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View Full Version : Where do you practice your ukulele?



Miss Michele
09-23-2010, 07:00 AM
I guess my roomies don't like it when I'm practicing my ukulele. I'm a beginner, so I guess it could be kind of annoying listening to the same thing over and over again. I had one of them pounding on the wall this morning telling me to stop. It really upset me. So now I have to find a new spot to practice. Any suggestions? Where do you practice?

roxhum
09-23-2010, 07:16 AM
I am really sorry to hear that. Maybe you could talk with your roommates about when would be a good time and not a good time. They could turn on music or use an MP3 player. If you can't practice in the privacy of your own room... Talk to them and come up with a compromise.

Good luck.

Fuzzy
09-23-2010, 07:33 AM
Get them to play ukulele as well. Simple solution!

That said, I usually practice when no one is home. My wife, daughter, and I have an agreement; I won't play loudly, and they won't complain.

armytrucker77
09-23-2010, 07:36 AM
I understand all to well....my wife and kids hate when I practice...so i have to wait when they are gone to practice.....it sucks but i get my practice time in

rock_and_roll_camera
09-23-2010, 07:38 AM
I pratice in the living room, which sometimes annoys the girlfriend but luckily I work shifts so I get a couple of days off in the week so I can play as much as I want then. We have a spare room/studio but it's still under construction as its just full of boxes and things we haven't unpacked yet. So when thats ready I can play in there whenever I want while she watches her soaps!

It's a bit out of order though that your room mates won't let you practice. I don't see a problem if its during a reasonable time of the day? You're best having a word, explaining how much you wanna practice and see what you can work out? Also, atleast the uke is small enough that you can take it somewhere else to practice. I don't know what the weather is like where you are but you could always take it to the park? I'm guessing you're in college maybe? If thats the case maybe you could see if there are any spare/empty class rooms you can practice in at any times? You could maybe start or join a uke club?

All that being said, if you're really into the uke and it's something you're gonna stick at then maybe you could invest in something like an Eleuke or a Stagg electric or Risa Stick that would allow you to effectively play silently, with only you hearing it through a set of headphones. I don't know if thats an affordable option for you straight away but it's something to think about? Let us know what happens and keep practicing... It won't be long before your uke spreads it's happy Aloha feeling to all those around you! They are powerless to the mighty uke! :P

Mandarb
09-23-2010, 07:41 AM
I practice/play in my living room. My wife does not mind me strumming away as we hang out and watch TV. She does not mind hearing the same stuff over and over - it would probably drive me nuts if I was not the one playing.

rock_and_roll_camera
09-23-2010, 07:46 AM
I practice/play in my living room. My wife does not mind me strumming away as we hang out and watch TV. She does not mind hearing the same stuff over and over - it would probably drive me nuts if I was not the one playing.

That surely is a rare thing, you have a very understanding wife! I know what you mean though, it'd drive me nuts too! My girlfriend is always singing, and don't get me wrong she's a great singer, but sometimes she just sings the same couple of lines from a song... I have to grit my teeth and politely ask her to sing something else...

"Hey sweetheart, why don't you sing such a song... you sing that so well..."

Although she tends to just be quiet when she realises I'm listening to her...

GX9901
09-23-2010, 07:54 AM
I guess my roomies don't like it when I'm practicing my ukulele. I'm a beginner, so I guess it could be kind of annoying listening to the same thing over and over again. I had one of them pounding on the wall this morning telling me to stop. It really upset me. So now I have to find a new spot to practice. Any suggestions? Where do you practice?

I haven't ran into this problem much since there's enough room in my house to play without bothering my wife and kids (although my kids complain when I play near them while they are watching pre-school TV:p), but I think you can do one of two things: 1. Practice when your roomates are gone. 2. Buy a Risa uke solid or Bugsgear silent uke. A silent uke should be quiet enough not to bother your roomates.

Mandarb
09-23-2010, 07:58 AM
That surely is a rare thing, you have a very understanding wife! I know what you mean though, it'd drive me nuts too! My girlfriend is always singing, and don't get me wrong she's a great singer, but sometimes she just sings the same couple of lines from a song... I have to grit my teeth and politely ask her to sing something else...

