Jump to content

Dear guest,

Welcome to the biggest community for bass players in Europe. You'll find the site a great source of information and advice.

Why not sign up now and:

  • Say hello - tell us about your playing, your gear and where you're from.
  • Search the database for inspiration or to find out more about your instrument
  • Upload an avatar and profile picture
  • Buy one of the thousands of items in our marketplace
  • Safely sell your items to a community of proven enthusiasts
  • Upload pictures, audio and videos
  • Buy exclusive items at discount through our shop (coming soon!)

Go on, click the button and become part of it today!

New: Sign up and get 20% off tickets for the London Bass Guitar Show - and we'll see you there!

pbasspecial

Complaining Neighbour

Recommended Posts

Hi Fellow BC'ers,

Yesterday morning I was playing my bass at home at a reasonable volume with a little bit of vibration but not excessively loud.  Within about 5 minutes my next door neighbour 'politely' asks me what 'we' can do about the noise as she is working from home this week, etc.  This is not the first time she has done this.  She moved from a detached house to an end of terrace., so has probably never had to deal with minor noise spillage from neighbours walls.  She thinks she is better than everyone else (not sure why!)  She is very high maintanence, had/has mental health issues but we have never mentioned to her that her and her 18 yo son have screaming matches late at night in the room opposite where my 2 young boys sleep.  Personally think she has got a f'ing cheek and would love to tell her to FO but am trying to take the higher ground and maintain some sort of long term harmony.  Although I am now starting to feel like a prisoner in my own home.  

I have a gramma pad to reduce vibration. Also, I don't always want to play unplugged or via a headphone.

Wondered what your thoughts, recommendations and personal experiences of this are?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There’s nothing she can do about it, if she asked politely and you are obviously a polite guy - turn it down a little and keep going. It’s only for a week, right?

I’ve read somewhere in the past that if neighbour got on Mr. Youngs nerves, he would take his sons amp into the driveway and let him go crazy as he thought it’s a horrible noise. That was Angus Young.

I really wish that story were true. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good neighbours are an absolute bonus so if she fits that criteria try to accommodate her and work to find an amicable solution. If she doesn't let her know about her own failings and tell her that you'll address your stuff when she addresses hers. By the way, you can make a "reasonable" amount of noise till 10pm - if the noise level isn't excessive you're OK.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's true that having good neighbours is valuable.  If you really want to try and 'maintain some sort of long term harmony', then I guess you'll have to turn it down a bit.

But - It is not late at night and it's not your fault that she is working from home this week.  You could just tell her to FO.

What would she do if you were having some work done in your house etc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest I didn't even know she was at home.  I have tried to be reasonable.  When she first moved in she would be texting my wife about one small thing or another to the point off borderline harassment (we are actually good people/neighbours)  She has calmed down a lot recently but there comes a point where everyman (or woman -LofB reference) wants/needs/has to take a stand and say 'enough is enough'. 

She has knocked on the door at 7pm before, when I tried to get a quick 20 mins before the kids went to bed.  The complaint she had then was that she just got back from work, needed to relax, etc.

I thought 'well what the f*ck do you think I'm doing then!' :)

 

Edited by pbasspecial

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd think about where the amp is - does it face away from the neighbnour?

Too close to walls can cause a vibration - I know it's obvious............

:|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with those above who recommend being accommodating. Headphones are simple and neighbour friendly.  However, if she and her son have late night screaming matches, then it's entirely reasonable for you to raise that issue with her and tell her you expect some give and take. If she doesn't like it and the nonsense continues, I advise making recordings of it (the great thing about being a musician is that we have all that lovely tech' that makes doing that easy), in case it gets to complaints to the council about noise, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell her that you are also working from home, because if you play for a living, either part-time or full-time, then practising is part of your job, even if it's just a hobby, you are still entitled to practise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be accommodating, but when the next screaming match happens knock on her door and request the same from her.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, thebrig said:

Tell her that you are also working from home, because if you play for a living, either part-time or full-time, then practising is part of your job, even if it's just a hobby, you are still entitled to practise.

You may be "entitled to practice" (I say "may", but there may be byelaws governing that), but it would certainly not be considered reasonable to do so via your SVT and an 8x10 at full blast in a suburban flat or terraced house. A court would be very unlikely to consider that reasonable. There are actually noise limits that local authorities use when determining what is reasonable. The important thing in cases such as this (especially when you are dealing with someone who is unstable/unreasonable) is to ensure you are squeaky clean and above reproach. That way, if it comes to legal action, you are on firm ground. I know that from experience.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Be accommodating, but when the next screaming match happens knock on her door and request the same from her.

