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Living next door to a drummer...


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#1 WaitForMe

Posted 22 October 2018 - 12:37 PM

So, our next door neighbour has a studio apartment/granny flat in their back yard on our fence line. She rents this out and it appears a drummer has moved in.

For a few months now, we have had to endure a significant amount of time listening to him practice. Its never late in the evening, but he is obviously either professional or a music student because it is a significant number of hours every day. We can hear him in the house, and of course our backyard.

I have many musicians in the family, I'm familiar with the amount of practice they need to do and recognise he needs to do this in order to be a musician. But oh my god it is driving me batty! If it was just every now and then I'd be ok but its just so often! I mentioned it to a family member and she said he should be using practice pads.

Since its not late at night I'm curious what people would do about this. I don't feel comfortable complaining to the owner as she is a bit kooky.

#2 seayork2002

Posted 22 October 2018 - 12:40 PM

I think there is something about 'unreasonable noise' so maybe check your council website?

#3 Drat

Posted 22 October 2018 - 12:46 PM

I thought maybe you were my neighbour complaining about my daughters drumming.. lol

I'd talk to them and let them know that it's tiring for you guys to be bombarded with the drumming all the time. Maybe you could come up with an agreed amount of 'loud' practise and then suggest soft pads (though that won't dull out the cymbals).

I used to have band practise at my house during the day because I knew my neighbours were all at work and no one had small children.

Being a drummer i'd suspect this is not going to be the first time he's had someone complain about the noise :)

#4 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 22 October 2018 - 12:58 PM

I felt for my cousins neighbours - two boys who loved their drum practice. When I was in year 12, our neighbour bought a drum kit as his latest mid life crisis thing. He used to play them late at night, while drunk. It was really awful.

Anyway, I think you should mention to the person in the granny flat that all the drumming is bothering you, maybe they could have some standard practice times and you could try to be out of the house at that time.

#5 Rowenas Necklace

Posted 22 October 2018 - 01:22 PM

DH is a drummer, he bought a second hand electric kit to practice on so that he can practice without raising hell throughout the neighbourhood.

It's not the same as playing on the accoustic kit, but this way he can try out new things and just get his general practice in quietly, and only play on the accoustic when needed (or when he has studio space available).

There are also a lot of noise-dampening options - a low platform, carpeting, thick curtains and keeping the doors and windows shut in the drummer's space can make a big difference to how much noise reaches the neighbours.

Have a conversation with the drummer about what can be done to have a healthy neighbourly relationship while they practice.

#6 remisch

Posted 22 October 2018 - 01:49 PM

We live next door to a professional drummer and we rarely hear him, although I am sure he practices regularly.  His studio must have excellent sound proofing.  That may not be possible in a rental, but I would think there would be some things that could be done as PPs have suggested.

#7 gc_melody

Posted 22 October 2018 - 01:49 PM

 Rowenas Necklace, on 22 October 2018 - 01:22 PM, said:

There are also a lot of noise-dampening options - a low platform, carpeting, thick curtains and keeping the doors and windows shut in the drummer's space can make a big difference to how much noise reaches the neighbours.

Have a conversation with the drummer about what can be done to have a healthy neighbourly relationship while they practice.

This. Baffles too can make a world of difference to dampen and block the sound externally. They can be relatively easily and cheaply to do a DIY job. A drummer would definitely be used to being asked to adjust the volume which can be heard by neighbours. They look like these https://www.google.c...1.0.9UBu4YsEYGw

Edited by gc_melody, 22 October 2018 - 01:49 PM.


#8 LiveLife

Posted 22 October 2018 - 02:02 PM

Our council actually has in their written noise policy that musical instrument practise is to be limited to one hour per day between 7-7 if it can be heard inside neighbours house.

#9 JoanJett

Posted 22 October 2018 - 02:05 PM

This is us, except it's a shed on our fence line used by a child for practice - reasonable times of day, but it is very loud, as there is no insulation/sound proofing.  I'm torn between being the parent that thinks learning an instrument is great for a child, and the person that has to listen....  I haven't complained. Yet.  These neighbours also have a dog that regularly howls for hours when they're out, so I'm rapidly reaching the point of polite neighbourly tolerance.

#10 amdirel

Posted 22 October 2018 - 03:30 PM

I would suck it up tbh, seeing as it's in daytime hours. I get it's annoying, but he's got to practice somehow.Two of my kids play instruments, and I've had such a difficult time trying to fit practice in and not bother the neighbours. I live in a unit so I do not allow them to practice at home. We go to my mum's house. So if I go to the frustrating effort of having to schedule in time to drive to mum's, that fits into our schedule, and also ensuring it's a reasonable daytime hour, and if a neighbour then complained... I'd be really upset and cranky.

Edited by amdirel, 22 October 2018 - 03:34 PM.


#11 Beancat

Posted 22 October 2018 - 03:36 PM

I would tell the neighbor.  There is the off chance that it is annoying her too but she may not have the confidence to say anything.  HOWEVER if you complain to her then she can do good cop bad cop and say something to him because you have complained.

#12 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 22 October 2018 - 03:52 PM

Both my kids play drums/percussion, and we have a variety of different drums.  The kit is obviously the loudest.

We haven't resorted to an electric kit ,yet  I'm worried about monitoring their volume and ear damage, however they are made to use practice pads for the majority of their practice.  I do allow them time without as well, because it feels very different and is hard to practice rolls etc on a rubber sound dampening pad, but on the whole, they don't mind using the pads.  