"Hey sweetheart, why don't you sing such a song... you sing that so well..."

Although she tends to just be quiet when she realises I'm listening to her...

It is mutual - I am very understanding of her hobbies.

Ingrate
09-23-2010, 07:59 AM
..I have an electric solid-body 'uke for this. Use earbuds, and you are virtually silent.

jeff

rock_and_roll_camera
09-23-2010, 08:00 AM
It is mutual - I am very understanding of her hobbies.

She doesn't play trombone does she?

sukie
09-23-2010, 08:01 AM
I prefer to practice when no one else is around. I practice in the living room and have set up an area just for my ukulele stuff. All I have to do is sit down and play. But we are now empty-nesters so we don't have the room mate problem. GX9901 has good suggestions. If practical, a silent uke would be nice for you.

hoosierhiver
09-23-2010, 08:01 AM
I play outside alot, of course that only works half the year.

Scarboroughfair
09-23-2010, 08:12 AM
My problem is not having time at home to practice; getting home from work at 6:30PM, making/eating/cleaning up after dinner, doing one or two tasks around the house, a little TV time, and before I know it, it is 10PM and time for bed. So I haul my uke and some lesson stuff in my bag to and from work and practice during my lunch hour. Fortunately, I am in an office (actually a library) by myself so I don't annoy/drive crazy my co-workers with my chord progression exercises and song attempts. It has actually been an ice-breaker while waiting for the train; people want to know "what's in the little black bag?" Not good enough to practice ON the train yet...maybe someday. ;->

kenikas
09-23-2010, 08:13 AM
I used to take mine with me when flying, and I could practice in the plane while waiting for my passengers or in the hotel. But the plane I'm flying now doesn't have a place I concider safe enough to keep it in flight. My wife also gets annoyed when I play while watching tv (or pretty much any other time!!). So my practice time has been severly limited lately.

Ahnko Honu
09-23-2010, 08:26 AM
Do you have a park nearby that you can play at? I could understand their frustration if they were studying for a test and trying to concentrate. I play whenever I like with no problem but to be considerate of others late at night I play my Eleuke pineapple with earphones to keep the sound to a minimum. Favorite places to play are on my hammock in my lanai, on the dock in my backyard stream, at the beach, floating down the stream in my canoe, and while waiting for the fish to bite wherever I might have a line in the water.
I keep a 'ukulele in my truck for impromptu sessions.

musiccityuker
09-23-2010, 08:53 AM
I have always practiced in my bedroom... door closed. One thing that works well for me when others are home is to stuff a dry washcloth in the soundhole... deadens the sound enough to get rid of the "A" string" zing! My wife says it REALLY helps. AND.. I just purchased an Eleuke... and being able to play into the headphones is fantastic. I can sit in any room in the house at any time and it doesn't bother anyone! Play on!

hoosierhiver
09-23-2010, 08:59 AM
Take up the drums or accordian for a week or two. They will beg you to go back to playing uke.

mailman
09-23-2010, 10:01 AM
I practice in the living room, in my recliner, in front of the TV. It would be real macho to say that I'll practice whereever and whenever I want to, but reality requires a certain amount of respect for others.

My wife doesn't complain when she's in the room, but I try not to play then. I wait until she's outside, or upstairs or not at home.

I guess I'd have a hard time with it if she were to want to play uke while I was trying to watch TV (although she doesn't play), so I won't do that to her.

Try the wash cloth in the sound hole. It's a pretty effective mute for the uke....

brickerenator
09-23-2010, 10:31 AM
My siblings are all music-lovers, so we jam once in a while. And nobody minds unless they're studying or on the phone.

Mostly I practice in the garage.

Lori
09-23-2010, 10:31 AM
I play in my bedroom at my computer chair. We live in an apartment, and no complaints yet. My husband practices guitar, and neither one of use seems to mind hearing the other practice. When I am out on a job, during lunch, I play in my car in the parking lot if it's not too hot outside.
–Lori

Ingrate
09-23-2010, 11:46 AM
Take up the drums or accordian for a week or two. They will beg you to go back to playing uke.

