Playing the recorder: Which instrument for an apartment dweller?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by GanChan, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. GanChan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I used to play a lot of oboe/saxophone/clarinet in high school and college, but I wandered away from music performance for a few decades after that. I also had a basic introduction to the recorder, and now I'm thinking of getting back into that instrument just for noodling around at home. A decent plastic Yamaha or Aulos would be fine for my limited purposes.

    The question is, which type of recorder should I get? I live in an older apartment with the typical single-pane windows and thin walls, so a soprano recorder would drive the neighbors (and probably me) nuts. The alto has all the solo stuff written for it, but I'm wondering if even its tone might be too penetrating in close quarters. There remains the softer and (to me) even more agreeable tone of the tenor recorder -- surely no one ever called the cops on one of THEM -- and I could play a certain amount of classical flute and oboe literature on it, but my hands and fingers are on the small side; I don't know if I can handle the stretch and/or hole width.

    Any thoughts or advice from the recorder owners/players out there?
  2. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    I would choose the instrument based on what you like best and look around for some other location to play / practice. Depending on your neighbors, any instrument might be too loud.
  3. ijohn.8.80 macrumors 65816


    Jul 7, 2012
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    The tenor would carry less through the walls to your neighbours, but it all depends on how much sound normally gets through and your neighbours disposition. Do you have a room in the middle of your apartment, in that it doesn't touch any adjoining walls? I'd practice there, so the sound was as far removed from them as possible.
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I'd say play whatever instrument you like. Just don't be a jerk and play it at night. Unless you are very good and playing for guests. Otherwise if you just playing during the day and early evening you are being considerate enough. No need to sacrifice your interests just because you may bother somebody else.

    If you have neighbors with loud children, barking dogs, yell and fight constantly, &c. Start learning the bagpipes.:cool:
  5. Drew017 macrumors 65816


    May 29, 2011
    East coast, USA
    As a musician who plays multiple instruments (including marching snare, trumpet, drum kit, guitar, bass etc…) I often wonder about my neighbors :p.

    My advice is to get the instrument that you want to play, and set up certain times of the day where you allow yourself to play in (like before 7:00 pm). Either this, or find a different place to practice that won't bother people.

    Or you could find a way to mute it :D
  6. Aeolius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2002
    Have you considered going electronic? Akai USB Wind Controller


    That way you can hook it up to GarageBand, plug in some headphones, and play all night!
  7. lelisa13p macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2009
    Atlanta, GA USA
    I have a neighbor who is known to my son & myself as Tuba Man. :) He plays outdoors in the afternoons when the weather is favorable, usually between 3 PM and 6 PM. Hearing him always makes me smile. His repertoire has included Louie Louie, the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Star Wars Death March, among many others. :D

    On occasion, he has been joined by a trumpet.
  8. spoon man macrumors 6502a

    spoon man

    Jul 8, 2007
    I often wounder what my fellow neighbors must think when I'm playing, so far nobody has knocked on the door to say turn it down so I take that as a sign that I must be good. On the other hand tho if I'm turned up loud how would I be able to hear them knocking..................

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