I think Lozz has the right idea, turn it down or go with headphones for the week, but next time her noise is bothering you, make a point of  asking for the same consideration from her. Its great to have a good relationship with your neighbours but it takes both parties to compromise to make it work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Headphones, if you're working on a track or something, then import that into a DAW.

I used to have problems with my neighbour, very similar to your's because my neighbour is annoying and used to have screaming arguments with her daughter. I now have my studio on the other side of the house above the garage on the opposite side of the house to the party wall. I don't use an amp unless I'm teaching, I use my monitors or headphones. I'm often working on pieces that I'm writing until 3 or 4am, nobody notices, not even my parents.

It's very easy for these things to get out of hand, and the noisiest neighbours are often the first to complain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I can’t think of a reason why I would want to play amplified at home. I’ve been using a Phil Jones Bass Buddy for some time and it keeps everyone happy.

As mentioned previously, good neighbours are worth keeping and I’d be inclined to play the good guy. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently bought a small combo for home use, I learn new material by playing along with recordings, but the volume is lower than my neighbour's cello when she practices. I know this because I can hear her play (and very nice it is too!) but I have asked them and they don't hear me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Personally, I can’t think of a reason why I would want to play amplified at home. I’ve been using a Phil Jones Bass Buddy for some time and it keeps everyone happy.

As mentioned previously, good neighbours are worth keeping and I’d be inclined to play the good guy. 

This. Playing amplified in a terrace house is unnecessary and antisocial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that it should be audiable, but if things are vibrating, then it is probably too loud. Bass travels well. Our neighbours are from hell so I don't have to worry too much, although I don't play that loud, but we are normally woken up by their barking dogs, their screaming baby, their young mother screaming at the screaming baby, the older mother screaming at the younger mother, the son telling them all to f off. I know what a constant barage of noise is like.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the first things I did when I moved into my flat was talk to the neighbours about being a musician, and that if my playing ever got on their nerves, just tell me and I would turn it down/stop. I`m not to know when practicing if one of them has a migraine or is compiling a report for work, but if they tell me then I`m fine to down tools. as such if they`re ever making too much noise I`m not fussed about asking them to turn it down, though in all honesty the only time I`ve ever cracked was when the dog they were looking after barked for an hour non-stop. I think me banging on the floor (I`m in the first floor flat) screaming "shup up you c***" was pretty clear. They took it out for a dump, and said dog was then bark-free and happy.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Impossible to tell without being there, but if the bass is at a 'reasonable volume with a little bit of vibration' it's probably significantly too loud, in my opinion.

Bass travels like crazy and, given the repetitive nature of someone running through basslines, is a mild torture to listen to.  I live in a third floor flat and my 10W amp on the coffee table is perfectly audible on the ground floor if I am not careful.  However, I can only use headphones for an hour before I get ear fatigue, so I do practice amplified, and I've had no complaints yet.  Bass and volume rolled right off, it is possible.  I've successfully practiced at 3 am without bothering other people in the flat - sure, the noise coming from the amp was at on a par with that made by the strings, but it beats unplugged or achy headphone ears.

I do sympathise though, as I've had a similar experience with a neighbour who would complain at the slightest noise.  One time they saw we were having a few people over and came straight up to complain about the noise - we hadn't even turned any music on, people were still taking their coats off  -  they were essentially complaining about the noise they assumed we were going to make!  Ultimately, if you genuinely believe the neighbour is being vexatious with their complaints, you can just nod and smile politely and then politely ignore them.

 

 

Edited by linear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep  a log - it may help in the even of escalation, and also will probably show that the pattern of complaint relates more to your neighbours disposition than your activities.  But also, do not hesitate when their noise becomes intrusive to your family and lifestyle.  

Think about where the amp is (off the floor is a great start) and also where any voids like chimneys can be adding a resonance to your sound.  

 

best of luck 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get some headphones. You can be as "in the right" as you like but there's nothing worse than having a massive fallout with your neighbour. Somebody has to be the big man...

...or buy a detached house. That's what I did when my neighbours selfishly had children and complained about the slightest noise after about 6pm. 

Edited by thepurpleblob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turn it down or use headphones, it is, as many have said, only a week.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×