LOL!
:biglaugh:

Lexxy
09-23-2010, 12:29 PM
I have to say you're unlucky with this roomie. My current roommate can't even bother to ask me to keep quiet when I play, we just act like nothing happens :P

There IS a way to keep the uke noise down though, (Although unpractical, but it helps, i guess) Strum with your knuckles. :/

Keef
09-23-2010, 12:52 PM
It's just me and Bob and he dosent care how bad I play as long as I am not tardy with his food :)
http://i921.photobucket.com/albums/ad54/Kempocat/ade397db.jpg

Ahnko Honu
09-23-2010, 01:29 PM
Nice pineapple and puddy, great combination. Bob reminds me of my old Maui wildcat Sam.

Sam & Gracie RIP
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v504/Ahnkochee/DOUBUTSU/NEKO/mini-SG1.jpg

itsme
09-23-2010, 01:51 PM
OP:

How early in the morning were you playing? If it's before your roommates normally get up, I could understand.

Were you singing as well as playing? If so, try humming instead.

Do they ever play the stereo or tv loud enough to disturb you?

As mentioned, you could have chosen to play something way louder and more obnoxious than a mere uke, like saxophone or trumpet.

Instead of stuffing a washcloth into the sound hole, try rolling or folding it up and placing it under the strings right in front of the bridge. A small piece of sponge would work, too.

I'm lucky that my husband doesn't mind my playing and we're in a house so it isn't loud enough for the neighbors to hear even late at night.

mailman
09-23-2010, 02:37 PM
It's just me and Bob and he dosent care how bad I play as long as I am not tardy with his food :)
http://i921.photobucket.com/albums/ad54/Kempocat/ade397db.jpg

We've got two cats; Ben & Jerry. Ben looks just like your Bob.

grappler
09-23-2010, 04:40 PM
I play in my room!
hehe

TCK
09-23-2010, 05:03 PM
I guess my roomies don't like it when I'm practicing my ukulele. I'm a beginner, so I guess it could be kind of annoying listening to the same thing over and over again. I had one of them pounding on the wall this morning telling me to stop. It really upset me. So now I have to find a new spot to practice. Any suggestions? Where do you practice?
First...room mate? Just go on practicing until they move out, never had a good experience on that road.
Next, get them Ukes.
I got lucky, my wife has endured the accordion, rhythm bones (OK, she hates those) and Uke was her idea, so I get to practice everywhere...though I sense she is not thrilled about the addition of the kazzoo to my repetoir

Miss Michele
09-23-2010, 06:09 PM
Rock and roll camera,

Thank you for your suggestions! I'm not in college. I just live in a house with some other people. I have thought about the park and I may do that sometime this week as the weather will be nice. I also thought maybe the community center or something like that might have a room that I can practice in. Thanks again!

mm stan
09-23-2010, 06:09 PM
Aloha Miss Michelle,
I too have a problem because I live in an apartment and I have a grouchy next door neighbor...it S*ucks..and he goes about grumbling about everything that everybody does in the building
that he don't like to the manager...so not to be rude and inconsiderate, I bought a captain backpacker uke for $135.00 got a pickk-up with it for an extra $19.00..seem to do the trick and
he hasn't been over yelling in my window...But I understand when they gumble, you get mad....because i did too...for sure, How dare them...right he he...As the other post stated, to muffle
your uke was inexpensive and good and smart idea..with a towel or t shirt in the sound hole....Good Luck!! and "Keep Strumming""MM Stan..
BTW-What happens when you get your amp????a whole new delimma...

Miss Michele
09-23-2010, 06:11 PM
Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I appreciate everyone taking the time to comment, and share your experiences! Love the cat pics too!

Miss Michele
09-23-2010, 06:13 PM
Take up the drums or accordian for a week or two. They will beg you to go back to playing uke.



hahahahaha!

Hippie Dribble
09-23-2010, 10:19 PM
hi Michele

Honestly?....




The throne. The bog. The lavatory. The thunderbox. The long drop. The porcelain bus. The out-house. The john. The dunny....with me yet???:o

Too much information probably for most but each morning in I trot with my ukulele...always sure to ask the rest of the family if anyone needs to go (as I may be indisposed for sometime). Lovely acoustics in the bathroom to be sure...and there I sit quite relaxed, having a good ol strum.:)

joeybug
09-23-2010, 10:21 PM
I practise at my desk, in my office...

