Miscellaneous Rumbles

Loud Music in your Neighborhood

1

I'm lucky, I guess, I live in a cul de sac where I can open my Garage, plug in and wail away. (as long as its not after 9 on weeknights), and the Drummer isn't here . Then there's also my next door neighbor whose Band rehearses on Sat night until midnight or so. Its very well accepted and complimented around here. I don't have a music room so I'm strictly relegated to the garage (fine by me btw) Electric-wise. So the question is...…..what's the scene in your neighborhood? Do you get complaints?

2

No bands in my neighborhood. A neighbor three doors down plays a Strat a little but I have never heard him. I play in a small bedroom and have received no complaints. I play acoustically half the time, especially if the windows are open, and rarely play loud electrically. We used to have Party Central across the street but they calmed down. It’s just a quiet, sedate neighborhood.

3

I’m not in a band but I play in my garage with the doors closed. I’m pretty sure neighbors can hear it but I try not to play too loud. I don’t play after 9:00 PM or before 9:00 AM. When a friend from NYC is in town we jam but he like cranking the amp. It can get hot but I keep the doors closed anyway because I don’t want neighbors to hear. I mean I’m sure they can hear but I don’t want to be too loud where it may bother them even though my buddy only visits twice a year. It’s more like I don’t want to be notified more so than I don’t want to bother them. They may hear me with doors closed but I won’t be as noticeable as if doors were open.

Now music from other neighbors, well, I’ve heard drums from maybe a few houses down but not in a few years so I think it was a teen who did drums for maybe half a year and gave up interest and stopped. Just the other day I heard a saxophone from across the street. High school kids live there so I think it’s one of them just picking up the instrument. Sounds like a beginner.

I don’t hear any bands playing here though.

4

A few years ago the rental house next door became home to a pair of rule-breakers who essentially decided that their need to stay well-intoxicated trumped everything else in the neighborhood and at the same time excused all manner of strange and oft-times very rude behavior. Neighbors witnessed the husband falling off his sundeck, the wife unconscious on the kitchen floor, and one memorable day, an enormous, completely unattended bonfire in the back yard under the overhanging maple and dogwood trees on a hot July afternoon (while the couple made yet another beer run) , plus other antics, more than one episode of which required police/fire/paramedic attention in some combination or other.

One fine spring day, the husband decided he needed to have his "tunes" outdoors, so he began moving some fairly large stereo equipment onto the deck, humping the oversize speakers up on to the railing (for better projection, I suppose). He'd already boasted that his "setup" included a "200 watt" amplifier and he promised to "crank it up" for me.

Well, two can play that game, I thought to myself.

I went down to the music room, grabbed my 2wheel dolly and the two decent size speaker boxes from the band's PA system. They were Peavey 3-ways (passive) and the large horn on top visually dominated them as I slung the 28" high boxes (with some difficulty) up on my own deck railing, making sure they pointed over the fence directly at his deck. Then I went back downstairs and returned with a pair of 500W PA amps and my smallish 8 channel mixer...

Before I even began to wire things up, I noticed his speakers had mysteriously disappeared. Shortly thereafter, his stereo amp and CD player also returned to the inside of the house and the blinds were drawn across the window.

I left the speakers in the sun for a short time, then put them away.

While his antics continued for several months afterwards, there was never any loud music heard from his house.

Don't really understand why.

5

"TURN IT DOWN!"---Moms everywhere.

Haven't had a cop show up to the door since the '60s. I lived in a college town. I'm a professional sound guy. I can win any volume war someone else starts. Girl downstairs started playing disco full bore. I countered with 2001's "Also Sprach Zarathustra".

Guy in the apartment next door had a party. Till 4AM. On a Wednesday. I countered with the William Tell Overture at 7AM.

I had a mariachi band that would practice next door. Fine by me. Nice guys. Someone else always called the cops on them, tho.

All of my noisemakers are in our finished basement. No issues with the neighbors. Most noises are from our busy street. Ambulance and fire trucks are one thing. Car stereos, loud pipes on cars and trucks and motor cycles are another. Can someone tell me why mopeds and scooters are noisier than Harleys? I can be pretty much as loud as I want to be (not all that much anyhow unless I'm playing keys) unless we've got the grandkids sleeping .

