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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?


  • 7 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • 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: 10,408Administrator, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • bentkbentk Posts: 193Pro
    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.

  • 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.
  • 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: 193Pro
    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.

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