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How do I practice with roommates?

Hi! My name is Zac from Jacksonville, FL and I have been playing guitar for 13 years (24 now) and finally wanted to get into singing. I loved Ken's youtube videos and decided to buy the course. I have roommates that jokingly make fun of my practicing (only on lesson 1) and other times they find it annoying because a lot of the beginning stuff is practicing the "AH" and "EE" sound. So how can I effectively practice when I can't be too loud?


  • MatsyMatsy Posts: 126Pro
    I shut myself away in another room... apparently I am still really loud though haha.

    I also have a really big room at work I can head to that has awesome acoustics reverb.

    It must have been painful to listen to me at first no doubt, but I have noticed improvements. If it is important to you, you will find a way to get it done. Last night as I was walking along the street, going home from work, I did some singing... no-one was about but even if they were nothing was going to stop me :wink:

    I am sure your roommates also have their things that get in the way or maybe a bit annoying so they can deal... it's part of having roomies... you know you have to give and take a bit.
  • DeyanDeyan Posts: 22Pro
    I would tell them that I care about singing. If they don't understand make them understand. Own your space. If they want to study, tell them to go somewhere else. You are the alpha. In the worst case I would find another peaceful place where no one can bother me.
    I hope that helps.
  • Joseph.InJoseph.In Posts: 11Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Often times I will just sit in my car and have the workouts on my phone which I then play through Bluetooth. Usually no one is around, so I can really practice effectively, you'know, so I don't get kicked out haha.

    The problem with limiting your voice when practicing is that you usually end up compromising the voice to where the workout is doing very little, and maybe even do more harm than good. For example not singing the LAH scale with enough brightness or using too much air to try and soften and lower the sound; that kind of thing.

    I know this because I have often tried to practice when I have been away with family, which has led to me straining the voice because I was too awkward or embarrassed to work out the way I wanted and needed too.

    Try to find a place alone, where you can workout freely and without stress. For me it is going into my car, for you, it might be an attic. Whatever it is, don't compromise your workout because of what others say. Just practice away and then become a rock star and sell a million copies. Then tell them to make fun of your practicing as you wave your gold plated albums in their face ;)

    Best of luck!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 12,508Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    You might just flat out ask your roommates when the best time is for you to be able to practice. In other words when will they be gone... That will give them the option to let you know of some times that you could practice at home without bothering them. Then you would have to try to schedule your practice time for those opportunities.
  • bentkbentk Posts: 712Pro, 2.0 PRO
    The best you can do is schedule your singing and making an agreement about the time and duration. For me it has been hard to sing when others can hear me, it makes me very self-aware. It's usually only my wife that can really hear me, but even that was difficult for me at times. It's nothing personal, just a mental block that you have to conquer. For some its easy, for others it takes time (like me).

    You learn to ignore this and just take a certain amount of practice time, use it and own it.

  • KaiEllisKaiEllis Posts: 203Pro, 2.0 PRO
    A number of ways I've found to practice semi discretely:

    Sing into a pillow

    Sing in your car (but PARK somewhere lol, this stuff needs your attention)

    Practice scales (and songs) just doing the lip roll and the tongue exercise. The volume is always lower for me on these exercises than the rest. This has actually been gold for me regardless, because these exercises teach me about managing my air and keeping my throat open.

    Put some headphones on and go. That's not ideal - for me, I want to practice with the air pressure of the room versus the phones - but there's this weird psychological effect that happens. When you can't hear anything but the scales or the music playing in your ears, it's almost easy to forget anyone else is around.
  • zachbishopzachbishop Posts: 3Pro
    Hey thanks for the feedback everyone I really appreciate it! Going to my car will probably be my best bet, because talking to my roommates wife is like talking to a brick wall most of the time.
  • bentkbentk Posts: 712Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Sad to hear that it's not easy to talk with your roommates.
    Don't give up though, there should be some common ground to find between all of you.
    Perhaps they make some noise themselves now and then? Then maybe you could at least schedule a few hours per week at home, and do the rest in your car.

  • Odd_DROdd_DR Posts: 4Member
    I sang Given Up from Linkin Park when I was alone in home. You know, the screaming part is insane, I just sang it, then one day my mom said that my neighbour had heard some creepy, horrible sound like a man losing his mind. I just laugh a bit to myself and not care about what they or my family said. In senior highschool, I'm a natural science student but I want to study at musical highschool. I feel like I don't get support from my family, especially my mom. It kills my motivation and my spirit, but I just hold to what I like and love, and also keep practicing...,
  • sparklyspiritsparklyspirit Posts: 6Pro
    I sing when driving, or sit in the car when parked in the garage and sing then. Or I sing in a public bathroom when it's empty like at Walmart. When people walk in, I just pretend it wasn't me and I walk out. You can go to a park when it's nearly vacant or completely vacant. I read that you can actually rent rehearsal rooms and soundproof rooms at a nearby music store or music studio. It might be worth it. I'm a single parent living with my parents and THANK GOD our room is on the opposite end of the house, but my dad works nights and sleeps throughout the day which makes it hard for me to practice at all. He's not a complimentive, supportive, encouraging, or motivating person at all costs and makes fun of me or just gets angry when I practice. I'm still happy to live here and want to be respectful, but still plan a way to practice at home. So I have this wooden desk with built-in cabinets on top. It's in the corner of the room. This might sound confusing, but I stashed these 2 heavy duty extra large flat boxes behind it just 'cause I had nowhere to put 'em. I looked at it. Then I got the idea to buy more and build walls around the desk using these flat tall and thick boxes, duct tape, and whatever cheap material I can find. Then I can MAYBE glue some acoustic foam boards on them AND hang packing blankets over them. I don't know. I'm on a budget and desperate. I'm willing to try anything and help other cheap people out like myself. Good luck and share back any tips you found out about through experience will ya.
  • keithhammondkeithhammond Posts: 2Member
    You can practice everywhere: in the car, when you are on a walk, in the shower, anywhere where the situation is not loud. Here you can find a lot of tips for that
  • videoacevideoace Posts: 801Pro, 2.0 PRO
    most roomates would understand and be ok with it. My question is.....are you afraid/shy to practice around them?
  • KaiEllisKaiEllis Posts: 203Pro, 2.0 PRO
    This was a lifesaver for me in the beginning. Will still be when I start hitting auditions and need to stay warmed up without being a nuisance.
  • pkliepklie Posts: 1Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Thanks for the hint with the beltbox, I just ordered it.

    Had the same problem (yes my wife was really nerved in the beginning) so I bought myself the IsoVox 2, some kind of a cabin for the head:

    Pretty expensive IMHO, but cheaper than a "real" sound cabin.

    It's damping a lot, but not perfectly. I'm looking forward to combine it with the beltbox, will report when it's shipped.

    And yes, I tried a pillow inside the IsoVox, but that's not an option for me because you have to hold it all the time giving me tension in my shoulders. And you know what Ken tells us: no tension, right :-)
  • AlyonaAlyona Posts: 288Member, Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Yes it's good to have a schedule with them, maybe ask them when they are gone.
    I myself don't like when someone is hearing me sing at home. I live in the building in small apartment in my own room. I have neighbours. During last several years they knocked into the wall when I was warming up on EEE sound.


    I was very embarrassed. Sometimes I shout rock wearing headphones, so I can imagine how much scream they have to listen sometimes. However I have to sing - it's more important. So i do it despite on anything. I stop singing about 23.00 - that's Russian law, we can't be noisy after that time. I have a dream to have my own sound isolation studio!
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