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modern day ukuleleist
03-07-2012, 06:54 AM
Has anyone encountered them?

I always thought the ukulele has one of the least bothersome sounds out of any instrument, as it can be played quietly and has a soft, warm sound compared to a guitar, for example.

However, living in a college dorm, I've found the residents in the room above me absolutely despise it.

Every time I break my mainland out (and I'm surprised they can even hear it with how lightly I'm playing) they start stomping around and slamming doors and drawers. You wouldn't even know people lived up in the room above me UNTIL I start playing, and then it sounds like a bunch of angry gorillas until I've finished.

I'm not terrible at playing, and I've mostly been working on fingerpicking, so it's not like I'm repetitively strumming chords (which I could imagine might be annoying after some time). What gives?

the_dude
03-07-2012, 07:07 AM
I would say it has nothing to do with the quality of your playing or even the fact that you're playing a ukulele. It's more likely that they are bothered by the intrusion of ANY outside sounds into their private space. try watching your TV or listening to music at a loud volume and see if you get the same response.

Do you know them? Have you talked to them?

Can you practice somewhere else? Does your college have a music department? If so, can you use one of their practice rooms?

mds725
03-07-2012, 07:59 AM
.....Every time I break my mainland out (and I'm surprised they can even hear it with how lightly I'm playing) they start stomping around and slamming doors and drawers. You wouldn't even know people lived up in the room above me UNTIL I start playing, and then it sounds like a bunch of angry gorillas until I've finished......

Maybe they're dancing (and just not very graceful).

SuzukHammer
03-07-2012, 08:04 AM
Living in cramped quarters is difficult. You should ask them in a very gracious way if the playing bothers them and yes, find a place where you can play and not feel bothered or bothersome.

Doug W
03-07-2012, 08:08 AM
Maybe they're dancing (and just not very graceful).
I think that mds may have nailed it. It is also possible that they are angry, dancing gorillas!

Dan Uke
03-07-2012, 08:30 AM
More info needed...do you play at night? I would think up to 10pm is acceptable but I don't know if there are codes of conduct for your dorm.

modern day ukuleleist
03-07-2012, 08:53 AM
Can you practice somewhere else? Does your college have a music department? If so, can you use one of their practice rooms?

Unfortunately, it's still very cold here so going outside to any of the really good practicing areas on campus is out of the question until next month. My campus does not have any sort of open music rooms for practicing.


Maybe they're dancing (and just not very graceful).

Ha. I did not consider this.


More info needed...do you play at night? I would think up to 10pm is acceptable but I don't know if there are codes of conduct for your dorm.

I usually only play for about 30 minutes to an hour sometime between 1pm-4pm.

chris667
03-07-2012, 09:29 AM
I cannot possibly see how anyone could be offended by that. If they want perfect silence, they should probably not be living in student accomodation.

Record the times you play in a notebook. If there's a complaint, show them the times you play. You're doing nothing unreasonable.

costaricadave
03-07-2012, 09:33 AM
1pm to 4pm....Whatever...1am to 4am different story.

MikeR
03-07-2012, 09:58 AM
I managed to avoid living in college dorms, but back when I was in college I had friends living in them. One day, a next door roommate came and told us we needed to be quiet so she could sleep. I was all for it but the guys that lived in the dorm basically went on talking just as they were. It was 2 in the afternoon. Apparently the girl liked to stay up partying until 4am and the days were her sleep time.

If you are practicing in the afternoons, I'd just ignore them. Who knows, if you time the music right, their stomping might just add a nice percussive beat to your music ;-)

Gwynedd
03-07-2012, 11:03 AM
Are you sure they are people? I mean, it might be like werewolves or vampires--can't stand garlic, the dawning sun or gospel hymns. I'd be wary of anyone who didn't like the sound of a uke and I'd sure as hell stay away from them during the full moon.

