TrumpetFilter II: Electric Boogaloo
September 6, 2011 9:45 AM   Subscribe

TrumpetFilter II: Audition in a week, and no place to practice! Ack!

I'm a student who moved into the dorms last week, and the all of the designated "music rooms" are still being used for storage and won't be cleared out for a few weeks. I'm technically not part of my university's school of music, so I can't use one of their practice rooms. My dorm's walls are rather thin, and I'd rather not have everyone hating me by the end of the first week... Do I have options other than to find and pay for a band rehearsal space by the hour somewhere?
posted by btfreek to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
Can you get / beg / borrow a whisper mute? That + outside would probably be fine.
posted by jenkinsEar at 9:56 AM on September 6, 2011

open classrooms in another building?
posted by daisystomper at 10:04 AM on September 6, 2011

Best answer: Are there "music rooms" available in other dormitories that you could go to? Are the classrooms in other buildings open during the off-hours? How strictly is the "music students only" policy in the music building enforced? Could you talk to your RA about moving some of the stored objects around so that at least one of the music rooms in your dorm is useable?

If all else fails, I would send out an e-mail to your closest dorm neighbours saying something like, "You may hear me practicing trumpet in my room for the next week or two. This is just a temporary measure until the dorm's music rooms open up. I won't be practicing before [noon-ish time here] or after [early evening time here], and of course you won't hear me at all after couple of weeks. If there are any other particular times you'd like me to avoid, let me know. Thanks for your understanding!"

Then just practice between the hours you specify in the e-mail. Dorms are not always perfectly quiet places, and Lord knows that by sending out an e-mail like the above, you'd be more considerate than 95% of noisy dorm-dwellers.
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:13 AM on September 6, 2011

I can personally attest to the quietness of the Yamaha Silent Brass mute; but both that and the also highly-regarded Trumpet Warm-Up/Practice Mute are over $100. A cheaper, darn near as good alternative would be the Peace Maker, which I've also personally used with and without the stethoscope. I suspect any of the three would quiet your horn enough to allow you to practice in your dorm room without bothering your neighbors.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:44 AM on September 6, 2011

Best answer: Or, for the truly low-budget DIY crowd, the Renuzit Mute!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:46 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

When this happened when I was a music student (there were, like, 10 practice rooms for the 1000 people in music school), we practiced outside. It's totally find since you're a brass player, just fine someplace that is as far away from other buildings as possible. Or find a park nearby Or if you get really desperate, just practice in your dorm in the late afternoon- people won't be much bugged if it's after, say, the universal hungover 2 PM wake-up time and before 9 or 10 PM. The Silent Brass stuff is fine BT spend and it's hard to get a good idea of what is really going on with your tone when you use them.
posted by charmedimsure at 11:15 AM on September 6, 2011

oh god, phone typos, ack and sorry
posted by charmedimsure at 11:17 AM on September 6, 2011

Wow, you sure are considerate. I doubt that any of your dorm-mates will ask around before they play music loud enough to wake the dead. I would go ahead and practice when most people are either awake or out, and not worry about it.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 11:19 AM on September 6, 2011

Response by poster: So I spent most of the morning asking around, and it turns out that all the way across campus there is a dorm with open music rooms! Woo-hoo!

Now, there is just the issue of me not having prepared a suitable audition piece AAAAARGH
posted by btfreek at 11:22 AM on September 6, 2011

As a lifetime trumpet player, outside is not an ideal place to practice. Practicing is very different from rehearsing and playing. Seriously. There's a reason why a lot of people don't want to hear you practice - you go over the same things again and again until you get them perfect. Unless you can tune it out, the regimen can be irritating. Outside? Brass carries. Really well. I would never inflict an hour of technical studies on a campus.

Glad you found practice rooms. As far as quiet practice is concerned, I've used both Whispa mutes and Silent Brass (first generation) and I don't particularly like either as I feel like they interfere with intonation. Since clip on tuners have become more widely available, I'd reconsider Silent Brass with the tuner on.
posted by plinth at 5:29 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

« Older Get me into the zone - and keep me there!   |   Going to Disneyworld for New Years weekend. Where... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.