6

We practiced at full stage volume in the basement. When that's not happening, "sessions" can, and do, happen all over the house. Front porch, back yard, at the grand piano in the living room, or in any one of our bed rooms. "House of Noise" isn't just a name, everyone knows it's our house.

We also have neighbors who party til 2AM during football games, weekends, etc...

So we all have an understanding, and nobody complains about the others.

7

Out here in NV the main Breaker Box is always on the outside of the home. Must be Code. All the larger Amperage things and Wall Outlets, not the hard-wired, overhead, interior House lights.

My Realtor tells the story of having to call the Police after several attempts to get the neighbor and his Band to turn it down after 10pm. It was so loud, no one could hear to answer the door...

Imagine the surprise when the Cops just went to the side of the House and starting flipping breakers until the noise ceased!

8

I have 1 neighbor who has complained a couple of times (just me playing my amp, in the house, when the wife is away I turn it up)... BUT... I politely told him he's got no room to complain, with the rest of us putting up with his son the DRUMMER, playing every day, with the windows open, for 5-6 years before he went off to college. And we NEVER said a WORD, because I GET IT- I'm a musician.

Frankly, I'm surprised he had the balls to say anything. But he's a jerk (long story, I've helped him and his family in the past, and he just wants more, without returning the kindness).

For the most part, I play however loud I feel like. Just not early morning or late at night, and if I'm loud I won't leave the patio door and windows open, out of consideration.

But then, honestly- we are talking about musical instruments (and stereos) here, but the same can be said of LEAF BLOWERS, etc. The same neighbor has no problem leaf blowing at 8:30am, or at dinner time when the family is out on the patio enjoying dinner. Passive-agressive much?

9

The one noise that I can't deal with is the ongoing fireworks. Since they semi-legalized fireworks here in Indiana (no one obeys the actual law) it goes from May to August. 4th of July is fine, but when it just happens when someone has a whim, it can be disconcerting to vets like me. It brings back memories I'd rather not relive. The critters and I just have to hunker down in the bunker.

10

We rehearse at a low volume, drummer brings a snare and a hand drum. I like it that way, as does my hearing.

11

Leaf blowers make me crazy as well.Hair dryers come in a close second.Neither one of these contraptions is in anyway necessary. It never fails when we're at a beautiful park enjoying some natural beauty and some park employee comes along with a leaf blower to blow the leafs in one direction, only to have a second come by later to blow it in another.

12

I had the distinct honor and pleasure of having the cops called on us several times in high school when the band set up and practiced on the front porch, because why wouldn't you? Usually they sat across the street and listened for quite awhile before they came up. Since they didn't have recording dB meters, I can only assume it was because they loved the music. Right?

My parents didn't feel the same honor and pleasure at the recognition.

When we stayed in the GARAGE (actually a many-doored former horse barn), where we belonged, I don't recall any neighborly neigh-saying. Dad rented one of the garage bays to the chief of police, who lived across the street, to store his off-duty Mustang. Maybe he's the one who called the cops.


Shades of "Pleasant Valley Sunday," it was common at the time to hear bands playing from near and far, enhanced accordingly with the drama and majesty distance confers, in most small towns. Now that I think of it, it's something I've rarely heard since the 80s.

Through my adolescent and teen years, the local swimming pool was 6-7 blocks away; when the wind was right, I could hear kids making noise from our yard. So when they had live music at pool parties, it was clear and detailed. One band, JD Blackfoot, included Craig Fuller, later of Pure Prairie League. Another was Damnation of Adam Blessing, a durn fine Cleveland band I remember fondly. The last band I recall hearing, probably summer of 1972, actually covered Yes's "Roundabout," "Long Distance Runaround," and "Heart of the Sunrise." Sounded great settling naturally in the air from that distance. Big.


I played for years in loud bands that practiced in basements, garages, family rooms all over numerous towns in southeast Ohio, with nary a neighbor complaint I can recall. Club owners occasionally asked us to turn down, though. The one time I hosted an "Old Musicians' Home" jam on my back porch, we invited all the neighbors for blocks around to make it a party, so no problem.

