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View Full Version : Playing outside - manners



pixiepurls
06-29-2014, 03:10 PM
I am curious to hear the different opinions. I grew up with a neighbor (who also happened to be my best friend) who played flute on her front porch in the middle of the day for well, years.

I personally love the evenings, we have a pretty privacy fence with the cute little cafe lights strung on them. I love to sit outside on one of our benches and play. I particularly like doing this when its sunset.

How late would be acceptable to play? I live in a town home, but it is fairly large with fairly large backyards and no building directly behind me, we have a very large common area in the center and a sort of triangle out of town homes. My next door neighbors are super friendly with teenage or college age kids and I don't think it would bother them if I did it at night. We don't have any babies or even toddlers nearby (besides my own 4yo!) and the houses are actually very well insulated from sound unless your sitting by a window.

Maybe only friday and saturday evenings after dark? It was SO nice to play as the sunset and into the evening. Or does it have to be an 8pm hard stop? What would be socially acceptable?

Dane
06-29-2014, 03:12 PM
I'd say 8 or 9, any day of the week. That's pretty courteous.

Icelander53
06-29-2014, 03:24 PM
Depends on how good you play. :)

But it's great you think about others. I'd say 8pm on weekdays for sure and 9:30 or 10 on the weekends.:rulez: And of course you could play longer if you got out the quiet mellow uke and played some very mellow stuff very softly and maybe don't sing all those Led Zepp songs.

But if it really starts to bother the neighbors then get some good earplugs so you don't have to listen to all that racket they make complaining. LOL.

janeray1940
06-29-2014, 03:29 PM
Why don't you just ask them? I don't play outdoors, but I do live on a really densely-populated property, and I just asked my closest neighbors to tell me if/when my playing is too late/too loud for them - and that's only happened once in 5 years. I don't sing, so perhaps I'm quieter than most, but I'm surprised that I haven't gotten more complaints.

pixiepurls
06-29-2014, 03:43 PM
Why don't you just ask them? I don't play outdoors, but I do live on a really densely-populated property, and I just asked my closest neighbors to tell me if/when my playing is too late/too loud for them - and that's only happened once in 5 years. I don't sing, so perhaps I'm quieter than most, but I'm surprised that I haven't gotten more complaints.

I used to find the flute quiet pleasant actually, after the first year anyway lol! The first year was rough :) I think violin would be worse the first year, heh!

janeray1940
06-29-2014, 03:52 PM
I used to find the flute quiet pleasant actually, after the first year anyway lol! The first year was rough :) I think violin would be worse the first year, heh!

Oh gosh, beginning violin can be downright painful to listen to. My ears!!

The year I started playing uke, there was a flute beginner and a piano beginner on my block as well. I never did find out who they were, but I enjoyed hearing them learn and I always thought we should meet each other and form a band since we were all about the same skill level :)

Dane
06-29-2014, 03:56 PM
I used to find the flute quiet pleasant actually, after the first year anyway lol! The first year was rough :) I think violin would be worse the first year, heh!

More like a few years. Sounds like cats being murdered with dull chainsaws.

Steedy
06-29-2014, 03:58 PM
"It's very hard to live in a studio apartment in San Jose with a man who's learning to play the violin." That's what she told the police when she handed them the empty revolver.
-The Scarlatti Tilt by Richard Brautigan

pixiepurls
06-29-2014, 04:04 PM
More like a few years. Sounds like cats being murdered with dull chainsaws.

I will say quality of the violin can make a huge difference, and the bow. With violin most people aren't willing to invest over $100 and the truth is with a violin you need to spend about $400 to get what would be equal to a $120 ukulele. $800 to buy what would be a $400 ukulele. And buying "brands" is WAY harder then ukulele... it was NOT fun getting my daughters 1/8th violin! However it doesn't sound as bad as other kids so there is that...

iamesperambient
06-29-2014, 04:15 PM
I am curious to hear the different opinions. I grew up with a neighbor (who also happened to be my best friend) who played flute on her front porch in the middle of the day for well, years.

I personally love the evenings, we have a pretty privacy fence with the cute little cafe lights strung on them. I love to sit outside on one of our benches and play. I particularly like doing this when its sunset.