I would chat to him or the owner of the house about it.  It drives me nuts when it is my own kids - I'd hate to annoy the neighbours to that extent too.

#13 Numpty

Posted 22 October 2018 - 03:57 PM

 Drat, on 22 October 2018 - 12:46 PM, said:

I thought maybe you were my neighbour complaining about my daughters drumming.. lol

I thought it might be one of my neighbours complaining  about my child...

#14 annodam

Posted 22 October 2018 - 04:01 PM

Years ago, we lived next door to a family whose oldest son took up the drums, my brother was in Yr 12 doing his VCE.
Dad went over next door & politely asked them to keep it down, they in turn ramped it up.
Yeah, nah didn't end well.

#15 PrincessPeach

Posted 22 October 2018 - 04:08 PM

My parents neighbour took up learning the drums. He soundproofed his practice room & you could still hear him a bit if you were outside, once inside he couldn't be heard.

But yes, I'd be saying something to them along the lines of you've understand the need for practice, but can soundproofing be installed.

#16 WaitForMe

Posted 22 October 2018 - 04:44 PM

 JoanJett, on 22 October 2018 - 02:05 PM, said:

This is us, except it's a shed on our fence line used by a child for practice - reasonable times of day, but it is very loud, as there is no insulation/sound proofing.  I'm torn between being the parent that thinks learning an instrument is great for a child, and the person that has to listen....  I haven't complained. Yet.  These neighbours also have a dog that regularly howls for hours when they're out, so I'm rapidly reaching the point of polite neighbourly tolerance.

Yeah, its practically a shed. Metal box as a granny flat.

I'm also torn, and I have endured for a few months now... I appreciate that he obviously wants to do this for a living, its not like some idiot blaring music for the fun of it, but geez... so over it!

#17 WaitForMe

Posted 22 October 2018 - 04:52 PM

Its not just middle of the day btw its also early evening. Like when we are having dinner. Or that one Friday I got home early, kid free, poured myself a wine, sat outside in the sun aaaaaand off he goes!

#18 Ozquoll

Posted 22 October 2018 - 04:59 PM

I sympathise OP. My upstairs neighbour practices piano for several hours a day. She’s a good pianist (thank heaven!) but I still get sick of hearing it after a while.

#19 zande

Posted 22 October 2018 - 05:07 PM

Yep I live next door to a drumming family of 3 so you have my sympathies. I can clearly hear it inside my house. Thankfully they only do it mid to late afternoon for an hour or two but it drives me nuts. The same neighbour also revs a motorbike for up to an hour most days and drives it up and down the street plus once summer comes their air-con blares all day and night clearly audible in my house with doors and windows closed. Unfortunately they’re not moving anytime soon and I can only fantasise about a rural property 😊

#20 Dadto2

Posted 22 October 2018 - 05:09 PM

 WaitForMe, on 22 October 2018 - 12:37 PM, said:

But oh my god it is driving me batty! If it was just every now and then I'd be ok but its just so often! I mentioned it to a family member and she said he should be using practice pads.


I don't blame you!

There's a drummer in our suburb, I can hear him and I'm 3 streets away, god knows how the neighbors cope. I don't really think it's an acceptable amount of noise, perhaps for 20mins a day or something.

#21 Serinitynow

Posted 22 October 2018 - 05:11 PM

No way. That sucks. Contact them and ask them to curtail it a lot. If they don’t you can go to the Council - it’s not the case that they can make noise unrestricted during daytime hours.

#22 BadCat

Posted 22 October 2018 - 05:18 PM

I used to live near a drummer.  I didn't mind.  I may be weird.

I also don't generally have a problem with people playing their music loud, even if I don't like the music.  

As long as it isn't all day every day, or late into the night a lot, I leave them to it.

Sometimes you gotta do your thing.

Barking dogs on the other hand... right now I can hear 6 distinctly different barking sounds.  It's not uncommon.  They drive me right up the bloody wall.  I love dogs, but oh my god I hate dogs.

#23 Malkin Slinkhard

Posted 22 October 2018 - 05:26 PM

 LiveLife, on 22 October 2018 - 02:02 PM, said:

Our council actually has in their written noise policy that musical instrument practise is to be limited to one hour per day between 7-7 if it can be heard inside neighbours house.

I wasn’t a drummer, but I’m glad this wasn’t a rule when I was studying music at uni, and I’m glad my neighbours were understanding. An hour isn’t enough, particularly when you’re preparing for something important.

#24 LiveLife

Posted 22 October 2018 - 11:27 PM

 Malkin Slinkhard, on 22 October 2018 - 05:26 PM, said:



I wasn’t a drummer, but I’m glad this wasn’t a rule when I was studying music at uni, and I’m glad my neighbours were understanding. An hour isn’t enough, particularly when you’re preparing for something important.
I’ve got two kids who both play two instruments each and both at around grade 6 AMEB level. We cope by using some digital instruments with headphones and some practise at school and some breaches of the hour rule. But honestly, they are good musicians, and an hour a day is enough for me. People need to learn to practise at school/uni wherever is more appropriate than annoy neighbours, I’ve very grateful are council has this written rule and we are a musical family.

#25 IamtheMumma

Posted 22 October 2018 - 11:42 PM

Check with your council but excessive noise can be reported any time of day. However, I'd have a word to your neighbour first about insulating the shed.




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