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Control of volume of a drumset

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murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 22 Dec 99 - 03:15 AM
Liz the Squeak 22 Dec 99 - 03:48 AM
_gagoyle 22 Dec 99 - 04:27 AM
Lady McMoo 22 Dec 99 - 04:48 AM
Neil Lowe 22 Dec 99 - 07:45 AM
22 Dec 99 - 09:17 AM
Wesley S 22 Dec 99 - 09:59 AM
GeorgeH 22 Dec 99 - 10:06 AM
HiNmityLdy@aol.com 22 Dec 99 - 10:16 AM
tipper 22 Dec 99 - 10:32 AM
Mudjack 22 Dec 99 - 11:18 AM
kendall 22 Dec 99 - 11:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Dec 99 - 08:31 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 23 Dec 99 - 12:08 AM
_gargoyle 23 Dec 99 - 12:46 AM
InOBU 23 Dec 99 - 12:14 PM
Rick Fielding 23 Dec 99 - 12:19 PM
sophocleese 23 Dec 99 - 12:52 PM
emily rain 23 Dec 99 - 01:54 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 24 Dec 99 - 05:00 AM
gillymor 24 Dec 99 - 10:53 AM
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Subject: Control of volume of a drumset
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 03:15 AM

We have a neighbour who practices rock-style drums. They are really loud and we can feel as well as hear them. On the other hand, he sounds like he knows what he is doing and he is not just trying to break the drum skins. I tend to consider him a fellow musician rather than "the enemy". I want to go over and talk to him; but I don't want to say, "Hey shut up or go somewhere else!", because I know the need for practice. I would like to make some positive requests. What can a drummer do to reduce the volume he/she produces? There are two answers I can think of. One is to bang less hard; but maybe that ruins the style. Another is to go deeper into the house and close all windows, so you don't couple so much with the outdoors. Are rock drums amplified? Do they have pickups? That is, does it make sense to ask that the volume be turned down? If any of you have the problem from the other side, ie you need to practice loud and your neighbours complain, how would you like to be approached.

Thanks,

Murray


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 03:48 AM

There are practice pads available, which are electronically controlled, but give the same bounce and feel as a proper kit. These have volume control, but I have always favoured that good old standby, the craft or carving knife.....

Seriously, have you spoken with your neighbour? Do you play his style? How about arranging a jam session with him, by starting with something like - heard you practising the other night, how do you feel about getting together? - sort of thing. Whilst there, being friendly, you can just mention that it is very loud and......

If it gets too bad and you don't care about alienating him, just call environmental health, but they will recommend that you speak to him first, and it is always as a last resort that they want to be involved. How about suggesting a timetable, that makes you both happy, and is usually a good compromise.

LTS, who used to live next door but one to a rock drummer, so knows the problems. Never resort to earplugs.


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: _gagoyle
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 04:27 AM

It is no fun to practice if no one hears you

Noise is part of the drummer psyche....there are alternatives...but he will not do them....

It is best that you LEARN to appreciate his talents.


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 04:48 AM

I would agree with Liz's first idea, e.g. "...couldn't help hearing you practising as I was sitting at home the other night and, as a fellow musician was interested in...etc. etc.". He may pick up the hint without taking any offence. Otherwise maybe "...I must say I love your playing but these walls unfortunately seem paper thin these days..." (or some such words)?

This approach worked on me when I was a teenager (many years ago!)and, while playing my electric guitar, got on the nerves of a nearby rock drummer as it happens!!!

All the best,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: Neil Lowe
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 07:45 AM

I sympathize with your dilemma. I am a recovered rock drummer meself, and you are right.....loudness is part of the style. Drums are not normally electrically amplified in practice, so the volume he's getting is from the physical bashing he's giving them, and it's not the same if you don't beat the crap out of them. Playing softer is "jazz," or worse, "pop." For years my mother complained she couldn't keep a picture hanging straight in the house. We lived on a farm so there were no complaints from the neighbors. In the city, where do good drummers come from? Frank Zappa mused once.

Too bad he doesn't have a basement or a garage he could practice in. Another (rather expensive) alternative is to soundproof his practice room. Sometimes that can be done less expensively with foam rubber and egg cartons.

You could start by dropping subtle hints, like introducing yourself and telling him you're a musician yourself, which usually elicits a response such as, "You too? What kind of music do you play?" When you tell him your style, if he's astute he'll put two and two together and maybe realize that his drumming could bother you. But then again, we're talking about a drummer, so that may be a long shot. *BG*

Barring that, I see no other alternative but to diplomatically explain to him that, as a musician you understand his need to practice, but could he find a way to not share his drumming with everyone else? If you have laid sufficient groundwork first by establishing a professional relationship with him as a fellow musician, he may be more sympathetic to your request. As you have intimated in your post, tell him you appreciate his music and know that what he's doing is not "noise," but that on occasion you would greatly appreciate it if you and he could come to some sort of mutual agreement on the volume. Saying this with a smile on your face as you hand him a brewski as a peace offering might be a good idea.

If he's a totally unreasonable bloke, and I don't see who would be if you've been a complete gentleman about it, the last resort is to call the authorities. After all, his right to play loud in a domestic setting ends where your ears begin.

Neil (who plays loud electric blues, but would be amenable to a suggestion to turn it down if approached in a reasonable manner. Fortunately I live next to a couple of bikers who like to make noise themselves on occasion.)


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From:
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 09:17 AM

If I may offer another perspective...A GOOD drummer can play at low volume and still sound good...the first thing that I explain to any drummer I hire for my rhythm section is that excessive volume will get him/her fired immediately! (This has led to me being called many ugly names, but "that's just the way it is"...it's MY name on the marquee, and my band is not, and never has been, a democracy.)