How late would be acceptable to play? I live in a town home, but it is fairly large with fairly large backyards and no building directly behind me, we have a very large common area in the center and a sort of triangle out of town homes. My next door neighbors are super friendly with teenage or college age kids and I don't think it would bother them if I did it at night. We don't have any babies or even toddlers nearby (besides my own 4yo!) and the houses are actually very well insulated from sound unless your sitting by a window.

Maybe only friday and saturday evenings after dark? It was SO nice to play as the sunset and into the evening. Or does it have to be an 8pm hard stop? What would be socially acceptable?

ill play out on my porch but i won't play any later than 9 pm i think its pretty rude to play past that time.

Ukejenny
06-29-2014, 04:20 PM
Worst beginning instrument I've ever submitted my ears to - the oboe. It can make you cry.

We play outside, but cut it off around 9:00. Although, it isn't anywhere near as loud as my two boys swimming or jumping on the trampoline. We try to make them quieten down after 9:00 as well. Harder to control than a ukulele, though.

southcoastukes
06-29-2014, 05:42 PM
I love to be on the galleries (as we say down here) all the time anyway. That means I generally play (on those few occasions when I have the time) on the galleries as well.

The neighbors have the same customs. I don't have a big voice and an Ukulele doesn't project all that much, so I was surprised when my friends across the street - 1 house over - told me they could hear me. They also told me they didn't mind a bit. I guess I could take that as a compliment if I wanted to, but down here, people practice on the gallery all the time. A trumpet is common, for example, and a lot louder than I am, but it's part of the culture.

Bands march down the street and play - people practice on the galleries. It's a different culture - I understand - but it's really the way things are in a place where musicianship is loved. You "suffer" through the student performances, because you know one day they'll be much better, and you get to hear the progression from struggling beginner to "tear it up"!

bonesigh
06-29-2014, 06:01 PM
Yeah, I'd say not past 9pm. I think if people can play their radio, rev the motorcycles, use the mower, smoke outside, etc. and invade one's space why shouldn't you go ahead and play anywhere you like (:

actadh
06-29-2014, 06:08 PM
I play outside until the mosquitoes come out. That is about 5-6 pm. We used to have a bat population here on the river that kept the skeeters under control. They are really bad this year.

southcoastukes
06-29-2014, 06:27 PM
I play outside until the mosquitoes come out. That is about 5-6 pm. We used to have a bat population here on the river that kept the skeeters under control. They are really bad this year.

We're just a few blocks off the big, giant Lake Pontchartrain, and I can sort of sympathize. We have ceiling fans on the galleries which helps, and I seem to have some sort of immunity (garlic capsules?). Still they like my wife! Here's a tip: they generally die down after the late twilight.

If you're the type they bite - wait a couple of hours and go back out. They may not all be gone, but they'll be few and far between

Teek
06-29-2014, 10:19 PM
I inhabit a 3 unit row house, I have an end unit with a yard. We have the middle neighbor issue of someone uncultured/oblivious enough to let a family member with two three year olds who visits regularly let them run around the house screaming and yelling and sounding like elephants pounding on the hardwood floor, which is a common floor so we get all the thumps and vibrations, and the room they are loudest in is on the other side of our headboard wall. Out here in Cali it sounds and feels like an earthquake coming so usually startles us awake.

I was not especially understanding when I pounded on their door at 2:30 am in my PJs to say WTF! when she asked if she could "help me". I wanted to ask if I could offer her some ritalin, a big bottle of children's Benadryl, or a long leash so she could take them out in the front yard. HelllOOOO???? 2:30 am?? Kids are supposed to be sleeping??? Even ADHD kids? Can you say clueless? And we sleep with a loud fan running for white noise and even pillows over our heads didn't help. We both had work the next day too, it was killer. I don't understand people's dense lack of common courtesy.

A uke would have been fine.

itsme
06-29-2014, 10:30 PM
OP, I think you are very sweet to show concern for your neighbors.

But honestly, if you're doing it at a reasonable hour, a uke is not an obnoxiously loud instrument and I see no reason why anyone would complain. You're certainly quieter than a lot of people's stereos.

Vagrant
06-29-2014, 11:07 PM
We live by the sea, so quite often on late summer nights people are out with their various hobbies till sundown (which can be near 11pm as we have a clear view to the western horizon). Most of the time it's really nice, unicyclists and dog walkers, guitar fumblings and skateboarders, windsurfers... but there was one guy who started a new instrument last year... the bagpipes. Oh does that noise carry, it was like he was practising in our front room.

