Practising late?

Edited: November 23, 2021, 6:58 AM · Hello again. I was very pleased and happy with all responses I got in my other thread. There is another question I have. How do you practice late? I arrive late from work and I have fear to disturb at 11-12pm. I use metal mute, but I do not know if it is enough. My violin is very loud.

I also see there exist electric violins for practice like yamaha but I do not know if they are good for not disturb.

Do you practice late? How? Mute? Electric? Pizzicato?

Thank you again. I still reading all answers. You are very kind!

Replies (11)

Edited: November 23, 2021, 8:06 AM · If I had to practice late and could afford one, I would use an electric violin (i.e., "silent violin") I would set it up with head phones so I could hear what I was doing.

I would want an instrument that emulates the sound of my wood instrument, otherwise it might be little better than practicing a heavily muted instrument. My father had to practice with a heavy metal "practice mute" in our New York apartment until we moved to rural Maryland withour hose in the middle of 27 acres. I did try using his practice mute on my own violin at least once; it's OK for "mechanical practice" but there is really no way you can fully work up your music.

I have never played an electric violin, but I did try an electric cello (with headphones) once - it was certainly a good substitute for my wooden ones.

November 23, 2021, 4:22 PM · with my neighours I have trouble practicing at all. I am actually considering an extension to the side of my house because of them.
If you are in UK after 11 at night you can get your wrist slapped. I sympathise with you. I have heard varying reports of electric fiddles which are not completely silent, they still make a noise. I actually posted a very similar thread about mutes on this very site, apparently there is a great one you can get but its from the states and the postage is expensive cant remember what its called, but no doubt someone will remind me, I think its called caterpillar or something like that.
November 23, 2021, 5:06 PM · Greetings,
I used one of the original Yamaha silent violins and hated. they may have improved since that era.
It is worth remembering there are hundreds, if not thousands of exercises for the violin, both left and right hand , that are completely silent. Also , mental practice of your pieces , if done well, is not too far removed from actually having the instrument in your hands.
Listening to recordings and memorizing pieces before you play them remains at the top of the list in terms of crucial things to do.
November 23, 2021, 6:00 PM · If things are that bad you could check into soundproofing methods:

My son used to have soundproofing in his garage (in Oakland. CA) for bad practice and it later served when he used the space for his wood shop business. Then over 20 years ago he moved his home and wood shop to acrege spaces in southern New Mexico where he recently completed his free-standing recording studio (Black Range Recording) that includes an acoustically isolated studio room with all the frequency, resonance, reflections, etc., accounted for. That sort of thing would keep neighbors from hearing you.

November 23, 2021, 6:52 PM · Back in the 1980’s was in the same position. Bought a Zeta Strados electric violin. Did not work out as planned. It never sounded like a violin and when unamplified it was useless as the sound was like a mosquito and pitches were ambiguous. As Buri said maybe things have gotten better in the past 40 years
Edited: November 23, 2021, 7:26 PM · If you get home from work late, why don't you practice early before you work? Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your music. Personally, I enjoy the morning the best for practicing.
November 23, 2021, 7:40 PM · Yamaha Silent Practice Violin?
November 23, 2021, 11:32 PM · If a violin is played one handed in a forest will the monkeys continue to fall out of the trees?
Ancient Japanese proverb.
November 24, 2021, 5:59 AM · A violin isn't as loud as you might think it is. Volume under your ear is not the same as projection. There's a good chance that if you live in an apartment, your next-door neighbor can't hear you practice, despite your worries -- even if you don't mute.
Edited: November 24, 2021, 6:10 AM · Lydia makes a good point. When I was still able to play my violin my neighbors in my apartment swore they couldn't hear me - though right next door they could hear me, sometimes, in their bathroom. Has to do with how the building is laid out. My teacher kept telling me that wasn't a problem but it took me a long time to really believe that.

Are you friends enough with your neighbors that you could conduct an experiment to see how much they can, or cannot, hear you?

My current instrument is a different story - but it IS a large string percussive instrument - it carries. Thankfully they like it :-)

November 25, 2021, 6:20 PM · I've tried four-prong metal hotel mutes, bronze(?) three prongs, wooden three prongs, tourtes and currently I'm experimenting with a wmutes (so far I'm liking it the most, but perhaps because it's the most expensive?!). I absolutely hate the 4 pronged metal hotel mute, makes the violin sound very tinny/buzzy, mutes way to much and I find I'm tired after playing with it. The wmutes seems to mute also quite a lot but doesn't make the violin sound so bad. Maybe that's the way to go?

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