Sorry you're roommates don't seem to share the passion of the Uke, hopefully that will come in time...

mm stan
09-23-2010, 10:35 PM
Christmas is coming along, get them on board with some dolphins...and watch them get addicted and then they'll understand...

clayton56
09-23-2010, 10:41 PM
I play in the car every day at work. That's partly why I took up uke - the portability.

As was mentioned, the bathroom is a good place. Walls are thin in a lot of places but bathrooms are usually double-walled.

joeybug
09-23-2010, 10:47 PM
Christmas is coming along, get them on board with some dolphins...and watch them get addicted and then they'll understand...

I agree with this...my god daughter didn't like my practising until she saw that she could play too...and she doesn't know it but she has a blue Uke in my drawer under my bed with case and stings as well as some lessons if she wants them all ready for her sixth birthday!

alicecat
09-23-2010, 11:12 PM
It's just me and Bob and he dosent care how bad I play as long as I am not tardy with his food :)
http://i921.photobucket.com/albums/ad54/Kempocat/ade397db.jpg

I love your cat!! He is so cute!!! Yes I am a cat lady, look at my screen name...

alicecat
09-23-2010, 11:22 PM
I have no problem with my husband and cats about my practising. But then my husband is one of those guys who can totally turn a deaf ear to stuff he doesn't want to listen to. I could be talking to the cats about their 'stupid father', then I turned to him and laugh and he goes 'what? what's going on?' So I am safe.
I got complains from downstair neighbour though. I didn't know they could hear me as I never hear anybody else in this building, it only makes sense that I assume the soundproof is pretty good. They were not happy that I played at 23:00 one night. So now I will only play during the day. They can't complain during the day. Also, they complain about everything anyway, e.g. our plants, our cats, etc. I live in one of those buildings where no one say hi to anyone. I tried quite a couple of times to say hi with big smile to some of them, they wouldn't even reply. Neighbours could be weird sometimes...

rock_and_roll_camera
09-24-2010, 10:50 AM
Take up the drums or accordian for a week or two. They will beg you to go back to playing uke.

Brilliant in it's sheer simpleness!... Problem solved!...

rock_and_roll_camera
09-24-2010, 10:57 AM
Rock and roll camera,

Thank you for your suggestions! I'm not in college. I just live in a house with some other people. I have thought about the park and I may do that sometime this week as the weather will be nice. I also thought maybe the community center or something like that might have a room that I can practice in. Thanks again!

No problem Michele, glad to help. Finding other places to practice is good and healthy, especially for inspiration. But you need to sort something to allow you to practice at home... I'd say the Eleuke is the way forward. Hey, Christmas is coming up... you could ask for contributions or vouchers for a certain store to allow you to buy one. Maybe somebody loves you enough to buy it outright for you!?

live2tivo
09-24-2010, 12:24 PM
I usually play when my roommate is out or I go up to the attic of my dorm building to practice. My school also has practice rooms that are prioritized for music majors, but open to everyone, and I go there occasionally. When it's a nice day, I go out on the quad and play for a bit. Everyone on campus is pretty used to me by now.

If I were you, I'd talk to your roommates and let them know that it could be worse. For example, even a poorly played uke never sounds AWFUL unlike a wind instrument or an acoustic guitar (the reason I've never learned guitar is because it sounds SO bad because I can't play it, and therein lies the paradox...plus, I just like my ukes more). Explain to them that it's a learning process, and you'll try to keep it to waking hours and minimal lengths.

Another suggestion would be to practice a variety of things. I don't know how you're teaching yourself, but I learned by playing different songs that I knew with "easy" chords to practice the transitions. Whenever I got frustrated, I'd go to another song, and it would keep things from getting too repetitive for me or my roommate. (Although she grew quite fond of Garfunkel and Oates' "Me, You & Steve.")

Another way of going about it is to capo as far down as you can so you aren't making much noise and practice transitions and/or mute the strings when you practice strumming.