A kid practiced drums in the old garage next to that house, and we heard him quite clearly - but I never complained. We were awakened one night by sirens, flashing red lights, and firetrucks visiting the house which owned the garage; looked out and saw the metal chimney for the kid's dad's new woodstove glowing cherry red and shooting flames into the night. Their windows flew open, smoke and hissing ensued, and some time later four firemen carried the stove out onto the lawn. The punch line: guy was a fireman himself.

Which has nothing to do with loud music.


My son-the-drummer made much noise in the process of learning, and also rehearsed in the basement with his high school rock bands - which, given the progress of sound systems, had become exponentially louder in the decades between my garage band years and his. Again, I don't recall any neighbor complaints. Mywifehismother, of course, played the noise police role with complete dedication.

In every small town I've lived, we could always hear the school marching band going at it for hours after school - and during football games. (I think of this because Nate played quads in that band, which are not only loud themselves but wrecked his back.) As marching band contest season has gotten longer and more competitive, there are more such noisome occasions. I wonder if anyone complains about that.


When we lived in the cabin on 9 acres, I played epically loud wherever I wanted and whenever I wanted (as long as mywifehismother wasn't home). Never a complaint - and I know the neighbors could hear, if they cared, because neighbor Danny (dubbed unofficially the Sheriff of Koontz Rd, though he only worked for the county highway department) would occasionally show up with a beer in hand (and obviously several more deep down inside) to listen. He loved it. While his preference was classic and southern rock, he swayed right along to the weirdest noise fests I could summon.

And he would have had no call to complain, as he was a gun guy with a distressingly early wakeup time and regularly shocked the country peace with apocalyptically loud blasts from what sounded like cannons, but I guess were muzzle loaders and the like. Shotguns, big-bore rifles, you name it. By the time he got down to .22s and handguns, they sounded like pop-guns. I take sleep more seriously than it takes me, and usually get my most satisfying zzzs in the midmorning. What a joy it was to be slumbering away (sometimes on the upstairs porch) and BOOOOOMCRACK. Then I'd be bolt upright, eyes wide and heart pounding. Just Danny with a beer and some just-legal piece from his arsenal, having target practice.

I eventually got "used" to it, but Cheryl and Toto the Dog never did. Toto eventually stopped reacting at all - to Danny, my playing (he'd usually leave the room), even fireworks (which he'd always hated). We finally realized he'd gone deaf. Danny's headed that way, always had to turn his good ear toward you in conversation.


There were other memorable noise-from-a-distant-source events from my country sojourn. Bloomington Motor Speedway was MILES away, but we could always hear the races. Once a year, the nudist colony across the valley (adjacent to where the new I-69 went through and adjoining the now-defunct sawmill where I got rough Indiana poplar branding boards) threw a dance party, usually featuring a pretty-decent classic rock band, the Nudie Blues. We'd hear that pretty clearly.

And a few years ago, a campus organization sponsored a rave on a vacant field a half-mile from us, with a techno DJ I later learned is internationally famous for the volume and crystal clarity of his sound system. (I looked this up after the "music" started and for the first time in my life I was literally frightened by volume, thinking of the Kate Bush song about a machine that could produce sound to kill from a distance.) I've been to loud stadium shows, and upfront in clubs where it was stupidly loud, but this was a dimension beyond that.

This was like the mothership coming over the mountain in Close Encounters after you've seen the cute little flying saucers. This shook the earth more, and more often, than any of the blasting from the quarries, or the work on the interstate the contractors had gotten us to sign waivers about. The volume of this "entertainment" could be felt through the body, messed unpleasantly and threateningly with my heartbeat, knocked stuff off shelves. It was as clear and clean as sitting 3 feet from a pristine audiophile stereo, with zero distortion - but loud as thunder and damnation. I think the website bragged that the sound system was 585,000 watts...which seems like a lot.

Of course they'd gotten a permit (though neighbors for many miles around asked afterward how, and it will sure never happen again), and the apocalyptic volume did stop abruptly at promptly 10 PM. Afterward it diminished to merely loud, like a rock band practicing down the street - a blessing at the time. That may have lasted to 1 AM, but nobody cared about that.


