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My upstairs neighbor complains every time I play

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Mar 24, 2020 - 11:14:43 AM
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3875 posts since 5/12/2010

Watch more TV shows with banjo music, and the TV turned up?

Sweet Corn? Reminds me of a very funny story Dwight Diller told me.

Once we were tent camping in a National Forest campground up in the Cherokee National Forest. It was a rainy week and we had that campground, and a good stretch of trout stream all to ourselves. One evening as I was playing banjo outside our tent under an awning, a group of people showed up from a campsite down the road. I guess sound travels well in that environment. Anyway, they showed up, and one of the ladies gave us a pan of warm brownies and asked if they could sit around and listen a while. They were from the Pacific Northwest and not famiiar with the music I was playing. They had never heard melodic clawhammer banjo before, and thought of banjos as being strictly a blue grass instrument. They stayed an hour or two after dark, sang along on some of the tunes I played, and showed up the next evening with a pan of Banana Nut bread. We had a lot of fun, and made some new friends. Anyone who has done much camping will probably know that warm baked goods take on a very special new meaning out in the woods, even more so in cold rainy weather.

Too bad your neighbor can't be like that. Maybe he will give up and move to another part of town.


 

Mar 24, 2020 - 11:22:13 AM

54489 posts since 12/14/2005

Peaceful suggestion:
Get a baby monitor, set the transmitter by the TV, the receiver near you.
The sound quality might not be as good, but your sound will be less annoying to any {expletive deleted} who doesn't appreciate banjo music.

Mar 24, 2020 - 12:28:45 PM

32 posts since 4/15/2019

Sorry Mike, I am not following you how does that prevent banjo sound vibrations from not reaching my neighbor?

Mar 24, 2020 - 12:44:08 PM
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54489 posts since 12/14/2005

the TV volume is tuned DOWN, and the baby monitor transmits the TV noise to a speaker NEAR your EAR.

There are more expensive products, made SPECIFICALLY for listening to TV.

OR, you can  improvise with a big aluminum salad bowl, a pizza pan, a hacksaw, and some adhesive.

Mar 24, 2020 - 1:41:04 PM

KatB

USA

104 posts since 9/3/2018

Not a cheap solution but it might be worth it: Buy your neighbor noise canceling headphones?

Mar 24, 2020 - 3:46:33 PM

71 posts since 10/26/2018

I think you're on to something with the doctor's note. I'd get him to write a prescription.

Is this neighbor just surly? Have you attempted any dialog? I understand if it's not an option - I have a neighbor that just isn't interested in pleasantries at all.

Mar 24, 2020 - 7:12:12 PM
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Paul R

Canada

12716 posts since 1/28/2010

quote:
Originally posted by craan

Inam
In a flat in NYC and we are under a city under a stay in place corona order. I just recovered from focal dystonia and from not playing for a decade and am picking well again. Here is some of my music with fiddle Ken Kosek on youtube:

youtu.be/tlrk_Jni6Qw


youtu.be/e4JtOydcl14

I am back to sounding like this.
So have a desperate need to
play after 10 years of silence.


Wow! I find the banjo playing really impressive. With all due respect to Mr. Kosek, I was more taken with the banjo than the fiddle on those tunes.

Your upstairs neighbour is an unappreciative idiot.

Mar 25, 2020 - 12:32:02 AM

32 posts since 4/15/2019

quote:
Originally posted by OldPappy

Watch more TV shows with banjo music, and the TV turned up?

Sweet Corn? Reminds me of a very funny story Dwight Diller told me.

Once we were tent camping in a National Forest campground up in the Cherokee National Forest. It was a rainy week and we had that campground, and a good stretch of trout stream all to ourselves. One evening as I was playing banjo outside our tent under an awning, a group of people showed up from a campsite down the road. I guess sound travels well in that environment. Anyway, they showed up, and one of the ladies gave us a pan of warm brownies and asked if they could sit around and listen a while. They were from the Pacific Northwest and not famiiar with the music I was playing. They had never heard melodic clawhammer banjo before, and thought of banjos as being strictly a blue grass instrument. They stayed an hour or two after dark, sang along on some of the tunes I played, and showed up the next evening with a pan of Banana Nut bread. We had a lot of fun, and made some new friends. Anyone who has done much camping will probably know that warm baked goods take on a very special new meaning out in the woods, even more so in cold rainy weather.

Too bad your neighbor can't be like that. Maybe he will give up and move to another part of town.


Mar 25, 2020 - 12:48:08 AM

32 posts since 4/15/2019

Thanks for the Dwight story

Mar 25, 2020 - 6:00:01 AM
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3875 posts since 5/12/2010

I said "Sweet Corn" reminded me of a funny story Dwight told me.

The story I related was about a camping trip with only me and my wife. I see now that mentioning the story about the Sweet Corn led to the natural assumption I was relating that story. Dwight wasn't with us on that camping trip, sorry for the confusion.

I wouldn't relate this particular funny story Dwight told me on a public forum, it contains inappropriate subject material.

Mar 25, 2020 - 10:32:28 AM

Bart Veerman

Canada

4611 posts since 1/5/2005

Some sounds are triggers for folks to get locked into obsessive behavior patterns. Unfortunately, your banjo playing is that for him and with all the virus scares that sure isn't helping.

Try to ask him how it can be resolved as, to you, it's a quality of life issue that he is infringing on.

Worst case, like was mentioned, ask the building manager to come listen and judge if the banjo's volume in intrusive and, if so, what else you can do to remedy that.

