Easy ways to keep the peace with your neighbours.
Posted: 25 June 2019
When the urge to rock takes over, there’s nothing you can do except grab an instrument and let loose. But what happens when that need takes over late at night? Or in the house you share with your rock-hating parents or housemates? In an ideal world we’d all be able to rehearse in a room with professional quality soundproofing but most of us don’t have that kind of budget. So how can you make your rehearsal space more neighbour-friendly?
Soundproofing relies on a couple of basic principles. The first is reducing the number of reflective surfaces like bare walls or hardwood floors. The second is reducing the amount of sound that leaks from places such as doors and windows.
Producing less noise from your instrument might not be a case of literally playing quieter but it doesn’t have to be complicated either. For electric instruments like the guitar or bass it’s as simple as choosing the right practice amp. For example, amps in our MG Gold range all come with an emulated headphone output for silence practice and our Origin amps feature PowerstemTM so you can switch to low power mode without affecting sound quality.
When it comes to drumming, try replacing your drumsticks with brushes to reduce the volume. You can also attach practice pads to your existing kit to dampen the sound.
Covering up your walls is one of the cheapest ways to soundproof a room. Take care of both acoustics and décor by mounting blankets or rugs to the walls. You could also put up paintings or move bookshelves and wardrobes so that they stand against the wall. Unless you plan on living out the rest of your life in one room, you should probably keep your exits clear.
You’ve probably noticed that most professional rehearsal or recording spaces are carpeted but that doesn’t mean you have to call out your local handyman to get one fitted. Rugs and mats create a similar effect and can be sourced second hand. Or if you’re feeling super creative you can even make your own rug out of old clothes. Just remember, asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a good way of keeping all your fingers and toes!
The gap under your door is probably the biggest culprit when it comes to sound leakage but luckily it can be fixed easily. Draft blockers or door sweeps are available in a variety of materials and styles and have the added bonus of keeping out that cold breeze.
Cover up your windows with heavy curtains to stop too much sound from leaking out. Specialist soundproofing curtains are available for those with a slightly bigger budget.
If you’re eager to create a rehearsal space but you’re not ready to commit to professional level soundproofing, then DIY acoustic panels are a good compromise. These panels are often self-adhesive so it’s just a case of peeling off the back and sticking it to the wall. Soundproof wallpaper is also an option.