In my current living situation, with living quarters and studioffice in the basement of a 3-story converted neighborhood grocery store, we rent the storefront to a community group for frequent meetings, and two apartments upstairs. I no longer have a taste for brutal volume, hoping to save what's left of my hearing - but I'll still gravitate to something between 85 and 90 dB if permitted. Despite a reasonable commitment to soundproofing during the remodeling process, that's still loud enough to make it upstairs (and, if mywifehismother is to be believed, down the street).

Despite that, no neighbor has ever mentioned it - even when I've played with doors open to air out the hovel. I don't play (very loud) when I know there are meetings just 10 feet above my head, but I don't completely refrain either. They've never mentioned it. To (unsuccessfully) prove a point to MWHM, I've asked the upstairs tenants; they claim never to have heard me.

In short, only one person in the whole uningverse now complains about my volume. All I want to do in my golden years is play guitar and record. All she wants to do is not hear it. If I'm as loud in the studioffice as the TV is in the room next to it (on the other side of 4 layers of drywall with Green Glue sound-absorbing mastic and insulation between)...I'm too loud. Actually, it seems if she can hear me at all, I'm too loud.

Especially if I'm playing anything that "throbs" - modulation of any kind, be it tremolo, vibrato, regular repeating delay, Bigbsy wobbles, pitch bend, etc. You know, anything which makes guitar life worth living. Apparently such features, which are intrinsically so psychologically comforting to me, drive her "up the wall."

I've given up, as one eventually does. I rarely turn on an amp if she's home. I've invested in great headphones, come to (agreeable) terms with modeling and profiling for "final" amplification, and moved sonically inside my head.

God forbid I should confirm my continuing existence by making a sound.

(In fairness, if my left arm and responsibilities permitted, I'd play all-day, every day, except when I'm waxing a car. And it's rarely songs all the way through. It's sonic, textural, and musical experiments, parts, repetitious practice. I guess there can be too much of a thing. If I haven't played - or she hasn't heard me - for several weeks, and I suddenly start up again, she'll come in and say it sounds nice. That tolerance lasts for awhile. Maybe the rest of the time it's just a fatigue bred of familiarity.)

Really, the headphones are fine. I went through college moving in stereo that way.

13

I had practice sessions in my garage for years and we cut off at 10 pm. once a week. Never had any issues until a new neighbor moved in and actually called the police on us at noon on a Saturday when he was prepping the house before moving in. It was a rare Saturday afternoon practice. We normally did Tuesday or Thursday Nights. I was blown away. The guy threw rocks at my garage one evening from to properties away. Unbelievable.

We began renting a place shortly after. We still have a rental place in the Basement of an old Historic Courthouse downtown. It sucks to pay rent but it's a pretty nice spot and we are currently recording a new project in there.

14

That's funny, Tim. If you make it to the roundup, I'm begging that you turn up as loud as you want.

15

Until recently, I lived in a neighborhood way out in Maracopa County AZ, near Luke AFB. When I bought into the neighborhood, it was mostly active duty service members and Air Force retirees. It was a very quiet neighborhood surrounded by desert chaparral. Unbeknownst to me, I bought in at the beginning of a selling binge.

Very quickly, the original homeowners were replaced by a loud music and gun enthusiast population. The neighborhood began to take on a carnival atmosphere, with extremely loud R&R music all week long and extremely loud Mariochi music on the weekends all night long. Accenting the loud music, random gun fire filled the air (when blood alcohol levels were sufficient), with a lethal hail of lead balls. I began finding spent bullets in my swimming pool!

While I too enjoy loud music and guns, as much as any red blooded Arizonan, there's a time and a place for both. I eventually tired of it all, joined the trend, and sold the house. I bought a home in town, in a much quieter neighborhood.

17

Ruger's story got me fired up all over again. 11 years ago I bought a new Strat. I played it loud enough where you could barely hear it from the street. This was in a house we were renting before we moved to our current house.

In a moment I stopped to run upstairs to because I just "felt" something....I actually got curious because I didn't care much much for where we were (south shore of Long Island)....I didn't trust "something".

Anyway, I walked outside a split second after some jackweed threw an egg at my car. I was already in full sprint and made a leaping tackle right in the middle of the street. He didn't look good but his buddy got it worse as he egged me after the tackle. I'll leave it here but aside from my elbow and a few knuckles, all the "red stuff" on the street belonged to someone else.