Craig Chee
03-07-2012, 11:07 AM
luckily i joined the 'music dorm' my freshman year which was full of great music all day. it's very interesting that you're getting such a response. i have a few suggestions:
-record yourself playing (anyway you can) to show the volume that you are playing plus the reaction you get from your upstairs neighbors. at my university everything was he said she said, and at least with this you'll be able to show the incredible amount of courtesy you are showing by playing extremely soft.
-introduce yourself to them and get everything out in the open. no one likes to be uncomfortable in their living space.
-maybe mask your practice while playing the radio or watching tv at the same time.

hmm... i'll try and think of other things after work!

ukuleledaveey
03-07-2012, 12:57 PM
I have the same trouble with the block of flats i live in :(, the walls are so thin it is shockingi can even hear my neighbours when they eat there meals, their knives and forks on the plates ,every cough and bodily function,the bloke below me used to shout up at me to shut the f*** up, luckily i have a loft above my flat the only solid brick walls, so i rug up with extra clothes and play up there, you can here me in the car park as the uke comes through the roof, but not in the other flats, and funnily the bloke below said to me once, i never hear you play your ukue asny more i used to love listening to you ??????? so i said to him why did you swear at me to be quiet and he denied it and i said i knew it was him but he wouldnt have it so i said with a inquisitive look on my face oh there must be other grumpy old a** holes living in this block :)

stevepetergal
03-07-2012, 01:54 PM
Yeah, we all have our little dislikes. I'm in a minority, too. I HATE the sound of bagpipes. HATE!! HATE, HATE!! So, I'll accept the opinions of those who don't like the ukulele.

ukuleledaveey
03-07-2012, 02:13 PM
Yeah, we all have our little dislikes. I'm in a minority, too. I HATE the sound of bagpipes. HATE!! HATE, HATE!! So, I'll accept the opinions of those who don't like the ukulele.
:o or some one learning the violin

smokemeister25
03-11-2012, 11:35 AM
check out who they are before going to their room. if they're a bunch of known drunk trouble makers knocking on their door might not be the best idea all by yourself. when i was in college it was so loud all the time i'd have been surprised anybody would have even heard a uke. sounds like these guys are just exerting their dominance and looiking to make a fit about anything and everything. a half to a whole hour between 1 and 4 in the afternoon doesn't seem unreasonable. one thing you might ask them if you decide to confront them about it is when
(and''if'' ) they go to class. is it that they're still sleeping during that time of day? practice when they're in class or at dinner or whatever. but it sounds like they're gonna throw a fit about anything no matter what. so good luck.

seneystretch
03-11-2012, 01:56 PM
[QUOTE=SuzukHammer; You should ask them in a very gracious way if the playing bothers them [/QUOTE]

Maybe they should ask if their stomping and door slamming bothers you LOL. I'm betting their floor mates don't even know you're alive but that slamming and stomping must echo up and down the hallway.

Howbout send a friend up there to track down the RA during the feedback and force them to explain the door abuse. Yeesh, I would have hollered about that the first time.

C'mon folks, even loud ukuleles make about as much noise as cats stampeding on carpet. The phrase "grow up" comes to mind, although universities have turned into weird places.

mollys
03-11-2012, 02:28 PM
My cello teacher used to say that when she traveled in hotels, if she tried to practice (even with a mute on) people would complain immediately. Playing a musical instrument in a hotel was considered rude. However she found if she turned her TV on louder than what she was playing, she could play and people would rarely complain. Loud TV is accepted.

I have a hard time concentrating with a TV on, but it might be something to experiment with - at least then you'd know if was the uke or noise in general that bothered them.

Nickie
03-11-2012, 05:41 PM
I can barely tolerate a pedal steel guitar, it really bothers me. I'm not a great fan of clarinet, either.
But loud TV really pisses me off!

ricdoug
03-11-2012, 06:20 PM
I have a pistol shooting range in my backyard. No one complains about my music anyway. I sound proofed my house to subdue noise. Also play a lot of electric blues and rock on my guitars.

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/23320PICT0071.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/2332030yards.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/23320ric.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Keyboard1.jpg

Paul December
03-11-2012, 06:48 PM
sounds like these guys are just exerting their dominance and looiking to make a fit about anything and everything.......but it sounds like they're gonna throw a fit about anything no matter what. so good luck.

Bingo!
Anyone who has ever lived in a dorm knows a uke is probably the least distracting/loud/annoying thing you'll ever hear.

If they keep stomping, looks like it's time for a "leaner".
(we used to use 4ft tall garbage cans :D )


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdKORjjXnGk

ukecantdothat
03-12-2012, 07:40 AM
Then there's the famous Mark Twain quote: "A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo, and doesn't."
(Hey, Twain said it, not me!)