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Rock On: Guidelines for Practicing Music in Your Apartment

It doesn’t matter if you play the guitar or the glockenspiel, the drums or the double bass. When you practice in an apartment you may end up with a neighbor (or two!) banging on the shared walls. And chances are they aren’t keeping the beat for you. That doesn’t mean you must give up your music though. All it takes to keep the peace in apartment living is a little communication and consideration.

Talk to Your Neighbors

It seems like a logical assumption that practicing during the day or early evening is OK with everyone. But your neighbor might work graveyards and sleep during daylight hours, or have a small child that still takes naps. Find out what kind of schedule your closest neighbors keep and work out a time to practice that’s convenient for everyone. If you are practicing for an upcoming gig, consider offering your neighbors free tickets.

Mute Your Instrument

There are several ways to dampen the sound of instruments without compromising the integrity of your jam session. Use headphones for electric guitars or keyboards, place rubber pads on your drum set, or use the quiet pedal on a piano.

Decorate With a Purpose

Soundproofing the room where you practice can also minimize the disturbance level to those around you. Acoustic panels come in a variety of styles, including abstract art, so your apartment will be as fashionable as it is functional. Certain window treatments such as blackout curtains not only reduce thermal loss for greener living, but also reduce noise coming in and out of your apartment. Outfitting your doors with acoustical door jamb seals will absorb even more sound.

Don’t Hold Band Practice in Your Apartment

A single instrument is usually tolerable. But when an entire band is rocking out? Well, heads will probably roll. Check to see if your community has a common room away from other apartments that you can reserve for weekly practices.

How do you deal with music practice and apartment living? Share your strategies in the comments below.