I then called the cops, made the claim of self defense and they were still arrested for criminal mischief. I dropped the destruction of property charge.

18

This happened at the house. Redrocker and I were checking out a couple guitars in my garage one evening and someone was pounding on the garage door saying something about being kids in a dorm room and should be more grownup by now. The next day I saw the knocker and said he was welcome to join in and I hope I never get as old as he is (he's way younger). Fast forward about four years and the guy's at the schoolhouse looking to get work done on one of his guitars.

19

At my age, I consider it a badge of honor. My across the street neighbor, who is a horse's patootie anyway, called the cops on me a couple of years ago because I was out in my garage giving my '59 reissue a decent workout. That's all right. I blow my grass over in his driveway every chance I get. He can't blame it on me. It gets kinda windy in southern Oklahoma at times, don'tchaknow, and the grass blows whithersoever it wisteth.

20

You're a bad bad man, Richard.

21

Before I got married, I was living in a small apartment in the San Fernando Valley. The building was two story and my apartment was on the ground floor. To beat the traffic going to L.A., I got up at 5:00 AM and left for work before 6. Bedtime was around 10:30/11. I could handle 6 hours of sleep back then, catching up on the weekends.

A young lady moved into the apartment directly over mine. She would arrive home at about 11 PM from her job or lifestyle. She walked around on the heels of her feet. She walked around constantly. She also had a small dog and would play fetch with the dog at odd times. She'd turn in finally at around 2, after keeping me awake for a few hours. A few hours was half of my already limited sleep. After a week of this, I went up and spoke with her, very politely explaining the logistics and asking her to please keep the noise down between 10PM and 5AM. I told her that I would make an extra effort to keep my noise down while I was getting ready for work, because she was sleeping by then. The quiet lasted 2 nights and then it was back to the same old stuff.

After a few weeks of this, I started getting pretty sick. Ended up with shingles. Ten doctor appointments in fourteen days. I went and asked her again to please keep it down at night. Two more nights of quiet and then more of the same.

After I got better and returned to work, I changed my strategy. Every weekday morning at 6AM, I would tilt back my 2 15's, (with midrange horn) EV bass enclosure and lean it against the wall. Her bedroom was directly above mine. Plugged my Rick 4001 bass into my Acoustic 370 head (375 watts RMS?) and flipped the switch. Volume maybe around 5 or 6 (more than typical gig volume).

Theme from "Jaws" (on low E string).
E F E F E F E F E F E F E F E F E F ...

I'd keep playing until I heard her feet hit the floor. Then, I'd power down the amp and leave for work. We did a rinse and repeat for a few days until the night time noise stopped.

22

Some of you guys are baaaaad...... lol (they all deserved it!)

23

Oh I've had the renters volume challenge set before me once. I lived in a duplex and the guy next door would always play music loud when my newborn was trying to sleep. One day,My wife had left with the baby. The neighbor started i with his loud stuff so I put my 4x12 Cab and 450w Kustom tube head against the wall,pointed his direction. I never knew that pictures would come off the wall that easily.

Challenge accepted and I win!

24

Oh I've had the renters volume challenge set before me once. I lived in a duplex and the guy next door would always play music loud when my newborn was trying to sleep. One day,My wife had left with the baby. The neighbor started i with his loud stuff so I put my 4x12 Cab and 450w Kustom tube head against the wall,pointed his direction. I never knew that pictures would come off the wall that easily.

Challenge accepted and I win!

– Suprdave
25

I'm the only musician or better put, guitar player that isn't afraid to be heard in my neighborhood. I don't play loud as there is no need. Just last week I was out walking my elderly dog and a neighbor up the street and I stopped to talk about her and her age. He asked if I lived down the street, yep, bout 5 houses down. "Ya ever hear guitar playing down there"?? yeah all the time, It's me.

I received some nice compliments from him which is the only time anyone but my AH neighbor next door has ever said anything. "Jay, I don't like guitar and guitar music and its just too loud".. From a tiny VOX DA-15 which is my practice amp. I may have to light off the HotRod Deluxe to give him a real reason to complain...


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