My present drummer, Bill, when informed of this, explained that for lower volume, one simply uses lighter sticks and/or brushes. He also speculated that ALL "loud only" drummers are SELF-TAUGHT, as schooled drummers understand DYNAMICS.

Loud drummers (just like loud electric guitarists) eventually start going deaf, and just get louder to compensate.

BTW, we rehearse acoustically, with only the bassist (Chris) plugged into a (3 watt) amp, and Bill does everything that he does on stage, just softer.

Perhaps, suggest your neighbor take lessons from a good jazz drummer.


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: Wesley S
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 09:59 AM

I'm suprised that no one has offered to paraphrase this old electric guitar joke yet.

"The best way to get a drummer to turn down the volume is to put some sheet music in front of him."

Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: GeorgeH
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 10:06 AM

I wish the last contributor had given a name, 'cause so much good sense deserves to be attributed. And, more generally, it gives scope for a negotiated compromise - like trying to agree what times loud practice will be least intrusive, and keeping it quiet the rest of the time!

G.


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: HiNmityLdy@aol.com
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 10:16 AM

There are rubber pads for rhythm control and endurance. The electronically enhanced versions of the drums are expensive. Sound travels and maybe instead of encapsulating him, sound proof your home better. Sometimes a strategically placed bookshelf between yourself and the direction of the noise can help. Big stuffed chairs placed with an edge against the wall the noise is coming from can deaden sounds. Talking it over with him might make it more appealing, but not less noisy. When you gotta hit those drums a certain way for the sound to be perfect, you aren't going to think of your neighbor, even if he is gritting his teeth and growling. If it sounds like he knows what he is doing, it's because he dodged people who wanted to quieten him. Enjoy.......he could have been a beginner LOL


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Subject: Boston collage gaelic roots
From: tipper
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 10:32 AM

Any body attend the classes during gaelic roots at B.C.,and if thay were in Tommy Hayes and Myron Bretholz class on bodhran or Frank Hart's class :traditional Irish Songs?


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: Mudjack
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 11:18 AM

Yes, a good drummer can play quietly, but he's a ROCK drummer.(drum roll...please).
A fully padded room for the drummer and maybe a straight jacket for you Murray. (drum roll....please)
That's not drums you are hearing, it's a deadly weapon...(drum roll....plaese)
He's not only practicing bad drums but sounds like he needs to practice his neighborly skills. Bless your heart Murray.... you have more patience than I do. I'd be over there in a flash drumming a beat of my own. Decent neighbors should have consideration for their neighbors. You might try and bribe him.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: kendall
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 11:37 AM

You demonstrate your tolerence by calling him a musician.


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 08:31 PM

What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians? A drummer.

And so forth.

Seamus Ennis said the best thing to use for playing the bodhran was a penknife.

Perhaps you'd best move. Or get a hurdy gurdy...


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 12:08 AM

Thanks for the suggestions and sympathy. I was recently playing at a party with some people, one of whose brother is a drummer in a band. He accompanied us with just a brush. It was low volume and it really fit in. He made it sound something like like a washboard.

I like the idea of the "fellow musician" approach.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: _gargoyle
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 12:46 AM

Rock musicians MUST have the speed and the tempo and the ballistic velocity....there is no other way to practice....

However, I do know of drummers, (as far back as 50 years ago) that used pillows, inside and outside. But, this would require the luxury of two sets of drums.


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: InOBU
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 12:14 PM

McGrath! You beat (no pun intended) me to the Seamus Ennis story, I was inspired the instant I saw the heading...
Larry


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 12:19 PM

You could by a set of bagpipes and beat him at his own game!
Rick


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: sophocleese
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 12:52 PM

The fellow musician approach is a good one, I think. If he cannot play any quieter trying for mutually agreeable practice times might be the best approach. When my husband practiced his pipes in our backyard he tried for time when we figured no one would be napping. One neighbour complained so he started practicing in the park, if he leaves his pipe-case open he can even make some money. Found out later that other neighbours were bringing their friends and beers out to the porch so they could listen. In the winter though I have to fight the urge to try and drown him out with loud music in the kitchen while he plays in the basement. Fortuneately the upstairs tenant is usually away until later in the evenings.


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: emily rain
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 01:54 PM

they make rubbery pads for covering cymbals and the heads of the drums themselves... they dampen the sound significantly. i used to take naps while my roommate practiced. i think a full set of pads can get expensive, though.

also, you can stuff the bass drum with blankets/pillows/etc. without disassembling it, and that's the one that's gonna be knocking the pictures off the walls and the fillings outa yer teeth.

short of soundproofing the apartment, decorating with a lot of fabric and padding and carpeting and thick drapes will go a long way. the bookshelf idea is also a good one.

these are all things your neighbor should have thought of already. if he hasn't, you have a right to suggest them.


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 24 Dec 99 - 05:00 AM

Rick: Bagpipes are in a different league. You only hear them, you don't feel them.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Control of volume of a drumset
From: gillymor
Date: 24 Dec 99 - 10:53 AM

My buddy Ken brings his Roland electronic drums to my condo now and then and we jam (amps down low) with impunity till about 11:00 P.M. when Geoff and Laurie next door start banging on the wall. I'm not sure if the loudness gets to them or the monotony of hearing a 3 hour version of Green Onions. Ken's set is pretty pricey (around 2K) and he tells me that his unit with webs instead of pads give a feel similar to a real kit. It also has numerous presets and in addition to sounding like a number of different drum kits it also can emulate vibes, a marimba, congas, bongos etc. And it does have a volume control. Kind of an expensive stocking-stuffer though. Good luck.

Frankie


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