Even though the weather is getting warmer and plenty of ukulele players will be bringing their ukulele to the great outdoors, I suspect there’s still a large group of players who prefer to not deal with bugs and sweat and wind while you’re playing your favorite songs. Perhaps you will play indoors. But what if you live in an apartment? How can you play ukulele and still keep the peace with your neighbors? I’ll break that down for you in these five tips. Let’s check them out!
Whether you are new to your apartment complex or you’ve been there a while, get to know your neighbors, especially the ones directly next to you, or above or below you. Be friendly and get the relationship started on the right foot. Let them know you like to play the ukulele. (You can even play them a song!)
You can ask them what the best times to play would be and ask them about their schedule. If you have many neighbors around you, it could be difficult to arrange a time that meets everyone’s schedule. But at least you will know when the best times to play would be. You might even be surprised. Maybe your neighbors won’t mind you jamming out.
Read more: The Best Songs For Ukulele Beginners
Night Owl Productivity
In order to become a rock-solid ukulele player, you don’t actually need to be playing all the time. If you are a night owl and can’t play because of the noise it would make, I encourage you to do “book work.” Use some of your favorite books to study learning goals, like music theory and fretboard memorization. You can also study how songs are arranged. You can find a great variety of ukulele books to choose from at terrycartermusicstore.com. This collection will help you become a better ukulele player.
Find the Best Spot
There may be better areas to play in than others, especially in your apartment. Try to play in an area furthest from your neighbor, whether that’s a bedroom or living room. You can also use soundproofing materials like extra clothes, rugs, or blankets that will help absorb the sound.
Plug-In Your Ukulele
If you have an acoustic-electric ukulele, you can plug it into your amp and use headphones. This is one of the best options since only you will hear the sound. If you would like your very own acoustic-electric ukulele, check out the great options at the Terry Carter Music Store. You can even find the perfect amp there!
Soft and Quiet
You can also learn to adjust your playing. Maybe it’s fine to strum your heart out at certain times of the day, but once you know the “quiet times” for your neighbors, learn to play a little softer. Adjust your pressure against the strings when strumming and just lightly graze your fingers over the strings. This is also a good time to work on fingerpicking, as that is usually quieter than strumming.
Living in an apartment doesn’t have to mean you can’t play your beloved ukulele. With friendly interactions with your neighbors and getting to know them, you will learn when the best times and ways of playing will be. Offer to play your ukulele for your neighbors sometime. I bet this Hawaiian chord progression taught by Terry Carter would go over well.
You can even arrange a little patio or balcony concert once you check with management and make sure that it’s alright. Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire one of your neighbors to start playing the ukulele! This could open up new avenues of teaching them how to play and having someone to jam with, too! Remember these five tips for playing without disturbing your neighbors and above all, remember to have fun!