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How late is "too late"?

Philly123

Member
Messages
185
This is a question I find myself contemplating frequently and wondered what about others' views. I haven't been playing for very long and feel sure that I would make much faster progreess if I practiced more than I do. Currently, I only have the opportunity to practice a little at weekends and one or two evenings during the week. However, I find that by the time I get home from work, sort dinner, kids, etc. it's about 7:30 pm. I have a self-imposed 'curfew' of 8:00 pm so often don't feel that it's worth getting set up for half an hour, so may go a whole week without picking the thing up. I've been wondering if it would be unreasonable (to my neighbours) to play beyond 8:00 pm, bearing in mind that the sounds I produce aren't always very pleasant:blush:.

What do people think .. how late do you play?
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
A lot depends on the nature and type of house -detached, semi, terraced, apartment/flat etc. If you have a shared wall with your neighbour, can you practise in a room that doesn't have a shared wall, for example?

If you have immediate neighbours, I would say that at 8pm you're being extremely considerate! Beyond 9.30 (again assuming neighbours) it might be worth having a chat with them - may not bother some people.
 

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
Sounds like you're in more or less the same situation as I am. I guess it's best to talk to your neighbors, ask them how loud they hear the instrument and if it bothers them. If they've got kids running around the apartment, the telly's on and so, they might not even notice, provided that you don't play at full blast. When it's not winter, I go play outside to play the sax every now and then. The trees have not complained so far.
 

dubrosa22

Senior Member
Messages
413
My cutoff is 8.30 weekdays and 9.30 weekends. My baby doesn't mind since I play outside in my soundproofed shed so noise isn't too bad. Mostly those cutoffs are there to ensure I get time with the wife :)

Find out who your neighbours are and feel about your practise times.

I get home late from work too, 7ish, so having a 8.30 cutoff keeps my daily practise times to around 50mins. Better than nothing, and I can setup and packup really fast now!

To motivate you plan each day's practise the afternoon before. Works for me.


Sent from my Xperia
 

Philly123

Member
Messages
185
Hi, I live in a semi-detached, retired neighbours with no kids. I wouldn't want to ask my neighbour what he would find acceptable as he knocked on my door at 7 am one morning to say that my alarm clock had woken him up! Maybe I'll stretch it to 8:30 - 8:45 and see if anyone complains. It would be good to be able to extend my opportunites to practice.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,096
30 mins daily with occasional longer sessions will keep your chops going. Much better than not playing at all.

I live in an end terrace. My neighbour appeared at the door one afternoon. " Uh Oh!" He asked me what the name of the tune was I was practicing. He knew it and couldn't remember the title and it was doing his nut in.

A few years ago I decided to take up electric guitar. In the middle of a practice session the door bell went and I found him at the door. " Nah then Duane Eddy" I was in the middle of apologising and not realising it was so loud when he produced an effects pedal. " It's broke but you fix things don't you" I fixed it. It's a great thing to have understanding neighbours.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
25,923
Hi

Short regular practise sessions are better than none at all. Can you keep your sax out on a stand to speed things up. I would slowly increase the sessions and see if you get a reaction, I think beyond 9.00 would be unreasonable but up till then should be ok, especially if there are no young children.

Jx
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I have similar problems. I find that practicing late isn't very effective, as I'm tired and things don't go so well.

But 30 minutes a day, every day is really the minimum you should do.
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
All local councils have a department which monitor noise pollution etc. They have guidelines on 'reasonable noise' between certain hours of the day. Normally, the evening hours are actually quite late such at 10pm or even 10.30pm weekdays. It might be worth asking them what the local guidelines are and then you can work within that parameter.

Reasonable noise is apparently to allow people to go about their normal day to day and includes music as well as drilling, hammering etc.

Perhaps if you do meet the neighbours, you could ask what they would like you to play. The sound of the sax is, after all, far more pleasant than an alarm clock!
 

Philly123

Member
Messages
185
The sound of the sax is, after all, far more pleasant than an alarm clock!
That's debatable ... have you ever heard me playing?!!!

But off work today because of the snow, kids not at school but out making snowmen, so should definitely get some hours in today.
 
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MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
Hmmmm, I can't remember who the quote was from, but someone on here will help with this ........... someone said that if you sound good while you are practicing, then you are practicing properly and only sticking to what you already know.

I still vote that the sax is far more pleasurable than any alarm clock I ever encountered (guess I'm just not a morning person in any context!).

Half hour is still far better than none. Go for it. You deserve your time and your fun!
 