On a side note: Jason Skinner (another Hangout member) is having a big problem with focal dystonia himself - I'm guessing he'd be hugely delighted to hear how you overcame yours: https://www.banjohangout.org/my/Jason+Skinner

Good luck!

Mar 25, 2020 - 10:58:46 AM

32 posts since 4/15/2019

I will write Jason and anybody else about my recovery who wishes it.

Mar 25, 2020 - 12:28:50 PM

John D

USA

434 posts since 11/3/2004

This is a thread drift, but I just wanted to let Allen know how much I've enjoyed reading and re-reading "The Northern Fiddler" over the years. Great Book!

John D

Mar 25, 2020 - 12:48:38 PM

32 posts since 4/15/2019

Thank you

Mar 25, 2020 - 2:07:32 PM

Bart Veerman

Canada

4611 posts since 1/5/2005

I got to thinking... A muted and stuffed banjo played softly should clock in at approx 70~75 dBA at a 1 meter distance.
Regular ear plugs, the ugly yellow ones, reduce sound levels by 28 dB.
By the time your sound reaches your neighbours side of his floor then the sound level should be less than 45 dB, the volume of a quiet conversation and sounding muffled at that.
Run these numbers by your building manager and see what he thinks. OCD for sure.
Just saying...

Edited by - Bart Veerman on 03/25/2020 14:13:21

Mar 25, 2020 - 2:15:48 PM

185 posts since 4/10/2018

You might look up the code in your area for sound violations. For example, where I live night time violations are 68 dB after 10 pm. There are exceptions. I have a DB app on my phone so I can tell how noisy things are. Just an idea.

Mar 25, 2020 - 4:57:49 PM

32 posts since 4/15/2019

Unfortunateky the landlord has a new code of him own instituted with social distancing regime and he controls the lease
Thanks for the support.

Mar 25, 2020 - 5:12:13 PM

32 posts since 4/15/2019

Dear Bart ironically i am using your mystery wood bridge which really imoroved the banjo’s overall tone and boosted the bass tone and presence and depth on the 4th and 3rd strings. An amazing work of craftmanship!!!
But Bart who are the earplugs for? Not the neighbor, he won’t wear them.
I think it is the bsnjo tone that annoys whereas a loud late night TV 3 feet from the ceiling that supports his floor does not annoy.

Mar 25, 2020 - 8:43:45 PM

mjt0229

USA

343 posts since 4/20/2015

I suppose you can't tell him that you'll never get better if you don't practice...

More seriously, I can't believe you're loud enough to be a nuisance unless you have a very loud banjo and hit really hard. I guess you could try nylon strings, but that seems almost unreasonable for you to have to change just on some cranky neighbors part.

Edited by - mjt0229 on 03/25/2020 20:44:51

Mar 25, 2020 - 9:06:40 PM

Bart Veerman

Canada

4611 posts since 1/5/2005

I wasn't very clear when I wrote that sad

What I was trying to point out is that the space between your banjo and the ceiling + the thickness of the flooring between your unit and your neighbour's is a much more effective sound barrier than them cheap earplugs - so, greater dB value than the plugs

Mind you, if you're in an older building you may have heating/cooling ducts from unit to unit and sound does carry through them quite easily. If that is the case then do block those of with towels, pillows or whatever while you're are playing because else your neighbour does have a case.

If your ceiling is a concrete slab like in apartment buildings he should barely hear a thing at all provided you have your windows closed.

Oh, thanks for the thumbs up about the bridge smiley

Mar 26, 2020 - 3:40:02 AM
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258 posts since 2/15/2015

Or.... go banjo rad, to see if your neighbor responds to a more free-form jazz approach to the instrument.


 

Edited by - geoB on 03/26/2020 03:42:44

Mar 26, 2020 - 4:30:12 AM

54489 posts since 12/14/2005

Oh dear!

A couple of my brain cells noticed "Samsung TV" and decided you were asking about TV noise, not banjo music.

My Ape-Pologies for suggesting TV Ears.

Mar 26, 2020 - 1:25:33 PM
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Players Union Member

Strelnieks

Germany

330 posts since 6/20/2003

Here in Germany, matches the stereotype I guess, there are laws that regulate this. Rules for particular apartments can vary, but the law allows for amateur musicians to play for certain amount of time per day (I think it is an hour, but it might be more). There was a recent court case about it on the news. Professionals, who need to practice much more, are probably expected to have a professional place to practice. But this law gives guidance on the kid's clarinet or piano lessons, stuff like that.

Mar 26, 2020 - 1:28:28 PM

17 posts since 9/11/2013

Hi maybe suggest he find a hobby,then he won’t have time to complain about you,or you could offer him lessons, or you could suggest he move. If you suggest it’s his problem and show him solutions maybe he’ll shut up.

Mar 26, 2020 - 1:43:25 PM

vlc

USA

41 posts since 8/21/2009

quote:
Originally posted by craan

Inam
In a flat in NYC and we are under a city under a stay in place corona order. I just recovered from focal dystonia and from not playing for a decade and am picking well again. Here is some of my music with fiddle Ken Kosek on youtube:

youtu.be/tlrk_Jni6Qw


youtu.be/e4JtOydcl14

I am back to sounding like this.
So have a desperate need to
play after 10 years of silence.


i was wondering what kind of therapy you did for focal dystonia ... i had two teachers who had this condition ... different fingers affected ... for my profession i took a hand therapy class for continuing education credit ... where many hand therapists were attending ... the woman who was teaching the class was from a clinic in Nashville and of course i had to ask her whether she sees a lot of this ... the answer was a "YES" A LOT! not just banjo players but guitar pickers as well 

so just curious what you did to recover ... wow ... congratualtions!

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