there as they do. Just be reasonable, and nice, and if they call or complain, they wont get mad...If you obey quiet hours, and practice at reasonable volumes, there shouldnt be any problems. Also, If it becomes a problem, ask your neighbors when theyre not going to be around, and practice then.
  14. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    When I was a young (yeah, right!) aspiring bassist I devised the following: I rigged up a little booth made of moving blankets (sides and ceiling). I put the bass' endpin on a pile of carpet squares, and I could play any time without a mute. I had a student over one time and he played while I went outside the booth and listened. Maybe 20% of the sound escaped. The sound inside is so dead you hear every little imperfection in your playing. Hmmm...perhaps this is why I changed careers.
  15. edge83


    Apr 12, 2004
    Astoria New York
    Hi Arnold- would you (or anyone else who knows) mind explaining this in a little bit more detail.. I'm not clear on how the booth/blanket thing would be set up. Thanks