Philly123

Member
Messages
185
Thanks everyone, your responses have been very encouraging. One less excuse for me to hide behind.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
You may need to adjust your post work routine so that your practice happens fairly soon after you get home, rather than being the last thing you do after all other tasks/chores are completed. Practicalities apart you may be too tired after doing all your tasks. I'd suggest having a 20 minute slot early on , and a later slot (up to 20 mins.). It is likely that you will be more efficient with your time, and less likely to be demotivated. (look up Transactional Analysis - Life Scripts - "Until")

Kind regards
Tom
 

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
722
Hey Philly, you should come to the Gate on Mondays 6 until 8, that'd be 2 days sorted. I sometimes wait until the girlfriend gets home at around 7 and grab 30..60 mins while she sorts out the sproglets for bed but if that's not an option, on occassions I leave my Sax setup on a stand, as mentioned above, so if you did that you could make good use of that 7:30-8 slot you have. That's my 3rd and sometimes 4th practice sesh covered and well there's no exuse on the weekend is there.
Good Luck
Mark
 

saxplorer

Senior Member
Messages
879
My cutoff is 9:30. Anytime I feel a bit guilty I remember when the neighbour's son was learning electric guitar and drums. I was a little shocked though when the next neighbour but one remarked at a Christmas do ... "your sax is coming on then". Nice of him to be polite! >:)
 

Ruby

Member
Messages
75
I think leaving the sax on the stand is definitely a good idea, this saves time. My cut off time used to be 8pm but I gradually extended it over time to see if any complaints and now my cut off is 10pm. But I'm aware of what's going on around and if I hear 'cross-sounding' footsteps thumping up and down next doors stairs, I practice a bit quieter or do something else like listen to some other players, look at players on you tube, or check my sax over, clean it etc. Even just doing scales or patterns without making any noise is doing something.
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
The local council sets the standards and if the neighbours starts complaining then you might receive a letter from the council...
It would be better to have a word with the neighbours first to find out if they are annoyed by your sax noise - sometimes they aren't bothered - maybe it is you being a bit too self conscious? - but if they are then it is worth to find a compromise e.g. stipulate a specific daily time of "sax noise" e.g. from 7pm to 9pm - so they know what to expect....

Still, you might get one of those sax mute - or give a pair of these to your neighbours :):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&...vpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&ref=pd_sl_5r0lftm7x7_b
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
It would be better to have a word with the neighbours first to find out if they are annoyed by your sax noise - sometimes they aren't bothered - maybe it is you being a bit too self conscious?
My response here may seem a bit controversial - experience and academic qualifications present a slightly different perspective.

I would actually caution against asking your neighbours in advance. The way the human mind works, this could give them the subconscious message that you are giving them permission to complain for things that may actually never really be an issue (minor matters for everyone on a normal day to day), and they may not even have considered were a valid reason to complain at all before. Ultimately this could then extend into much more than just complaining just about the sax. No point in alerting them to an option that isn't necessarily or realistically relevant until the idea is put in their heads.

If I were to check with anyone at the outset, it would be entirely focussed on what is considered 'reasonable noise' by my local council policies so that I can work within these guidelines. There is a boundary of infringement that your neighbour must also never cross to restrict YOUR choices in lifestyle too. Then, and only when, if the neighbour complains I would consider negotiations of what they would feel more comfortable with, and this would have to be a two way street rather than they decline permission for you to play at all!

Hope that makes sense to you all. :)
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
My response here may seem a bit controversial - experience and academic qualifications present a slightly different perspective.

I would actually caution against asking your neighbours in advance. The way the human mind works, this could give them the subconscious message that you are giving them permission to complain for things that may actually never really be an issue (minor matters for everyone on a normal day to day), and they may not even have considered were a valid reason to complain at all before. Ultimately this could then extend into much more than just complaining just about the sax. No point in alerting them to an option that isn't necessarily or realistically relevant until the idea is put in their heads.

If I were to check with anyone at the outset, it would be entirely focussed on what is considered 'reasonable noise' by my local council policies so that I can work within these guidelines. There is a boundary of infringement that your neighbour must also never cross to restrict YOUR choices in lifestyle too. Then, and only when, if the neighbour complains I would consider negotiations of what they would feel more comfortable with, and this would have to be a two way street rather than they decline permission for you to play at all!

Hope that makes sense to you all. :)
controversially....I see and approve your point.
My ex neighbours (from hell) did complain to me first and then via the council (so, I wasn't trying a compromise in advance) - when I got the letter, I then complained myself to the council about their noises at 3-4am (lot of shouting and screaming etc. - gods know what was going on...) - the council found out that my neighbors had similar problems in the past and that previous dwellers didn't complaint about my sax (not a single complaint from anyone since I moved in).
In the end, I solved the case by having a proper word with them - I explained them about their noise and that I was entitled to mine and proposed a sax time between certain hours - if it worked with such nasties it should work with anyone (they've left for good now anyway).
 
Messages
51
Actually, I'm leaving an expert to answer this. All I know is I've played my sax around 9:00 pm once. And no neighbors came complaining the next day.
 
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