But we all managed to come to an arrangement with him, now he doesn't practice late or too close to the houses.

So... the original question - so long as it's not bagpipes, it depends on the day, and what all your neighbours are doing.

Rllink
06-30-2014, 04:43 AM
I lived here when my only neighbor was a corn field, so my neighbors sort of allow me a lot of latitude in some things, even though the corn field turned into a housing development ten years ago. I would guess that playing the uke would be one of them, but I'm seldom out there doing anything in the evenings. I have let it be known that if my ukulele playing is bothering anyone, they can pay me to play inside. I've yet to get any money, so I'm assuming that it is at least tolerable. In my case, our neighborhood it a pretty close knit neighborhood. I'm the only old guy on the block. The rest are young people with teenagers. We all know each other and get along quite well. I've suffered most everything you can imagine that I could from kids growing up on the same street with never a complaint. I've also bought candy bars, coupon books, magazines, and tickets from every neighbor kid within three blocks of me. My neighbors think I'm a nice guy. So I guess it would also depend on how well you know your neighbors.

I go out on my front deck with a rum and coke and practice almost every day. I'm out there during the week before most of my neighbors get home from work, but on the weekends of course they all get a little concert. Last weekend my neighbor across the street came out and started working on her front yard while I was playing. Afterwards I walked over to talk to her and she told me that she came out specifically to listen to me play while she worked. I thought that was very nice of her. Also, the neighbor kid gave me a thumbs up yesterday while he was out messing with his car.

Freeda
06-30-2014, 04:50 AM
I limit potentially obnoxious activities to 9a-9p. Like telemarketing.

iamesperambient
06-30-2014, 05:00 AM
I limit potentially obnoxious activities to 9a-9p. Like telemarketing.

in my town the sound ordinance i think is 10 pm but i feel anything past 9 pm is rude.

coolkayaker1
06-30-2014, 05:05 AM
I don't mow my lawn before 8AM because the grass is still dewy and the sound might enrage my neighbors and they might open their windows and holler at me to "knock it off!."

That said, they sometimes have parties until all hours of the night and I have to sleep with my pillow over my head and I never say a peep.

katysax
06-30-2014, 06:12 AM
Our neighborhood is quite spread out - 1/2 acre lots. I used to have a 12 piece swing band that met at my house one night a week. We would play from 7-9. While we were not outdoors, we had drums, three trombones, three trumpets and four saxophones, a bass and a guitar. We played swing from the 40s and jazz from the 50s as well as some ragtime. The neighbors would tell us that they looked forward to it and would walk their dogs at that time so they could listen. And there were many times that we were more raucous and noisy than actually musical. It probably helped a lot that my closest neighbor was the trombone player.

Skinny Money McGee
06-30-2014, 08:06 AM
I play outside until the mosquitoes come out. That is about 5-6 pm. We used to have a bat population here on the river that kept the skeeters under control. They are really bad this year.


We're just a few blocks off the big, giant Lake Pontchartrain, and I can sort of sympathize. We have ceiling fans on the galleries which helps, and I seem to have some sort of immunity (garlic capsules?). Still they like my wife! Here's a tip: they generally die down after the late twilight.

If you're the type they bite - wait a couple of hours and go back out. They may not all be gone, but they'll be few and far between


Here's Dirk siting on his front porch at Lake Pontchartrain with a bottle of Tobasco


http://youtu.be/zZnDRrwcbTE

peaceweaver3
06-30-2014, 09:24 AM
I don't do anything after 9 p.m. Don't call people, play uke outside, or make extra noise. Others on my block do, very loudly, and they're playing boom boxes and not musical instruments, but I prefer the "do unto others" polite approach. :)

One day when you have nothing pressing, call and see if there are any local regulations. There probably are. Follow them. Other than that I guess it's personal preference and possibly adapting your behavior if the neighbors minded. But a uke is not a boom box, so I don't think you'll have trouble.

southcoastukes
06-30-2014, 01:52 PM
Here's Dirk siting on his front porch at Lake Pontchartrain with a bottle of Tobasco

You found me on YouTube?! Who took that video!!:nana:

LloydAZ
06-30-2014, 02:12 PM
I used to live in an apartment where the person on the other side of the wall would play the drums at 2:00 in the morning.